Shakshuka. Or is it Shakshouka?

However it’s spelled, it’s a northern African-turned-Israeli dish made primarily of tomatoes, chilies and eggs. I was blessed to have been moved forward into the next round of FoodBuzz’s Project Food Blog, and the next challenge is to take on a classic ethnic dish. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a middle eastern dish, and then I remembered that I had seen this recipe somewhere (here and here) and had logged in it the back of my brain as something I’d like to try.

Oh, and I’ll have you know that I had to go back to my previous place of residence to cook this because, as you know, our stove is not in yet.

Anyway, let’s get started.

Everyone, meet Anaheim. They’re a green chile that I’d say is more flavorful than spicy, but still spicier than a poblano, and more mild than a jalepeno.

I’ve had these in my freezer for a few weeks. I got them at work from someone who had grown way too many of them. Yes, I froze them whole. Sue me.

I’ll never know exactly how long it took to defrost these babies because in between loading the car to go to the old place to cook and actually starting the engine of my Jeep, I locked myself outside of my house and had to wait for friends to come help me break in my house.

By the time I got to the old place, they were ready to be diced.

Once my chilies were diced, I tossed some frozen chopped onions (it’s how I roll), crushed garlic, and some olive oil in a skillet set to medium-high. After a few minutes I tossed in the chilies as well. If you forced me, I’d tell you that I used about 1/2 cup of onions, 1 tbsp of crushed garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 5 diced chilies.

I bought these ‘maters at the grocery store this morning. Why not the farmer’s market? Because I think tomato season is over here. Ah well.

You could also used canned San Marzano tomatoes, which I’d do in the future since I don’t eat raw tomatoes enough to warrant buying enough to make this on a whim. But I had no complaints with using raw in this recipe, especially since fresh tomatoes are more photogenic than aluminum cans.

I ended up dicing five of them and throwing them in the pan with the diced chilies, onions, garlic, and oil. The other three I’ll find some other use for. I’ve got visions of tomato+evoo+blue cheese salads dancing in my head.

Before long, my pan looked like this.

That red block is about 3 tablespoons worth of tomato paste. Since most recipes do not call for whole cans of tomato paste, I freeze the leftovers. It melted down REAL quick once I added it to the pan.

Once the tomato paste was incorporated, I added 1 tsp of ground cumin and 1 tbsp of paprika, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Next, I decided to get my basil ready. Chiffonade is so pretty! I pulled these off my basil plant in my back yard while I was waiting for Justin and Kris to come rescue me.

Then on top plopped the eggs!

Lastly, I added the basil on top, covered, and let the eggs steam/poach until they were about over-easy/over-medium.

It made for such a pretty dish. And healthy to boot! I plugged in the recipe at Nutrition Data and came up with these stats:

189 calories per serving (1/4 of the recipe)
10 grams fat
3 grams fiber
11 grams protein

“This food is a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin C.”

And not to mention all the lycopene! And because the tomatoes are cooked and eaten with fat, the nutrients are more efficiently absorbed in the body!

On top of all that, it tasted really good. Next time I’ll probably serve it with some warm pita bread to soak up the juices and balance everything out. 🙂

13 Thoughts on “Shakshuka. Or is it Shakshouka?

  1. Wow, this looks really, really good!! You’ve SO got my vote!!

  2. Whatever it is, it’s gorrrrgeous! 😉 And it looks so delicious! My entry was the Indian dessert Gulab Jamun — click on over and see!

  3. This is beautiful!! You’ve got my vote 🙂

    I had fun making North African fare for my challenge too 🙂 Good luck!!

  4. This looks really delicious, well done!

  5. This dish looks delicious. And sorry to hear you managed to lock yourself out of your home; it did provide some comic relief though! Good luck!

  6. Wow what a beautiful dish. Looks very tasty. I voted for you. Best of luck in the competition.

  7. This looks so yummy! I would love this for brunch with some pita alongside for dipping. Yum! You totally have my vote!

  8. This looks amazing! Definitely a unique dish! Good job and good luck!

  9. Looks really good – my grandparents cook eggs in tomato soup which is what this dish looks like to me (but actually sounds a LOT better!)
    I voted for you – good luck!

  10. What a healthy and delicious dish! And you can eat from the pan…hooray for less dishes! There is nothing more I like than having breads and pitas on hand to soak up all the juices. Thank you for sharing. You got my vote!

    Lick My Spoon

  11. Looks awesome! Very interesting dish! 1 vote for you!

  12. How funny!!! I did shakshuka too! Love the pic!

  13. You don’t even need to use tomato paste, what I do is just fry the onions, pepper, and tomatoes, then add some water to it, and it makes very a very nice sauce

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