Shakshuka; softly poached eggs in a smokey rich tomato sauce seasoned with essences from the Middle East. It’s a star on the table and one of the easiest dishes you’ll ever make, yet one of the most beautiful.
This sponsored better-for-you recipe came at a great time, I’ve been wanting to share one of my all-time favorite super healthy breakfast recipes with you. All opinions and recommendations are always my own!
We’re bonafide egg lovers and are always sourcing the best ingredients, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs fall right into this class, their motto is “Believe in What You Buy” and I couldn’t agree more. The Certified Humane® free-range label guarantees that they believe in the welfare of their organic, free-range hens, and it really shows! An independent study conducted by “Mother Earth News” confirms that free-ranging chickens lay eggs with two times the omega-3s, one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat as conventional eggs.
Hens have the freedom to strut their stuff spread their wings and bask in the sunshine doing their favorite chicken activities! Yes, we believe this is super important and their happiness results in superior eggs! Free from harmful chemicals and dreaded hormones they enjoy freedom on a network of over 125 small family run farms. Which means you’ll support local farmers too, please take a minute to check out their site you’ll meet these great farmers and can read about their adventure that began in the 1800’s!
Organic eggs make everything taste great!
Organic eggs make a huge difference in everything including eggs. They’re better for the environment, better for you, and 100% better-tasting, too.
According to Susan Allport, author of “The Queen of Fats,” eggs from chickens that are free-range and eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids — from sources such as grasses and weeds — lay eggs that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than chickens that are only grain-fed. Omega-3s play a critical role in brain function and growth, reduce inflammation and may prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
Origins of this fabulous dish called Shakshouka
If Shakshuka is new to you then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. A healthy good for you vegetarian breakfast, brunch or dinner option in Isreal and other regions in the Middle East and North Africa. The word Shakshuka is Arabic slang meaning “a mixture” the quintessential meal of Arab cuisine and is traditionally served in a cast iron or tajine.
What should I cook Shakshuka in?
We cook and serve ours up in our Italian terracotta pots which imparts the tajine’s earthy character. Cooking with terracotta is a whole other post but don’t worry if you don’t have any you can also use a stainless steel or cast iron pans (see chef’s note below).
Chef’s Note: A word of caution on cooking tomato based recipes in cast iron. Be sure that your pan is very well seasoned and has been cooked in for years otherwise the acid will strip the seasoning from the pan and result in discolored and metallic tasting food so if in doubt use stainless.
What seasonings go into Shakshuka?
I feel strongly that a key factor in cooking is understanding that recipes are great guidelines but not rules (not talking baking here). Creating dishes that are in line with your palate is what we’re ultimately after.
There are many versions of Shakshuka across the world today. You’ll see a variety of ingredients from tossing in a diverse array of green veg to health it up even more, to using different goat cheeses and some variations in spices. The possibilities are unlimited making this dish a nutritional national favorite, make it your own!
Tips for making the best Shakshuka
- Toast Spices: Don’t skip toasting your spices in the pan before adding the tomatoes. Heating spices releases their oils, flavors, and perfume increasing flavor 10-fold.
- Get Saucy: Allow the sauce to simmer and cook down, keeping a watchful eye and stirring as you go. Not only does it improve flavor but it also thickens and will cradle the eggs as they poach.
- Carryover Cooking: This applies to nearly every dish you’ll ever prepare. Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the desired doneness. Look for whites that have risen a bit and have a little shake to them and then pull the pan.
What do I serve with Shakshuka?
Whatever you like, however, it’s fabulous as a stand-alone dish! But you can always serve up with a bit of crusty bread for mopping up tomato sauce and runny eggs, and a salad on the side would be perfect for an midday brunch or lunch.
What if I don't like poached eggs?
You can still enjoy the amazing flavor of Shakshuka! Make the tomato sauce and then prepare the eggs your favorite way then ladle the sauce over the top. Viola’ your own Shakshuka creation!
Can I store leftover Shakshuka?
Definitely best served immediately. However, if you find yourself with an excess of tomato sauce it can be stored in the fridge up to 3 days or frozen 4-6 months.
How to Make Shakshuka
Shakshuka; softly poached eggs in a smokey rich tomato sauce seasoned with essences from the Middle East. A star on the table and one of the easiest dishes you'll ever make, yet one of the most beautiful.
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red, yellow or green bell pepper, washed + seeded + diced
- 1 medium onion, peeled + diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
- 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
- 6 large Organic Free-Range Eggs, Pete and Gerry's
- Kosher Sea Salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed + torn
- 8 ounces goat cheese, sub feta
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, add the EVOO and reheat for 30 seconds. Add the diced bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes until the spices release their oils and become fragrant and the paste begins to turn deep red. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Pour in the hand crushed tomatoes and all of their juices and stir to combine, bring to a simmer and allow the tomato mixture to cook down for 10-15 minutes until it becomes slightly thickened.
Using a large spoon make indentations into the tomato mixture and then crack the eggs into each well.
Add ½ the cilantro and the ½ the goat cheese, cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes until or until your eggs reached desired doneness. Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the preferred doneness.
Garnish with remaining fresh cilantro and goat cheese and serve as is or with crusty bread or a salad.
- Prep time is approximate.
- Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the desired doneness.
- Best eaten immediately, however, if you find yourself with an excess of tomato sauce it can be stored in the fridge up to 3 days or frozen 4-6 months.