Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Shakshuka (Or, Eggs in Hell!) - Cooking with Kristin

Man, guys, if there is one thing I'm bad at, it's taking photos of food! It likely doesn't help that all my favorite foods are mushy stews, which sometimes don't even look great in the hands of a pro, but with my lack of styling and photo know-how, it's a real disaster. Apologies for never making anything I cook look good but I promise, it's all delicious.

Eggplant Shakshuka - Eggs in Hell

Especially this. My friend Manny made it for a friend's dinner party a few months ago, and it was a great appetizer, served with crusty French bread. He calls it his "Eggs in Hell," but this is also known as shakshuka, and apparently it's popular as breakfast in Israel.

I've also made it for dinner, and it's definitely hearty enough to stand on its own, even as is, though Manny suggests browning some meat (turkey or beef) to add in if you're making it for dinner. Today, I roasted a peeled eggplant for 30 minutes and then chopped it up with one green pepper and added them in with all the other ingredients, which really helped bulk it up, especially since I only used half the eggs it calls for. Really, it's super flexible and super good.

And, if you leave out the cheese, it's Whole30 compliant, which is a thing I care about now, since R and I are trying to do that. (I'm going to cheat a bit. I'm an adult who can make decisions for myself and I refuse to feel bad about this. But R is going all in and I'm trying to go 98% in, so I'm glad this works out.)

Manny's Eggs in Hell (Shakshuka)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (I remove the seeds because this spicy enough for me without them)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 eggplant, roasted, peeled, and chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (for more flavor, you can use your favorite brand—mine is Rinaldi—or you can get a plain can of it and spice it up with some Italian seasoning)
  • 8 large eggs (I often use four and it's still great)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiana

Heat up the oil on medium-high heat in a large frying pan or skillet.

Add the garlic, jalapeno peppers, onion, cinnamon, and chili flakes. (You should also add the eggplant, green pepper, and/or any meat you're using at this point.) Saute until everything is soft and starting to golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and bring it to a boil.  After it boils, bring everything to a simmer and crack all the eggs directly into this mixture, trying to not layer them on top of each other or breaking the yolks.  Poach the eggs in the sauce to your liking.  I like to make the eggs almost solid, and then stir them into the rest of the dish, but you can also eat them whole.  The entire process from start to finish should take about 13-15 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle with the cheese and then add some fresh basil if you're into making your food look pretty. Which clearly I am not. Serve with crusty bread or a salad.

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