Friday, April 22, 2011

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce)

I was all set to post my recipe for slow-cooker pineapple porkchops. But, I thought that might be blasphemous considering we're in the middle of Pesach (Passover). Now, I don't keep Passover anymore, but some habits die hard {(quick explanation: Jews do not eat pork ever, and they don't eat bread on Passover. Being the, erm, non-traditional Jew that I was, I still ate pork, just not on Passover, and I definitely didn't eat bread on Passover. Make sense? It doesn't really make any sense, but I'm human, and thus inexplicable)}. Instead, I'm posting a recipe that is not only Chametz-free {(another quick explanation: chametz is the stuff you don't eat during Passover; these include yeast, corn, lentils, legumes, barley, peanuts, flour, etc.; Passover is a long week if you don't know how to cook for it!)}, and vegetarian, but also super-simple, delicious, and cheap!

As a side note, I'm also posting the recipe on the link-up for "Easter Dinner" recipes on Delightful Country Cookin'. I haven't had an Easter Dinner in years {(although, my family does still have Easter dinner)}, but since Passover and Easter usually coincide, I figured that was a good alternative for This Week's Cravings.

Shakshuka is an Israeli dish which consists of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Our last night in Israel was spent in this little restaurant in Jaffa where we all had shakshuka served family style with beans {(um, not something you should necessarily feed a group of people about to get on a 12 hour plane ride)} and bread. It seemed so easy to make, and so when I got home, I searched for a recipe and found this one from Smitten Kitchen {(her pictures are WAY better than mine!)}.

A few tips for this recipe:
*Make sure that you really let the tomatoes thicken before you add the eggs. It should be really thick and saucy (I didn't let mine get thick enough; it still tasted fabulous, but was soupy).
*Don't over-poach the eggs; its not the end of the world if you do, but part of the fun of this dish is to break the yolk and sop it up with some naan or matzo {(although in Israel we just had baguets)}
*I used feta cheese instead of the traditional Haloumi because, well, I live in Central Texas. We're lucky I can find feta.
*The recipe calls for 3 jalapenos. I didn't taste ANY spice, so I'd recommend either WAY more chiles, or spicier peppers. Or you could just add some red pepper flakes. Either way.

1/4 cup olive oil (I just covered the bottom of the pot with some)
3 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 14ish-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
6ish eggs {(I used more; whatever will fit in your pot!)}
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Warm naan for serving {(recipe to come after Passover is done)}

Heat oil in a large skillet or a dutch oven over medium heat {(I had to use my dutch oven because I don't have a super deep skillet)}
Saute onions and chiles until the onions are soft {(5-10 minutes based on preference)}.
Add garlic and spices and stir {(to prevent garlic from burning)} until garlic is soft.
Crush canned tomatoes by hand and add tomatoes + juice to pot.
Let simmer until it has a fairly thick consistency {(gravyish)}.

Add eggs by cracking them directly into the pot/skillet {(it will look like this)}

Cover and let simmer until the yolks are *just* set {(this is a bit overdone, but still delicious!)}

Carefully stir the whites into the sauce without breaking the yolks.  Top with feta cheese and eat with naan {(or matzo!)}.



  1. This is really similar to huevos rancheros, a perennial favorite in my house. Poach eggs in a tomato sauce, ladle over crisp tortillas. Delish!

  2. Anonymous5:11 PM

    At first I thought you were talking about the Turkish dish "Saksuka" (both "s" is pronounced as "sh")-love it- but this version looks very delicious too! Thanks for sharing :)

    P.S. If you'd like to try the Turkish one, I found the recipe in English here: