~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shakshuka... Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

Shakshuka... Middle-Eastern Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce. I've been seeing "poached eggs in tomato sauce" on a number of blogs/sites recently. But it was this Middle-Eastern version that really made me finally prepare the dish. I love the addition of cumin and coriander. I am sure there are quite a few variations to this basic dish. Some will not use onions, others will not add feta cheese, while yet still others will skip the peppers. In Italy, they have a similar dish where a tomato and basil sauce is used. In Mexico, you have the classic huevos rancheros where a tomato based salsa is used. In France, you have baked eggs over ratataouille sauce. I think you will find quite a few variations to the "poached eggs in tomato sauce"....so it is nice to be able to prepare it according to your taste. If you prefer more spices, you can easily adjust that. In any case, the idea of poaching eggs in a sauce is definitely not new. But it makes for a wonderful meal...be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I like the idea of having some crusty bread that will mop up the delicious sauce. You can use whatever bread you like, in my case I had some homemade naan bread.
This recipe makes enough sauce for about 8 eggs...I chose to use less. I had leftover sauce that I used for another recipe(coming soon:)). I love how you can bring the dish to the table... everyone can help themselves. It is a tasty dish and leftovers are great. I would like to try making this dish with garden-fresh tomatoes. You think it will work? Let me know if you try it and what you think of it. Here is another chance to have eggs for dinner:)...not just for breakfast. Hope you enjoy....
Tip: You can make all the sauce and reserve half of it for the second day. Use half of the eggs for one day with half of the sauce. Warm up the reserved sauce the next day and use a new set of fresh eggs.

You will need:inspired by AvocadoBravado and adapted from Saveur
2-3 jalapeno chilis, seeded and finely chopped (optional... I used some chile flakes)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 tablespoon paprika( try using smoked)
salt & pepper, to taste
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup water
eggs( however many you need ...up to 8 eggs)
crumbled feta cheese( or you can use paneer)
freshly chopped parsley, or cilantro
chives, chopped(optional)

flat bread or crusty bread, for serving

Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and carefully crush with your hands until you have small pieces. Set aside
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, when hot add the onions and chilis( if using) and cook until softened( 6-8 minutes). Add the bell pepper and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chile flakes(if using), garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juices with 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly and thickens. Stir every so often.
Make a small well in the sauce and break the egg in the tomato sauce. Do the same with the rest of the eggs. Continue cooking until the egg whites solidify and the yolks are still slightly runny. You can cover the pot so that the eggs cook evenly. Add crumbled feta cheese, parsley and chives. Serve with bread.


Rose said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I'm glad you liked it. Your Japanese food photos are inspiring me to give making Japanese food another chance. :)

Ellie said...

Rose, Thanks for stopping by...and for the inspiration! We loved it. It will now be on my favorites list:)

It was your beautiful photos of the shakshuka that inspired me to make your version:) So, thank you...~Ellie

Speranta said...

Imi place cum arata ...asa de frumos este aranjata...vreau sa o incerc si eu!

Cheese Curd In Paradise said...

This looks wonderful! I will give this a try soon. I have a large container of smoked paprika that needs to be used!

Ellie said...

Ashley, Thanks for stopping by...I hope you like it. I have yet to try it with smoked paprika. I thought about it when I was posting the recipe. I, too, have a large container of smoked paprika:). Next time I make this I will be using the smoked....

Speranta, Multumesc, si sper sa iti placa si tie ~Ellie

Cherine said...

Looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Hi from Los Angeles! Your shakshuka looks fabulous, very close to how I make it. But a big NO on using fresh tomatoes, they just don't have the depth of flavor of canned ones. I suppose you could use fresh, but you'd need to intensify the tomato flavor with tomato paste.

Ellie said...

Anonymous, Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree with you about the depth of flavor the canned tomatoes imparts to the dish...
I just wanted to use some fresh tomatoes:)... I am sure that it will probably not taste the same....but the tomato paste should help some.
Also, if I cook the fresh tomatoes a bit longer...it might give me the thicker consistency the canned tomatoes have... the fresh tomatoes are definitely more on the watery side. It is similar to making fresh tomato sauce versus using bottled tomato sauce. ~Ellie

dining table said...

This is a very interesting dish! Nice idea! This is so new to me and I think I really should try this one.