Shakshuka

On many Friday nights when I finally get home from a long week of work, while I am too tired to cook a large and intensive meal, I also don’t feel like ordering in. For these nights I love simple go-to recipes that pack a ton of flavor and also allow me to open a fun wine along with them. One of my favorite recipes like this is shakshuka. Shakshuka is a delicious dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce served along with a crusty baguette. According to Wikipedia, the dish originated in Tunisia, though I mostly find it at Israeli restaurants here in New York. While I am normally frightened to poach eggs, in this dish it is super easy. Putting the entire meal together takes about thirty minutes, and what you wind up with is a rich stew of spicy tomatoes and delicious runny eggs, perfect for scooping up with crusty bread.

Every time I make this dish, I try a different white wine alongside it, but on this past Friday I think I found my perfect match: a refreshing Pinot Grigio. In the summer, I wind up drinking white wine a lot, especially in the evening as I try to cool down from the heat of the day, and this wine did the trick. Any bottle of your favorite Pinot Grigio will do, you just want something light, crisp and refreshing.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the shakshuka:

Serves 2 people

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño diced fine (if you want more heat you can add 2 or 3 more, but I find it makes the dish too spicy)
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed then chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Step One

Heat a deep skillet or dutch oven (which is what I use) over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onions and jalapeño and cook, stirring occassionally, for five minutes.
Step 1 Sautee Onions

Step Two

While onions are cooking away, dump a can of whole tomatoes with their juice into a large bowl and break the tomatoes up with your hands. Then set them aside.
hand crush

Step Three

When onions are golden, add the paprika, cumin and garlic. Stir for another 2 minutes. Then dump in the tomatoes along with 1/2 cup of water. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes.

Step Four

Crack 6 eggs directly over the sauce, evenly distributing them. Then cover and let the eggs set for five minutes.

Step Five

Remove the lid, gently use a spoon to cover the eggs with sauce, paying attention not to break the yolks, and then sprinkle on the feta cheese and parsley.
Assembly

Step Six

Transfer 3 eggs (again being careful not to break the yolks) and sauce to a bowl. Open your bottle of wine, rip off a piece of bread and dig in.