Shakshuka, I’ve been eyeing up this delicious Middle Eastern dish for yonks but for some reason never got around to trying it properly until recently.
I was out for a brunch and shopping date with my sister when we kind of stumbled into Giraffe for food. To my absolute delight Shakshuka was on the menu and this was finally my chance to give it a go. I’m so glad I did as I know freaking love the stuff!
Shakshuka is an ideal brunch meal. It’s easy to make, feels kinda lazy and easy going on the presentation, you can add any ingredients you fancy and it includes some classic brunch items such as tomatoes and eggs.
But it really is the versatility of Shakshuka I enjoy. You can adjust the spiciness to be as mild or fiery as you please (or to deal with any potential hangover that might be weighing you down).
You can add any veg you fancy, got some leftover aubergine? Chuck it in. Have some mushrooms clogging up the veg draw? Chuck it in. Have some courgettes, peppers, squash…? Chuck it all in.
Sometimes if I’m feeling a little decadent I might throw in some fried chorizo.
But mostly I like to keep this brunch recipe meat-free.
Shakshuka is essentially eggs poached in a tomato sauce. There are a gazillion different ways to cook it so it’s best to give it a try and add your own spin on it.
The Shakshuka I tried at Giraffe was mostly a loose tomato sauce with poached eggs and a few small pieces of chorizo. At home, however, I prefer to make the sauce into a dense ‘ragu’ style consistency with chunky peppers and onions to add interest the texture.
For this dish I bought and used a skillet I found for a rather affordable price on Amazon. It’s just the right size for a couple of portions of shakshuka. If you’re cooking for more you might want to size up.
This is now a firm weekender staple in our household and taste delicious with our favourite sourdough from our local bakery.
Shakshuka (serves 2)
A good glug of Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Onion, roughly diced
1/2 Red Pepper, roughly diced
1/2 Green Pepper, roughly diced
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4tsp Cumin Seeds
400g Chopped Tomatoes, lightly blended (use two cans for a saucier recipe)
Salt and Pepper, for seasoning to taste
Handful of Fresh Coriander, to serve
To make it:
Heat the oil in your skillet, or high-sided frying pan, over a high heat. Tip in the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir well and once sizzling reduce to low-medium heat. Stir every few minutes until onions are golden.
Add the red and green pepper to the pan. Stir every few minutes until softened.
Add the garlic and spices and stir well. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and allow the mixture to simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes (30 minutes if using two cans for a runnier sauce). Taste for seasoning and spice levels, adding more cayenne pepper if you want it spicier.
When the mixture is thickened create small wells in the sauce and gently tip an egg into each one. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170C (fan).
Transfer the skillet to the oven and allow to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the eggs have set to your liking.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
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