Friday, October 23, 2015

Shakshuka – Say It With Me Now

This Shakshuka, or Shakshouka if you prefer, is why I’m so glad the show/blog/channel is called, “Food Wishes.” This North African one-dish-meal is so fast, easy, and delicious, but it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to do a video for it, unless someone sent me a request. 

I always appreciate these types of reminders, and seeing "Shakshuka" in a subject line does catch your attention, but now I have a little problem. I can’t stop saying it. It has basically replaced using profanity for me. Yes, now when I stub my toe, I yell "shakshuka!"

I know we did an Italian-inspired version of this idea, served in individual ramekins, but this is supposedly the original. The sauce is quite different, and I think more interesting. The peppers and mushrooms add another layer of flavor, and the spicing is much more complex. Not to mention, a large pan of this is much more of a showstopper.

Just be sure to cook your sauce until the veggies are nice and soft and sweet. I don’t think you want crunchy onions and peppers in this, so take a little time building the base. You will also have to monitor the liquid level as it simmers, but that’s very easy to adjust by adding a splash of water or broth.

Once the eggs go in, you can finish covered on the stove, or just pop the pan into a hot oven until they cook to your liking. I go for just barely set, and the advantage of that system is, if you do want them cooked more, you just need to stir the egg into that hot sauce, and it will firm-up instantly.

No matter how you like your yolks cooked, this makes for an impressive breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. And if you’re serving a large group, you can scale this up to any size pan or baking dish. I really hope you “shakshuka!” very soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 small portions:
(one egg per portion as appetizer - double for a main course)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
large handful of sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
28-oz can (about 3 cups) crushed San Marzano tomatoes, or other high-quality plum tomatoes. Of course you can use fresh tomatoes in season.
1/2 cup water or broth, or as needed
6 large eggs (or as many as you can fit in you pan)
crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley to finish

40 comments:

Christina Hartnett said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
You're in charge of making your shakshuka, off the hooka.
OMG Chef John...that just made my morning!! I just snort laughed!

Johnny Cash said...

Awesome recipe! North African here, only thing we do different is mix the eggs in with the rest so it's all blended together.

Kevin Yavno said...

I was planning on making one of these tomorrow after having tried it in the Middle East this summer! How lucky now I can follow chef john's recipe and get it right, instead of guessing what was in it! :D

Nise said...

This looks delicious. Usually I make Eggs in Purgatory with potatoes, artichokes, and capers (the Bon Appetit recipe) but next time I'm going to make your Shakshuka! Keep up the great work, Chef.

Tony Smith said...

i have been an avid watcher of your videos since not the beginning. But since a couple of years ago I have enjoyed all that you've posted. Thank you.

Also, what was the first thing you loved to cook? More than any other thing, I mean.

Elisha said...

Love a good shakshuka! I always use a red onion instead of a regular yellow one, to help with the sweetness. I prefer a thicker and sharper sauce so I'll use a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, but then I've also been known to add a shake of sugar as well to help balance it.
Serve it with fresh pita (sorry, not toast), some humus and tahini, and a simple cucumber and cherry tomato salad, and it's a meal and a half!

Anders Lund said...

I have just made it and it's fantastic. :)

Didn't use mushrooms as I don't really like them and chopped my own tomatoes. Forgot the feta now that I look again, but I'll just have to do it again soon.

JesterOne said...

You only have two peppers in the recipe and talk about three in the video. The bell pepper and the jalapeno are the easy ones. What is that middle one? I can't quite make it out...

Unknown said...

I used to stir the eggs in and called it Spageggi.

beemo said...

Dear Chef John:

I don't know if this will be your cup of tea, but I became addicted to a certain cold Korean soup while living in Korea, I had to have it about four times a week. I'll be making some soon now that I have tracked down all the ingredients. It's dead simple to prepare, and although it's traditionally a hot-weather dish, it's always good:

http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/naengmyeon

(Ice-cold buckwheat noodle soup)

David McCutcheon said...

Why didn't you use a cast iron skillet?

Razmig Yahniyan said...

Chef John is the best !!!

Ben said...

What a great dish! And one that goes SO well with your harissa hot sauce recipe (which I just shared with my brother)! Honestly, I was SHOCKED you didn't add any of that or any cayenne! Where is the real Chef John and what have you done with him?! ;-) Also, ground/cubed lamb and/or oilves add richness/calories whether you're having it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. :-)

Chef John said...

Bob, you need to go back and watch the video for the cayenne addition! How did you miss that!? I even made a joke. ;)

Marianne said...

Absolutely love this recipe ! I've made it for breakfast twice in the last 2 days :D My mum absolutely loved it, reminded her of the same dish my grandfather would make for her.
Side note, along with making this twice, over the course of this weekend I have also made your chocolate crinkle cookies and spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and they all turned out absolutely delicious! Thanks Chef John :)

Daniel Edwards said...

Balaboosta Cookbook... she runs great restaurants in NYC! Jewish ancestry! She talks all about Shakshuka! I make it frequently! Especially with Harissa!

ozgruls said...

Hi chef
I wanna correct somtehing with your permisson, shakshuka is a turkish/arabic dish mostly known as deep fried eggplant courgette and potato with spicy garlic tomato sauce on.
but the recipe you've given isvery similar to a popular meal named "melemen" in turkish cousine which is green pepper+tomato ( may add some tomato paste to improve flavor) and eggs eddea onthew final and mixed vell and as a final touch some prefer some cheese (feta or cheddar, depends on your choice)
but this is definetly not shakshuka be sure:)

Heidi Janke said...

Hi Chef John! We are wondering if you film and produce these great videos all yourself, or if you work with a production company or team? Keep it up, and Thanks!

meigan cameron said...

Looks very delicious to me..Definitely going to try this.
Thanks for sharing with us..

AFB said...

To JesterOne: it's red jimmy nardello pepper.

Lynn @ TheActorsDiet.com said...

I LOVE saying Shakshuka! And eating it too.

BBBTrain said...

This looks amazing!
We make it with okra and eggplants, but eggs and tomatoes are so good together that you can just add whatever you like (garbanzo beans, chicken, meat)

Halli said...

Reveille in the Castro on 18th has an amazing version with garbanzos and kale (of course) and poached eggs. I think they use harissa in it for extra kick. This looks great, too, though. Perfect brunch recipe.

Robert Farnlof said...

Chef, the video mentions 3 peppers, however the recipe only list two. Which is the third?

Chef John said...

it's red jimmy nardello pepper! But harder to find, so I just listed red pepper.

Ben said...

Chef John! I know it's the real you because I rewatched the video and saw the addition of the cayenne! My bad! That's what I get for watching half asleep in bed. Regardless, while a fantastic recipe, I still think a dash of cayenne is not nearly sufficient in the heat dept. for this amazing dish, especially when you have the most awesome harissa recipe that goes PERFECTLY with it! As my dad used to say, modesty should be reserved for those who need it and you, Chef John, have no reason to be modest! Link to that recipe for the uninitiated! As you once so profoundly opined, once you go Tunisian the other sauces (and dishes) ain't as pleasin' :-) Also, not trying to get all chef Ben on you here, but lamb and olives (plus fresh anise), while not totally traditional, are AWESOME additions to the flavor and caloric profiles of the dish.

Edward A. Voss said...

I made this with pasilla instead of poblano (they didn't have any at Sprouts) and added coriander because I was looking at the peanut butter stew recipe at the same time. It turned out delicious! I will warn you all though, you might want to avoid fishing for bass because you'll be passing lots of gas! Or at least I was.

Carly said...

Just made this, and it is indeed, off the hooka! Thanks!

Mary said...

Great recipe although I underestimated the cooking time of the eggs, I'll know next time.

Alan Haggart said...

Tried for dinner tonight, didn't have any mushrooms so used chopped zucchini instead, along with 3 cloves of garlic and a good squirt of ketchup. Delicious!

Thanks for all the recipes CJ.

Steven S said...

Small tip I figured out that makes the egg placement easier:

Crack the egg into a ladle, and then use the ladle to both press a spot into the shakshuka for the egg and roll the egg into the hole that you made.

Stacy said...

I understand about using "Shakshuka!" as an expletive. I once ordered a Thai soup called Gang Dang. My boyfriend and I have been using "Gang dang!" as an expletive ever since (heavier emphasis on the "dang" part). It's not really the best phrase to exclaim in mixed company, though.

Olivia said...

This is just like a recipe I love to make, which is called Eggs Baked in Tomatoes and Red Peppers. It doesn't call for mushrooms or jalapeños, but uses red onions, tomatoes (I use fresh plum), and red bell peppers. I think I will try this African version for a nice, spicy change. Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

Perhaps my 'chop' is too rough, but I puree about 1/2 the mixture and add back for a nice consistency and similar to what I found at Tel Avi cafes. Easy to make as large batch and I freeze in individual portions for a quick morning breakfast. Hint: Definitely time the eggs (I go for 3 1/2 minutes) then let stand off heat for a 1-3 minutes, very easy to overcook eggs.

Agent BlueJet said...

What do you think about replacing the mushrooms with cooked lentils?

Jason Gross said...

Bless you for this recipe Chef John. I've been using your recipes to cook with the wife. Only thing different I did was add 2 Serrano peppers with the red bell pepper and jalapeño and tomato paste to the San Marzano tomatoes. Also toasted some rosemary Italian bread, so freaking delicious!

ja ha said...

I just made this. It was so good! Of course, I made a few changes because of what I had on hand. Fewer peppers and less white onion. Added some green onion near the end. Cheddar instead of feta. And I didn't have enough cumin or any mushrooms at all. I definitely want to make it again with more cumin. Thanks for another great recipe.

ja ha said...

Just made it again, and I looked at a few other recipes for comparison. Just curious, why no garlic?

ja ha said...

Ok, sorry for all the comments, but I had some sauce leftover and one my my eggs broke in the ramekin so I made Shakshuoka scrambled eggs. Not as good as poached, but not bad. This is the best sauce I've ever had. Thanks again, Chef!

monkeygraborange said...

YEAH!
Just made this for the second time in 2 weeks. I actually sorta quadrupled the recipe and used Poblanos as well as Jalapeños and orange instead of red peppers, and fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and at the last minute added a can of red kidney beans because I like the color!

I plan on freezing most of it for later consumption but I have to say it's really delicious, hearty and ever so satisfying... although honestly, I couldn't imagine actually eating this for breakfast!

Once again, THANKS CHEF JOHN!