Shakshuka…a delightful way to start (or end) the day

My son visited last night. He attends University in Toronto and has been integrating himself with various cultures including the middle east, the Mediterranean, and especially Israel (he lives with a Jewish family).

He offered to make this dish and since having another chef in my kitchen is a rarity, I offered him the stove. What a delight! This simple, tasty breakfast dish was amazing. If you’re a tomato and egg lover, you have to try this meal, served in a bowl with crusty bread…an Englishman’s heaven.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño chile, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped, or spinach
  • 8 to 12 large eggs

METHOD

  1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers and jalapeño and cook just until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  2.  Slowly pour in the tomatoes. Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, and caraway and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Layer the Swiss chard leaves on top.
  3.  Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.
  4. Serve in soup dishes with crusty bread and wait for the smiles!

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.

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