ChakchoukaWhat could be more delicious than a fire-red sauce with gently cooked eggs?
David Lebovitz offers a beautiful Chakchouka (Shashuka) recipe that is adapted from both Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and Secrets of the Best Chefs by Adam Roberts.

Adapted from David Lebovitz

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 chile pepper (or to taste), stemmed, sliced in half and deseeded, finely diced/minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and diced, or two 14-ounce cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine or cider vinegar
1 cup (20g) loosely packed greens, such as radish greens, watercress, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (about 1 cup, 115g) feta cheese, cut into generous, bite-sized cubes
4 to 6 eggs

In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and wilted. Add the chile pepper, salt, pepper, and spices. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly, to release their fragrance.

Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat but is still loose enough so that when you shake the pan it sloshes around. (Fresh tomatoes may take a little longer to cook than canned.) Stir in the chopped greens. (This is an interesting addition, that I find very satisfying.)

Turn off the heat and press the cubes of feta into the tomato sauce. With the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indentation, then drag a spatula gently through the egg whites so it mingles a bit with the tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks.

Turn the heat back on so the sauce is at a gentle simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, taking some of the tomato sauce and basting the egg whites from time to time. Cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Serve with lots of crusty bread for scraping up the sauce.

Visit David Lebovitz’s blog to read the full entry and view more great photos by David Lebovitz.

Comments are closed.