Now this is pretty full-proof. Not only will you be a competent cook who doesn’t overcook your eggs – but you are now a worldly, widely-cultured man as well. Perhaps not cultured enough to do the European backpacking-hostel bit, but perhaps someone who honestly enjoys a sitting of National Geographic, History, or Travel Channel. Just tell her that this dish originated in North Africa (“Tunisia, I believe”), and it means “mixture” in Arabic slang you think. Don’t go into Ottoman Empire and all that; now you’re just being pretentious. You’re now “The Most Interesting Man in….This…Room” and at the moment anyway. Enjoy!
Born in Tunisia, Shakshuka, the hearty dish, where gently cooked eggs lay aloft a bed of spicy tomatoes, will perfume your kitchen like no other dish. Waking up to the wafting scent of cumin, harissa, and a touch of cilantro, Shakshuka will do much to place you in good graces. Yes, I think this entry, proves that I have an abiding affection for eggs-this is true, but Shakshuka stands all on its own in my vault of breakfast recipes. It is in one instance tantalizing-toying with your ability to handle some heat, the cilantro adding brightness, and at the very same time-the cumin reminds me of the good salt of the earth, homey foods we have long forgotten in our bourgeois lunches. Piercing the egg yolk to let it run wild and mix with the concerto of flavors bring an unctuousness that only eggs could. I love this dish. Plain and simple. It’s a real meal-and don’t you forget it.
from Jerusalem, The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp harissa
2 tsp tomato paste
2 large peppers cute into ¼ ince dice
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
5 large very ripe tomatoes chopped
4 large eggs range plus 4 eggs yolks
½ cup thick yogurt (Like Fage)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes to allow the peppers to soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for further 10 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce. Taste for seasoning.
Make 8 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip. Do the same with the yolks. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks. Simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny . Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plates and serve with the yogurt.
Serve it with an arugula salad served with a lemony vinaigrette (olive oil, shallot, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper).