Anyone who knows me knows I am a Food Network addict. There are times when my husband thinks our television doesn't get any other channels ! So, many of my recipe inspirations come from things I have seen on shows there. I especially love the competition shows.
I can't remember on which show I first saw shakshuka, but I do remember it was a breakfast challenge of some sort. I make a similar dish that has spinach and chick peas, but this one seems so much more interesting. And then, it seemed like it was stalking me...it kept popping up on TV, and then suddenly on my news feed, it was everywhere ! So, of course, I had to try to make it myself. I followed a recipe the first time, to make sure I had the technique, then I made it from memory. So, this is my version. Apparently, from the research I did, it is North African in origin, but there are many different versions, with different levels of spice. This one was quite spicy, and the feta adds a nice, creamy texture. We ate it for dinner, but you could do breakfast, brunch, it would be good any time of day.
Shakshuka-Spicy Tomato Stew with Eggs
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small serrano pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 quart chopped tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
6 ounces feta cheeese, crumbled
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400. In a large, oven proof skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions, red pepper, serrano and garlic,and slowly saute until all are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, and chipotle powder, and stir until spices start to brown, 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and simmer until sauce starts to thicken, 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and feta. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. Make a small well for each egg, and drop into the tomato sauce. Place the skillet on the center rack of the oven, and bake 8-10 minutes, just until eggs are set. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with cilantro. You can add extra hot sauce at this point if you like, but it shouldn't need it.
You can serve this with crusty bread or pita, but we just eat it straight out of the bowl.