WHAT IS SHAKSHUKA?
Shakshuka (Arabic: شكشوكة; Hebrew: שקשוקה) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, which is often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin. Shakshuka means "a mixture" or “shaken” in Tunisian dialect.
Shakshuka is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce (most important).
It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews. These Sephardic Jews came from Spain, Portugal and the Middle East.
In general, Sephardic cooking is characterized by the use of olive oil, lemon and garlic and highly aromatic and sometimes very hot spices. Middle Eastern Jews used rice and aromatic spices with "exotic" vegetables cooked in olive oil. Fresh herbs such as dill and coriander are used by Greek and Turkish Jews, while North African Jews prefer cumin and dried ginger.
For more information about Sephardic cooking, contact Ms. Gloria.
I recently met a very nice lady, Ms. Gloria Schwartz, that runs demonstration classes for Sephardic cooking with exotic Jewish recipes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Back to my Shakshuka- it can be quite lazy- I fry some onion, pour a can of crushed tomato in, and cook for half an hour on a slow and low heat. I "break" some eggs on top of the tomato sauce, garnish with salt and pepper and sometimes parsley, cover, and then it’s done! Serve with fresh bread and everybody is happy… really happy.
But the real shakshuka comes from our friend Yoel (from last week’s recipe).
So what do you need for 4 hungry people?
1 Medium Onion (Chopped)
2 Red Peppers (Chopped)
2 Green Peppers (Chopped)
1 Jalapeño pepper – hot pepper to taste (Chopped)
4 Large tomatoes (grated)
2 Tb Tomato paste
1 Tb Paprika
1/2 Tsp Cumin
1/2 cup Parsley (chopped)
In a large skillet, saute the onions until soft and translucent. Add peppers and 1/4 cup of water and cover. Cook for 5-10 minutes until peppers are soft. Add tomatoes, tomatoes paste and spices and cook for additional 15 minutes on low heat. Add eggs and cover, cook for additional 10 minutes…
Don't forget the fresh bread to serve with, to mop up the sauce…Yummy!
Bon Apetit, B'teavon!