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Shakshouka: Learn to Love Breakfast Again

I’m on record as being pretty much sick of all breakfast food. But shakshouka has restored my faith in the most important meal of the day. Shakshouka is a North African dish that’s essentially eggs poached in a tomato sauce. Kind of like huevos rancheros, but spicy and without beans. Traditionally shakshouka is served over bread though shakshouka is also delicious in a bowl by itself.

Warning- you will come up with a little song where you say “shakshouka” over and over again and annoy everyone around you. Mine is to the tune of “Shipoopie” from The Music Man. [Note- I just told Elizabeth the shakshouka post was done and she asked if I referenced The Music Man. Busted.]

Shakshouka

3 poblano, anaheim, or sweet red or yellow peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion diced
1 quart crushed tomatoes
splash of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
big pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
6 eggs
4 tablespoons creamy goat cheese
fresh parsley for garnish

Roast the peppers over an open flame until the skin is blackened all over. Remove them from heat and close them in a paper bag so they can steam for 10 minutes. Take them out of the bag and pull off the skin under cold running water. Remove the stem and seeds and dice.

In a deep 9″ inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions for 5 minutes and then add the peppers and saute for another 3. Add the spices, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Then pour in the tomatoes and the red wine vinegar. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes until it has thickened a bit. Check the salt and acid levels.

To add the eggs, crack each one into a small, shallow bowl and slide them into the tomato sauce one at a time. Cover the shakshuka and cook the eggs until the whites are set, 6 minutes. After 3 minutes, add the goat cheese in several dollops, and re-cover the skillet. Spoon the shakshouka into bowls over big slices of toasted bread, and garnish with chopped parsley and a turn of pepper.

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