shamelessly good shakshoukah

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Serving this shakshoukah was my Sunday saving grace. Without this deliciously spicy baked egg number to provide me with the satisfaction of next level stay-at-home brunching, I’m afraid the latter half of my weekend would have been vastly less fulfilling (my attempts at napping twice were pathetic at best and I cleared my Gmail inbox out of over 4,000 messages dating back to 2005). I know something must taste good when I instantly want to share it with other people – so here you are, hastily snapped iPhone photo and all. I was far too busy demolishing my plate with a voracious appetite to grab my camera and haphazardly attempt to style the dish during the glorious eating process.

I’ve never made shakshoukah before – I think something about having to do two things and open a tin of tomatoes put me off, and now I’m seriously wondering why. With a handy pair hands nearby to cut the onions so I didn’t have to do any of the crying (seriously, it’s profuse and unfortunately not at all cathartic), it was nearly as easy as simply frying up my usual bacon and eggs. Perhaps what’s put me off further is that I’ve also never had a particularly amazing rendition of what I feel is its true potential when I have ordered it out at a restaurant – the tomato never quite reduced enough, the chorizo more sausage than Spanish vehicle for salty spiciness. I went all out in preparation for this, purchasing my very own “chorizo hot piece” imported from Spain for the experience.

This is spicy, sinus clearing and celebratory: certainly enough to make me feel less seedy, in any case. It probably feels like there’s a lot happening here for a breakfast, but I promise that it all ties together in a beautiful mess. I made enough to serve two people, but I think the recipe could certainly be multiplied for a larger skillet to serve to a large group.

Make it paleo: omit the feta and yoghurt

Make it vegetarian: omit the chorizo, perhaps sub in half a tin of kidney beans for some extra protein

shakshoukah

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • 100g chorizo, chopped into pieces
  • 2 tsp cumin, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic (around 3 cloves, freshly crushed)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 10 drops stevia (equivalent to 2 tsp of your choice of sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sprinkling of chilli
  • 4 eggs
  • 70g feta cheese
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
  • Natural yoghurt for accompaniment

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F bake setting. In a skillet suitable for your stove-top and oven, fry the onion over medium heat in the vegetable oil for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it softens but doesn’t catch and burn. Add the cumin, paprika and sumac and fry for a minute or two to allow the spices to become fragrant. Add the garlic and chorizo and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes so the oil from the chorizo is starting to turn the entire base of the dish is being infused with its delicious flavour. Finally add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes before turning the heat down to low and leaving the mixture to simmer and reduce for 10-15 minutes.
  2. At this point, add the stevia/sweetener, lemon juice and sprinkling of chilli. Taste the base mixture and add salt and pepper accordingly – chorizo can be very salty of its own accord.
  3. Break the egg into a small mug or jug, then make a small well in one of the corners of the skillet in the tomato sauce. Pour the egg straight into the well and repeat with the remaining three eggs in each corner. Crumble the feta cheese on top before transferring to the oven.
  4. Bake the eggs for 10-15 minutes until the whites are looking cooked through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsely and serve on their own or on top of toast with some yoghurt to balance the spice out beautifully.
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