Food & Drink Magazine

Shakshuka (Pan Roasted Eggs in a Pepper, Onion and Tomato Sauce)

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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In my later years I have developed a much more interesting palate and there are things I would cook and try now that I wouldn't have even thought of trying when I was younger.   We also have such beautiful produce, eggs, etc. here in the UK,  and such a wide variety . . . that I just enjoy  cooking and eating with gusto!  (And it shows blah . . . )
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This is a recipe I had noticed in the Yotam Ottolenghi Cookbook, Plenty, quite a while ago.   I had cooked some eggs in a delicious tomato sauce before.   (Pan Roasted Eggs and Tomatoes.)  They were really good  . . .  this recipe was different however . . .  there were onions, peppers and some different herbs and things in it.
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It sounded simple and delicious.  It's a North African dish apparently . . .  but it's quite similar to the way that the Turkish cook eggs, but again with different herbs and spices.  The Turks use peppers and tomatoes as well.   The Italians also cook a similar dish, using just tomatoes, garlic and basil.  (No surprise there!)
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I changed the recipe ever so slightly to adapt it to what I actually had in the house . . . using a green pepper instead of a yellow pepper.  I also used dried coriander as I didn't have any fresh (that's parsley you see here.) and I added a splash of dry white wine.  Oh yes . . .  I also used a good quality tin of tomatoes (Cirio, they are my favourite) instead of fresh . . .  because to be honest . . . fresh tomatoes are just not that good at this time of year, and tinned tomatoes always are.
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I also cut the recipe in half,  because there are only two of us.  I also didn't cook two eggs a piece . . .  we would never have been able to eat two eggs a piece.  One each suited us just fine.  All in all, we both really enjoyed this very much.  The vegetable sauce was so flavourful and went very well with the eggs.  Todd had his with buttered crusty bread . . .  I had mine with hot buttered toast.   Toast and eggs are just what I am used to . . . I have some leftover sauce which I think I will use on a pizza tomorrow.   Sounds like a plan!
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*Shakshuka*Serves 4 with abundancePrintable Recipe 
A delicious North African dish which makes use of common ingredients, put together in a really tasty way.  Serve it hot with some crusty bread for dipping. 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds180ml of light olilve oil (3/4 cup)2 large spanish type of onions, peeled and sliced2 each of red and yellow peppers, cut into strips4 tsp soft light brown sugar2 bay leaves, broken in half1 tsp thyme leaves2 TBS chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish (cilantro)2 TBS chopped fresh parsley1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (14 ounce)1/2 tsp saffron threadspinch of cayenne peppersalt and black pepper to tasteup to 250ml of water (1 cup)(you won't know how much you need until you are cooking it)8 large free range eggscrusty white bread for serving 
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In a large skillet toaste the cumin seeds on high heat for several minutes until quite fragrant without burning.   Add the oil and onions.   Cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes, then add the peppers, sugar, and herbs.   Continut to cook over a high heat until they really begin to take on a nice color.
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Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne, and some salt and black pepper.  Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, adding water as needed from time to time.  It should have a pasta sauce type of consistency.   Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.  Remove the bay leaves and discard.   Make some hollows in the mix and crack in the eggs.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.   Cook on a very gentle heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.  Sprinkle with more chopped coriander and serve.

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