Friday, July 5, 2013


Shakshuka, originally uploaded by michele wynne.
I saw a gorgeous photograph of this thing called Shakshuka when I finally got my mitts on Jerusalem last year. That was my inspiration to commit to my library cookery books by limiting my bookmarking by editing down to 10 recipes AND copying each recipe long-hand.  Then, as usual, I got side-tracked.
Some roundabout trip through the blogosphere landed me on Smitten Kitchens Shakshuka post and my OCD kicked in and I had to make Shakshuka. Now!  For my 4th of July birthday brunch. Nevermind that I had Ottolenghi's perfectly perfect recipe in my TO DO binder and Smitten Kitchen's also perfecty good recipe saved on my phone, true to form, I spent an entire morning googling a gazillion ways to make Shakshuka. I landed on David Lebovitz's adaption . It involved the least amount of shopping and it was adapted from both my original inspiration, Jerusalem, and Secrets of the Best Chefs (Amateur Gourmets Adam Roberts brilliant book).
The only shopping I needed to do was for the greens (I decided on spinach), chili peppers and caraway seeds. I work in a specialty market and I'm surrounded by foodies of all calibers. As I talked up my birthday/4th of July plans, I don't know what surprised me more: those who loved Shakshuka and those who'd never heard of it. 
Shakshuka is believed to be of Tunisian origin, a dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It's the North African version of Huevos Rancheros or what the Italians call Eggs in Purgatory. It's super simple, budget friendly and healthy to boot. It can be adapted and personalized in endless ways and best of all, the sauce can be made up in large batches and frozen in 2-cup freezer bags to make meals in minutes and its amazing for any meal of the day. Served with a salad and a big crusty hunk of bread, it's dinner...or spooned over a bowl of polenta...oh dear!
This is Smitten Kitchen's adaption which I kept bouncing back to. It's slightly simpler in that it doesn't include the toasting and grinding of whole spices.

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