Being in Israel this summer opened me up to so many new culinary flavors and opportunities, while also reminding me that no matter what, there are some things I will always find repulsive. Cucumbers, being one of those things. And tomatoes.
Or so I thought, until I tried Shukshuka for lunch. It turns out that when you break down the tomatoes and simmer them with spices and garlic, and then poach a few eggs in it, it doesn't taste like slimy fresh tomatoes.
Not only is shukshuka a fun word to say, but it’s an awesome dish that can be adapted to suit your preferences. The three main ingredients are tomatoes, spices, and eggs. It’s basically eggs poached in tomato sauce, but it makes for a hearty and delicious meal that I never get sick of.
You will need:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 onion, chopped
- 5 large tomatoes, peeled and diced, or 1 1⁄2 cans crushed tomatoes
- Spices: depending on hot spicy you like it, but I used cayenne, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 eggs
- Warm pitas, or a big chunk of bread for serving
My tomato plants this summer did really well. Not sure what kind of tomatoes they were, but everyone I gave them too said they were delicious! I personally only used them for my shukshuka. Peeling them was a bitch, but It felt pretty cool to use my own tomatoes.
Also my cat is a nosy jerk.
Heat oil in a heavy, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and seasoning to the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt. Add tomato paste and simmer for a few more minutes.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Serve directly in the skillet, with a large hunk of bread and a spoon.
In Israel, you can also get HUMshuka, which is shukshuka served over fresh hummus. It's pretty incredible.
For some sexier pictures, check out Ashley's blog. She made shukshuka and wasn't quite as lazy as I was with the set-up. Also, my damn cat kept sticking his nose in my food, so I was only able to snap a few shots. This was also an experiment with natural light, which I won't be able to recreate because it's now winter and there is no light.
I'll be posting again this week with some more delicious Israeli recipes, and some super secret exciting recipes!