Prime Pairing - Shakshouka Breakfast Stew
I’m not sure what I enjoy more, eating this dish or saying its name: S-H-A-K-S-H-O-U-K-A. Regardless, your mouth will have fun doing both. This Middle Eastern tomato breakfast stew is a perfect meal for a cold winter morning.
Traditionally, the dish is cooked in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, go buy one. They cost about 20 bucks and will last a lifetime.
Conveniently, this dish only involves one pan. You don’t even need silverware because the pita is your mode of transportation. This recipe calls for feta cheese, because cheese makes everything better. To elevate the flavor profile, garnish the meal with fresh chopped tarragon and slices of gold cherry tomatoes.
The addition of feta, tarragon and fresh tomatoes help cut the powerful spice and acidity. If you want to break boundaries and put a little cultural appropriation in the mix, add some chorizo.
Note: the dish is not traditionally put in an oven, but I found that it melts the cheese and helps cook the eggs much more evenly.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 big cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
½ onion cut into thin slices
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp coriander
3 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
2 lime wedges
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (omit if a heat weenie)
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup feta
8 oz chorizo (optional)
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium and toss in the chorizo. Typically, you should wait for the pan and the oil to be hot before adding ingredients, but this is one of the exceptions. Once the meat is in the pan, proceed to organize and prepare your vegetables.
Add the vegetables to the cooked chorizo and sauté. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler function on your oven.
Once the vegetables are tender, add the spices and tomatoes to the skillet. Season with the lime, honey, salt and pepper. Taste your dish and adjust the spice level to your liking.
Roughly an inch above the stew, crack in the eggs, crumble the feta on top and place the skillet in the preheated broiler for roughly three minutes. Keep a close eye on the dish because a delicate egg can turn quickly at high internal oven temperatures.
Warm the pita in the oven, microwave, or, my personal favorite, over an open stovetop flame. Once the egg whites are set and the yolk is still runny, remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with the tarragon and tomatoes.
Tihana maachbrim shli (“enjoy my friends” in Hebrew).
New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Brut IPA
Mix up a quick beermosa using New Belgium’s Brut IPA, a perfect brunch beverage.
When Will Coonradt isn’t slinging French fare at Bistro Vendome in Denver, he can be found skating, indulging in culinary education or drinking a Rye Manhattan.