Shakshuka (Eggs in purgatory)

Shakshuka

During the last few months of my pregnancy, I had to increase my protein intake. Lucky for me, J found several recipes that tasted good, included several servings of vegetables and had lots of protein. This one from Tori Avey with a few modifications quickly became one of our favorites.

You can modify the spice level based on your tastes. If you want to add more eggs, feel free! It’s just as good the next morning on toast like huevos rancheros.

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Shakshuka (Eggs in purgatory)
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium (we use our cast iron skillet for this).
  2. Heat olive oil in the pan.
  3. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  4. Add garlic and continue to sauté until mixture is fragrant.
  5. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat until softened.
  6. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir to blend.
  7. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for another 5 to 7 minutes until it starts to reduce.
  8. Taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences.
  9. At a minimum, add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. You can also add more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka.
  11. Sprinkle the feta over the dish, or mix it in if you like.
  12. Then crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. In our cast iron skillet, we can get about five eggs around the outer edge and one in the center.
  13. The eggs will cook over easy on top of the tomato sauce. If you prefer more done eggs, you can heat the oven to 350 degrees and cook in the oven until set (when the skillet is jiggled, the eggs don't jiggle back).
  14. We leave the mixture uncovered and let simmer for between 5 and 15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced.
  15. Be careful at this point, because the mixture can go from reducing to burning quickly. 
  16. Serve in a bowl alone, over rice or with some french bread.

My opinion:
This dish is delicious hot or cold. With sides or alone. It’s easy, filling and perfect for a late fall evening.

p.s. Summer 2016 update: without the cayenne pepper and the chili powder, our toddler loves this dish. We just add the extra spices onto our own plates. 

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Mango Salsa


Watching the Super Bowl also means eating chips and dip. But it’s winter and fresh salsa in the winter is usually pretty disappointing. But when the new grocery store in town had mangos on sale for 19 cents each, I jumped at the chance to have just a little taste of summer. C made up this amazingly refreshing mango salsa. As we were eating it, we decided it would also be delicious on fish tacos, salmon, pork and of course tortilla chips. It was super easy to make.

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Mango Salsa
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Dice all ingredients into roughly the same size. This part is important because if the mango chunks are too big, they'll fall off the chip. Or worse, break the chip.
  2. Add ingredients to a bowl.
  3. Mix with a spoon.
  4. Squeeze the juice from the mango pit into the bowl.
  5. Feel free to use the side of a metal spoon to scrape off the fruit attached to the pit.
  6. Squeeze the lime juice.
  7. Mix again.
  8. Add salt and pepper, tasting in between.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.
  10. Serve immediately, or chill and serve later.

My opinion:
As noted above, usually fresh salsas made in the winter lack flavor, maybe it’s because we let the mangos get really ripe, but this was full of flavor and very tasty. Don’t be afraid to try it on something other than tortilla chips!

Jeb’s Chili

 

One of J’s favorite dishes is his father’s chili. It makes more than enough for three meals and a few lunches for us. Like most of our favorite meals, this one gets better the longer it simmers. It looks complicated, but I promise it’s easy and worth it.

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Jeb's Chili
Servings
Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Servings
Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Brown the meat.
  2. Add the chopped bell peppers and onions and cook until desired caramelization.
  3. In a separate pot make the sauce by adding the first 11 ingredients and simmering for about 45 minutes until smooth.
  4. Then add the tomatoes and meat and peppers and onions. Simmer one to two hours.
  5. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons massa flour to thicken if needed (most of the time we leave this step out).

 

My opinion: This is delicious with shredded Monterrey jack cheese, lime juice and tortilla chips. J prefers his with corn bread. It’s perfect for a cold winter’s night.