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.

Print Recipe
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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Shrimp and Angel Hair Fra Diavolo

We were watching the Cooking Channel the other day and just happened to find an Emeril Lagasse show with a recipe that didn’t look impossible to recreate. We halved the recipe and had more than enough for three people (or two and a leftovers for lunch).

Ingredients:
1 pound angel hair pasta
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 9 cloves)
2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional

Directions:
Boil water for pasta. Add pasta. Cook until pasta is just bendy, but very al dente. Pull pasta from water and place in a boil. If you choose to drain the pasta, make sure to reserve at least one cup of the pasta water.

Put saute pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onions. Cook about 4 minutes until golden. TURN DOWN the heat to about medium. Wait about a minute and then add the garlic.

We didn’t wait and browned the garlic too soon. Some of it burned (not Good Eats). Then cook about 30 seconds to a minute. Then add the red pepper flakes and saute about 30 seconds. We accidentally used chili flakes because they looked the same, this made for more heat but less flavor. Now add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce. Cook about 3 minutes until the sauce is reduced by about half. This happened pretty quickly for us.

Add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are pink. Do not over cook the shrimp or they will be tough.

Add the pasta and the pasta water to the pan and coat with sauce. If you have Emeril’s essence, feel free to sprinkle a bit at this point. Plate and add parsley and/or Parmigian cheese. The original recipe can be found here.

My Opinion:
This was delicious! We will absolutely be adding this to the regular dish rotation. It was  spicy and very filling. Next time we won’t overcook the pasta and will add some more seasonings to the sauce. It was by no means bland, but a little Italian seasoning or basil would go a long way.