Since the lockdown the days seem to be going by a bit blurry. I am normally a chef at a private boarding school, therefore I can’t work right now. On the one hand, that’s fantastic, since I can do all the things I said I couldn’t do before, because I lacked the time. I am close to be finishing my degree in nutrition, I learned sewing, I am crafting stuff, only yesterday I repotted all plants BUT I’m a bit of a workaholic and cooking calms me down, so I am constantly running the recipe development part of my brain and make my husband eat all the things. Needless to say we put on a bit of weight, as I usually cook for a few more people and lack portion control.
Yesterday I repotted plants as I already said and before I knew it was three in the afternoon and we were so hungry, so I decided to make Shakshuksha. This is essentially poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, origininating from the Middle East or Africa, with the name coming from Arabic or Amazigh, meaning mixture.
The ingredients for this are all staple foods, so you don’t need to go out to do some shopping.
- 2 eggs
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- vegetables of your choice (I used courgette and leeks, maily because my husband got me a fancy knife and I wanted to try it)
- a bit of olive oil
- spices of your choice, I used mild curry, coriander, ginger, salt, pepper and garam masala
- for the salsa you need 2 tomatos, a hand ful of fresh coriander, a lemon, a sprig of spring onion and some salt
- 2 medium sized potatoes
First set your oven to the maximum temperature, without turning on the grill (with my oven that’s 220 degrees celcius), cut your potatoes into small cubes, mix them with a bit of olive oil and about a teaspoon of salt, put them in the oven and set yourself a timer for 30 minutes.
Cut all the vegetables in medium sized chunks, approximately 2x2cm, you’re going to blend the sauce in the end, so don’t stress about it. Sweat the onions, garlic and the carrots in the olive oil, until they are golden. Add the spices and the rest of the vegetables and the tomato sauces. Bring the sauce to a boil, add a can full of water and let it bubble on a small heat for about half an hour.
In the meantime, prepare the salsa. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove the seeds. Now cut the tomatoes as finely as possible and do the same with the spring onion. Mix your tomato and spring onion with a bit of lemon zest, salt and lemon juice and about a spoon of olive oil. Chop the coriander finely – don’t throw away the stalks, they hold so much flavour, just cut them very thinly- and add to the mix.
When your sauce has reduced and the colour went a bit darker, quickly blend it. You can either use a stick blender (careful, it’s hot) or throw the whole thing into a Vitamix, or smoothie blender. You can mix it however you like, I mixed it until it was very smooth, but if you prefer it chunky, that’s fine too. Put the sauce back into the pan , season it to your taste and make two dents with a spoon. Crack your eggs into the dents and bring the sauce to a boil again. Reduce the temperature and put on the lid.
Check your potatoes, which should be crispy and make a hollow sound when you move them around on the baking tray. You can take them out and set them aside now.
Basically, you’re just waiting for your eggs to be cooked, which should take 5-6 minutes.
If you’re impatient – like me- you can put the frying pan in the oven to make them set quicker, as it’s still hot from the potatoes.
Plate as you like – in this household we have a constant “plate or bowl” discussion with me preferring bowls, as you probably figured by now.
I mean, look at the colours. Isn’t it beautiful? Enjoy!