Recipe Contest: Shakshuka

Chef and sous-chef

Chef and sous-chef

Each day this week we’re posting a new recipe from one of our First Annual Recipe Contest finalists. Then on Sunday at CrossRiver Kosherfest, we’ll announce the contest winner. Today, Jenifer Robins’ shakshuka. All three judges raved about the presentation and the non-traditional addition of avocado. One judge said the spice was “light but not overpowering.” Another said they liked that there was “a little bite to it.” Below is the recipe!

Title of Recipe

Yield: 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

List of Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (seeds included if you want extra heat)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more for extra heat)
1 tablespoon sambal olek (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon zahatar spice mix (available in Jewish or Middle Eastern sections of most grocery stores)
2 tablespoons basil, parsley or fresh oregano, chopped or chiffonade
¼ cup feta cheese, chopped (optional)

• Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet.
• Add the onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapeno and sauté until translucent (approximately 8 minutes).
• Stir in the tomato paste.
• Stir in the paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, sugar and cayenne and continue to cook for 1 minute.
• Stir in the sambal olek (with additional if you want extra heat).
• Add the tomatoes.
• Continue to simmer, gently adding eggs one at a time spread out throughout the pan.
• Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until the eggs are just set and the sauce is slightly reduced.
• Sprinkle with zahatar seasoning and either parsley, oregano or basil.
• Sprinkle feta cheese on top if desired.

“On a trip to Israel this fall, my brother David, who lives there, ordered shakshuka for lunch at his local café. I tasted his and it was so yummy that I couldn’t stop ordering this common Israeli dish at other restaurants throughout the country. When I got back to Minnesota, I found several versions online and in cookbooks. This recipe is an amalgam of these that my family and I think is the best combination of spices and flavors.

Shakshuka is really easy to make, vegetarian, pareve (without the feta), healthy and kosher for Passover, so it can be enjoyed year-round. Really good soft or crusty bread is a necessary accompaniment used to soak up all the tasty sauce. For cheese lovers, a sprinkling of feta on top is a delicious addition.

In Israel, shakshuka is most commonly served for breakfast or lunch, but we like it for a light, one-dish dinner. Quarter the recipe and use a single-size cast iron dish to make a meal for one.”