Shakshuka

Shakshuka

Currently, we are living amongst boxes of stuff, since we are closing on our house on Friday.  It is driving us nuts, so we certainly hope that this is the only time we move…ever!  Because of the house being in disarray, we have been enjoying simple meals that don't require too many dishes/pots/pans or too much time, since most of it is being spent packing and cleaning.  This meal is a perfect example of that.  Over the past few years, I've seen a few versions of Shakshuka floating around on the blogs that I read. It is something I've always wanted to try, but never did, mostly because Joel would make a face when I showed him the recipe. On a whim, I emailed him this recipe from Apple A Day (adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi) and asked him his thoughts, to which he replied "looks good". We are SO glad that we finally decided to make this meal. It was a perfect dinner for a cold, blustery night. As we were eating, I had mentioned to Joel that I read online that this meal was a traditional breakfast in certain parts of the world. He commented that it would be the perfect breakfast to serve in a ski lodge after a morning on the slopes. Served along with a piece of bread, it is the perfect meal any time of the day or night!

3/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 Onions, sliced
2 Red Bell Peppers, cut into 3/4 inch strips (I used green)
2 Yellow Bell Peppers, cut into 3/4 inch strips (I used orange)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced (I added)
1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
2 Bay Leaves
6 Thyme Sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
6 ripe Tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a can of whole peeled tomatoes with their juices {15 ounces, since I halved the recipe})
1/2 teaspoon Saffron Threads (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper, to taste 
Up to 1 cup Water (I used about 1/3 cup)
8 Eggs
Pinch of Paprika (I added)
Shaved Parmesan (I added)

In a very large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cumin and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, brown sugar, and herbs and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes to develop color. Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Reduce teat to low and cook for 15 minutes, adding water 1/4 cup at a time, so that the mix has the consistency of thick pasta sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning so that the mix is potent and flavorful. Remove the bay leaves. Divide the pepper mixture among four small, deep pans, or keep in the large sauté pan. If using smaller pans, place them on medium heat for a few minutes to heat up. Make wells for the eggs and carefully break eggs into the wells. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook on very low heat for about 10 minutes. Cover the pan and cook until the eggs are set, about 1-2 more minutes. Sprinkle the tops with paprika, parmesan, and additional parsley and serve.