One Month In {sunday shakshuka}

Hey, folks! I am a newly-minted Michigander, still getting settled into my new midwestern life. I have been loving my program, my cohort, and my house…and Ann Arbor has been a wonderful place to get to know! Happy, happy, joy, joy. You know the drill 🙂

My first time in the Big House! They're not kidding, it's a giant house.

My first time in the Big House! They’re not kidding, it’s a giant house.

Really, though, if you’re going to move to the midwest from California, Ann Arbor is the place to come. It is small enough that it is mellow, but has a lot of great new food, killer beer, and amazing outdoor activities all around. I miss being 4 blocks from a grocery store, but I’m getting used to having to meal plan around house trips to Kroger’s and the A2 Farmer’s Market (can you believe they run year-round, even in the snow?). And the people are the nicest ever…seriously.

A message I needed to hear the other day...thanks, mystery note writer!

A message I needed to hear the other day…thanks, mystery note writer!

Between school and work, I’ve been too busy to spend as much time in the kitchen being creative as I’d like, but this Sunday I carved out some time to make a big warm batch of shakshuka for my friend Corey and myself. She and I have been talking about having a Sunday Shakshuka Session for weeks now, and I was so excited to finally have the time!

I love eggs baked/poached in yummy stuff, and shakshuka is a yummy middle eastern dish of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce…so you can understand why it’s a favorite of mine. Upping the yum game, I got some Aleppo pepper to throw in. It’s a type of pepper commonly used in Turkish and Syrian food, and is amaaazing in terms of flavor—a little tart with just enough heat and not too much smokiness, it is killer. Get some if you can! There is a magical store called By the Pound not too far from me, where you can get awesome stuff like Aleppo pepper or any kind of daal you can imagine, so I jumped as soon as I saw Aleppo pepper there.

The weather has already started to cool, so this was a perfect Sunday supper. Shakshuka is a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…you really can’t go wrong. It is warm, comforting, a little spicy but not overwhelmingly so, and just plain delicious. Since the weather literally rained on my intended parade of grilled flatbread to accompany the egg-and-tomato-y goodness, I decided to dust some pita up with sumac (another middle eastern spice, adds a nice floral tang to things) and get it all nice and toasty. If you can’t find sumac, use some coriander, or some salt…but definitely toast the pita, it’s a nice contrast to your stewy eggs.

So, shall we? 🙂

Shakshuka

(with Sumac-Dusted Pita)

Foodstuffs:

  • Shakshuka:
    • 4-6 eggs
    • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (whole peeled works too, just break them down a bit with your hands)
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced (divided)
    • 1 jalapeño, sliced in half moons (remove seeds etc if you want less heat)
    • 1 small-to-medium red onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1-2 tbsp Aleppo pepper (substitute chili powder or smoked paprika if you can’t find it)
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper
    • For serving: cilantro and crumbled feta
  • Sumac-Dusted Pita
    • 2-3 pitas (we used whole wheat)
    • Olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp sumac
    • Salt

Gettin’ down:

  • Get some olive oil down in the pan, heating up over a medium flame. Once that’s nice and warm, throw in your diced onion, jalapeño, and half of your diced bell pepper. Throw in some salt and give it a stir. Cook these for about 5 minutes, until your onions are translucent and your bell peppers tender, stirring occasionally. You might get some brown bits going, that’s great too!
  • Next up are our spices: throw some Aleppo, cumin, and coriander into the pool. Stir them in and let them do their work. Your kitchen will be smelling even more amazing than you previously thought.
  • After another minute or so, throw in the remainder of your bell pepper and minced garlic and cook for another minute. We waited on these guys so that they will stay a little more crunchy in the final dish…trust the process, folks.
  • Pour in your can of tomatoes and stir everything to combine. Maybe throw in another baby pinch of salt to make sure that the flavors of all these great things starts to come out. Bring to a simmer then turn your heat down to low, simmering for about 10-15 minutes and stirring occasionally. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as you’d like.
ohhh tomato and pepper goodnesssss

ohhh tomato and pepper goodnesssss

  • Egg time! Make little holes in your sauce, we don’t want the eggs spreading everywhere. I used 4 eggs, since it was just two of us, but this could definitely work with 6 eggs. Anywho.
  • Crack ’em and pour ’em in! Woo! We’re on our way, folks….
awww yisss we're getting there

awww yisss we’re getting there

  • Now cover up your pan with a lid (I had no lid, so I used foil) and let those eggs cook. They’ll take about 10 minutes, but check sooner to be safe. You want your yolks still runny but the whites cooked.
  • While you’ve got that going, make your pita: brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle on your sumac and salt. Pop under a broiler for a couple of minutes just to get a nice golden color and some crispiness.
  • Serve it up! Get some of that cilantro and feta up on there, tuck your pita wedges along the side….and shovel. into. your mouth.

YUM CITY, Population Shakshuka!

Seriously, this was amazing. I want Sunday Shakshuka to happen all the time. For real. It’s a great way to wrap up your weekend and get ready for the week ahead…so what are you waiting for?

Go Blue! 🙂

Emily

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