Saturday, May 21, 2011

College Kid Cuisine -- Shakshuka (?)

Taken with my Macbook camera, apologies.

I never knew what this dish was called. I always just referred to it as "that really good thing my friend Eric used to make with the eggs and stuff." He recently informed me, via Facebook, that it is called "Shakshuka" and a Google search informed me that it is kind of a Jewish cuisine, and there are maaaany different varieties.

Eric and I had these people we called "Friend Goals." When we had a class with someone we thought was particularly awesome (usually whoever we deemed "a good writer" since we were cool like that) we would make it our goal to befriend them. This meal was made for a first hang-out with a completed Friend Goal. I remember being absolutely skeptical, then devoured it and nearly licked my plate clean. It was forevermore a part of my go-to-easy-dishes in college.

 In my eyes it was the absolute perfect college kid dinner, even if you didn't have the ingredients on-hand it wasn't very expensive to pick up some eggs, onions, and tomatoes for the simplest version of the recipe. Sure, turmeric is about $5 itself, but once you have that, the rest of the ingredients are way under $5.

This is a true from-the-pantry dish. It's flavorful, bright, filling, and absolutely satisfying.

Shakshuka reminds me of walking back to my apartment from the T after a combined day of class and waiting tables, possibly trudging through snow and slush as Boston is wont to do, and returning home to make the apartment smell of Middle Eastern spices that would rouse my roommates from their beds. We would chat in the kitchen and I would munch on the shakshuka over rice and we'd tell each other about our days.

I miss my roommates. I miss Boston. I miss college. Making this brings me back.

This was put together the other night when my mom called to tell me and my brother we had nothing planned for dinner, so to have a frozen meal or leftovers or something. I took it as an opportunity to try my culinary improvisational skills out, but we didn't have many options since it was end of the week and we didn't have much left in the way of groceries. That's the beauty of this dish--you can really edit it any way you'd like! I added corn and spinach, a sprinkle of goat cheese, and subbed curry powder, ginger, and cumin for the turmeric since we were out.

Easy Shakshuka
(Mostly adapted from Eric's recipe, but here's a link to a
traditional recipe for comparison)
Uhh that candle is not in the ingredients FYI.
  • 1 small onion, cut into strips (I used half an onion, since I don't like onions very much)
  • 1 clove garlic, diced or grated
  • 1 small tomato, diced (you can sub for a jar of diced if you'd like)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 tsp turmeric (I used a sprinkle of curry powder for color, with a sprinkle of cumin and a 1/4 tsp of fresh grated ginger. Turmeric is a mild spice so I didn't want these stronger spices to be too overpowering, the blend was quite good)
  • Sprinkle of goat cheese (1/4 cup? less? I forget)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
-Over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and turmeric (or spice blend) and cook until just soft. Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes.

-Add the rest of the veggies and cook until soft. Stir until well combined with the spices. Sprinkle goat cheese over the veggies.

-Crack eggs over the top of the pan and remove from heat. Cover and let sit until eggs are at desired consistency (I was going for drippy poached but left it on too long and they cooked through--still yummy though!)

-Serve over rice, or if you'd like to go the traditional route, wikipedia informs me you can eat it over toast.

I served with a half-white-merlot-half-blackberry-seltzer
spritzer cocktail thing. Delish!


  1. I have definitely just learned something new from you! Looks quite good and I admire your creativity

  2. Sounds yummy. Just call the candle atmosphere :-D

  3. Sounds very tasty for sure, love the goat cheese here.