Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta (Shakshuka)

What do you make when you have no idea what nights you will be home for dinner and don't dare defrost things?  If you are like Alex and I, your options are often Annie's organic mac & cheese (generally whole wheat, but not always), a frozen Trader Joe's tarte d'alsace (aka tarte flambee), pita/flatbread/lavash pizzas or eggs.  Yes, we are just as guilty of relying on prepared foods as the next person.  The wonderful thing about eggs is that they can hang out in the fridge until you want them and they can be made hundreds of different ways.  Sometimes we scramble them, sometimes we bake them, sometimes we fry them, and sometimes we make omelets.  Sometimes we serve them solo or with a salad and sometimes we do the whole breakfast for dinner bit with bacon, etc.  It really just depends on what we have in the fridge/cupboard and how much effort we feel like putting forth.  This time I wanted to put forth a little effort on a recipe that I found a few weeks ago that uses up pantry and fridge staples that we always have in the house - canned whole peeled tomatoes, canned chickpeas, pita, eggs, garlic, onions, jalapeno, feta, parsley and cilantro.  Ok so sometimes we don't have the herbs or the pita, but we have them more often than not. 

What I liked most about this dish was how satisfying if felt - warm and slightly rich (from the runny egg yolks and feta) - while still remaining (relatively) healthy.  It felt like a meal, whereas sometimes a plate full of just eggs (or a vegetarian meal) can leave you craving more.  I also really enjoyed that it was vegetarian.  We really don't cook enough vegetarian meals and when we do, we tend to make pastas or other carb-heavy meals.  The only carbs in this meal were the pitas, but if you were doing the whole carb-free thing you could cut them out.  Anyway, this was a wonderful Middle Eastern deviation from our standard vegetarian meals, one that I could definitely see us making again.

Recipe after the jump!

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta (aka Shakshuka)
Bon Appetit
December 2011

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Warm pita bread
Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeños; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Add crushed tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta evenly over sauce. Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 5–8 minutes. Garnish with parsley and cilantro.

Serve with pita for dipping.

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