It’s funny how you just don’t feel like going out for groceries when it’s a frigid minus twenty degrees Celsius, no matter how bare the pantry is or how close to dinner it’s getting. It was on such an evening that we discovered Shakshouka (I’ve also seen it spelled “Shakshuka,” and I have no idea whether one is more correct than the other…I just think it looks better with the “o”), a Middle-Eastern recipe tucked in the back of the latest issue of House and Home. Made with inexpensive ingredients that we ALWAYS have, this dish has quickly become one of our favourites.
Because it was a very simple recipe, and because I still didn’t feel like going out, I modified it to use only what we had in our pantry, based on the House and Home recipe and a few others I found on places online, like Allrecipes.com. I don’t know how “authentic” my version is, but it sure is fast. And cheap. I hope to know exactly how cheap by the end of this week (I’m afraid I couldn’t find the receipts I needed to tell you now). You can serve it over white or whole wheat bread, or with homemade flatbread.
1 can tomatoes (I used diced), drained well
1/3C tomato sauce (optional, you could instead simmer tomatoes longer and add more spices)
1 T basil
pepper to taste
eggs (1-2 per person)
Simmer tomatoes in a deep frying pan with tomato sauce and basil until reduced and darker in colour (about 10-20mins). One at a time, make a well in the sauce for each egg and carefully crack egg into it. Cover and cook until eggs reach desired doneness. Season with freshly ground pepper as desired, serve with flatbread.
To make an easy flatbread, heat a frying pan on medium-high, with a small drizzle of olive oil. Mix about 1C flour (I use whole wheat) with a pinch of salt (I like to add garlic powder too, feel free to experiment). Stir in about 1Tbsp of olive oil and enough water (about half two two-thirds as much as the flour, but I always start with less) to make a sticky, stretchy dough, adding more flour or water as necessary. Knead, then divide into four small balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball as thin as you can without it becoming impossible for you to handle. Place them, one at a time, in the frying pan. If the pan is hot enough, it shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes on each side.