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Spicy Shakshuka

Updated 4:43 PM EST, Wed, Dec 30, 2009

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Spicy Shakshuka

from Brad Farmerie, chef at Double Crown and Public

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch dice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of good salt (Maldon)

2 cloves garlic, minced
½ jalapeno, sliced
½ onion, diced
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tomatoes cut into ½ inch dice
1 cup peeled canned tomatoes
Pinch sugar (optional)

4-5 organic eggs

To Serve:
Full fat Greek yogurt
Toasted baguette or sourdough
Feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, or cilantro, chopped
A light salad of arugula (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat olive oil in an 8-inch non-stick ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add the diced eggplant and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring, until golden and starting to soften. Slide the eggplant onto a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, jalapeno, and bay leaf and cook over high heat, allowing the ingredients to go golden brown (about 2-3 minutes), then lower the flame to low and cook for another 10 minutes until translucent. Add in the spices and continue to cook for a minute or two. Then, add in both the canned and the fresh tomatoes along with a pinch of sugar to mellow out the heat of the chili. Bring the heat up to medium and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes. You will know when the stew is ready when you can “part the red sea”- drag a wooden spoon through the mixture and it should very slowly come back together. This will show that it has cooked long enough and has become thick enough. If it is too runny and there is too much liquid, keep cooking until you can part the red sea.

Next, add in the eggplant and cook over medium for another 5 minutes.
Now for the eggs: With a spoon, make 4 or 5 indentations in the mixture. Drop the eggs one by one into the indentations. Keep the pan on low heat for 2 minutes, letting the sauce bubble up around the eggs. Remove the pan from the heat and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes (15 minutes should yield a soft yolk, while 20 should give you a fully cooked yolk). Remove from the oven when it has reached your ideal egg results. If you are garnishing the Shakshuka with cheese and herbs, sprinkle that liberally on top.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Most importantly, make sure you swipe up the yummy sauce with a toasted baguette!

First Published: Dec 9, 2009 7:36 PM EST

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