Original Recipe HERE

This recipe seemed a bit exotic...different from what I normally fall back on for weeknight meals (ahem, chicken and veggies...).  The egg step was what provoked me to bookmark it.  As did the fact that it's actually not complicated at all but looks like it could be to those you serve, so maybe they'd think you spent more time in the kitchen than you really did.

The eggs didn't turn out as I'd expected.  However, upon re-reading the instructions, I see I didn't put the lid on - maybe that would've helped them cook more quickly.  The whites sort of ran all over the pan, and I poked the yolks with a fork so they'd spread a bit into the whites so they'd cook as well (because I just can't do the runny yolk thing without gagging).  Due to a screaming *J* in one ear and a poor *N* pitifully complaining of hunger pains in the other, I tried flipping the eggs because it was taking forever for them to cook.  Do not do this.  It just made a mess.  Then again, by the time it was done, the whole thing looked like a pile of tomato-based slop...but it tasted really good.  Probably not recognizable (in appearance, at least) to anyone in-the-know about shakshuka, but that doesn't matter.

It was also fun to listen to *N* try to pronounce shakshuka.  I heard shachuka, chakchuka, shatuka, katuka, and several other variations that made me smile.  I may have to seek out more dishes with unfamiliar names just to provide some entertainment while I'm cooking.

1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped [I used 1.5 large ones; next time I'll use at least 2]
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
Minced garlic or garlic salt, to taste
6 eggs [to serve 4-6 people]
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Brown rice, for serving
Pitas or naan, for serving

1) Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes.
2) Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
3) Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with a potato masher or similar tool [I wonder whether a can of crushed tomatoes would've omitted the need for this step]. Add tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt and garlic salt.
4) Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve over rice and with pitas or naan for dipping.

Notes: I'll try different techniques with the eggs - maybe fry them in a separate pan until they just set and then transfer them to the shakshuka to finish cooking.  I forgot to add the feta when reheating leftovers the next night, and now I realize that it definitely adds some good flavor.  I was surprised at how mild the dish was - using a little more of each spice, as well as additional jalapeno and garlic cloves, would up the "wow" factor (which I can't believe I just wrote).

Kid Participation:
* Smash garlic with meat mallet.
* Add spices to pan.
* Crush tomatoes in bowl.

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