Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Eggs. Eggs. Eggs. So versatile for every meal of the day. A few weeks ago, I was so excited to be invited by Food & Farm Care Ontario to take a tour of Burnbrae Egg Farms, in Lyn, Ontario, a short drive from Ottawa. Farm & Food Care is a wonderful organization whose mission is to educate the public about the hard work our farmers do to provide the food that is available to us. Burnbrae Farms is a family owned and operated company in Ontario and is one of Canada’s leading egg producers. We received a tour of the facility and I learned so much about raising and housing hens and their egg processing facility. Please take a look at the links provided for Farm & Food Care and Burnbrae Farms to discover a wealth of additional information.
This made me proud to eat Ontario eggs. And hungry too. So many ways to prepare eggs but today I share shakshuka – eggs in a middle eastern style.
Shakshuka, simply put, are poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce. Originally from the Northern African countries of Tunisia and Morocco, it is now a common dish in middle eastern countries. Every recipe I looked at was slightly different and you can customize it any way you wish. But the common ingredients are: onions and garlic, tomato sauce and sweet peppers, cumin and other spices, something spicy such as hot chili pepper or chili flakes, and of course eggs.
My favourite spices for this dish are smoked paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin, and salt and pepper. Extra smoked paprika and cumin for me.
Gently fry up the chopped onion, then add the garlic and hot pepper (or pepper flakes if you are using them) until softened but not browned.
Add the sweet peppers and spices and stir until blended and you can smell the cumin (and the smoked paprika really delivers a wonderful aroma).
Gently pour in the tomato sauce you are using, whether canned diced tomatoes, or passata, a strained tomato puree. This time I used some homemade tomato sauce. Continue cooking at a medium simmer until the sauce reduces and is quite thick.
I like it very thick so that i can create indentations in the sauce where I will gently crack and place the whole raw eggs.
Here is dinner for my husband and me. Two eggs each, ready to put the lid on and steam until cooked to my preference – white on the outside and yolks still runny on the inside.
Below are the eggs partially done.
And the finished dish, garnished with roughly chopped cilantro leaves and sprinkled with additional pepper.
Dinner tonight for two. Toast some bread, naan or pita and sop up those yolks and sauce. Enjoy!
You can enhance the shakshuka by adding:
- feta or goat cheese (near the end of steaming the eggs to warm through)
- Greek yogurt or labneh
- ground caraway seeds and/or harissa paste (or another hot sauce)
- spicy sausages, such as merguez, a Moroccan lamb sausage
Shakshuka for Two
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sweet peppers, red, yellow or orange, chopped
3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
1 hot pepper, chopped (your choice of pepper, heat) or chili flakes, to taste
3 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, or a bottle of passata, strained tomatoes.
4 large eggs
handful chopped cilantro or parsley
- Heat oil in a deep fry pan and saute onion, until transparent.
- Add garlic and hot pepper and fry until softened.
- Add peppers and spices and mix thoroughly and keep cooking until peppers are softened. Pour the can of diced tomatoes/passata over the mixture, blend, and simmer uncovered until sauce is very thick.
- With the back of a tablespoon, create four indentations in the sauce and gently crack a whole egg into each indentation. Cover with lid for about 4-5 minutes, or until egg has set to your preference.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley and sprinkle some additional ground pepper.