*hangs head in shame
Which is all to say that, while I have the starch part of brunch mastered, I’ve been struggling a bit with serving eggsthere’s the whole business of keeping them warm without overcooking them (no small task when you like your eggs as runny as I do). My poached eggs come out, well, disappointingly, to put it mildly. And, that’s when they come out at all. Although I’ve masted the art of the Frittata, my omelettes always end up as scrambled eggs with stuff in them. My fried eggs? I can cook great ones just for me. When there’s company, it’s all pear shaped.
Now you know.
But, I have a solution: Shakshua, which aside from having a hard to pronounce name, has the selling point of being flavorful and easy to prepare. The eggs poach gently, in a sauce base, so there’s no worry about fishing them out at the end. And, it comes together fairly quickly. Really, it’s a matter of simmering and a little bit of patience. In other words, you can prepare it while enjoying your mimosas and your guests.
Now you have no excuse not to make eggs.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 jalapeno peppers, diced with ribs and seeds removed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warmed bread, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles, red pepper flakes, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook another 2 minutes, until the garlic has softened.
Add the tomatoes and water to the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir occasionally, and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly. This should take about 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Crack the eggs, one by one, into a small bowl or cup and pour them over the sauce, taking care to distribute them evenly across the sauce’s surface. Cover the skillet and cook the eggs until the yolks are just set, approximately 5 minutes. Uncover and baste the egg whites with the tomato sauce to ensure they are fully cooked.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with bread for dipping.
Serves 4 to 6