I have chickens on my little farm and usually I have a fridge full of eggs. As a matter of fact, eggs usually take up more real estate than any other item. My friends know this and message me... "Got any eggs?" to which I usually respond, "Way too many!!" But right now, we are in an egg drought!! That said, my neighbor, who got chicks at the same time I did, came over today to FLEX with the gift of a dozen eggs from his chicks. My chicks -- and I suspect only one of them -- are laying intermittently. Harumph! So, his beautiful dozen of fresh brown eggs inspired an egg-based dinner!
A week or so ago, I shared my technique for making the perfect fried eggs on Instagram (under instagram.com/xoxofarmgirl) and folks from New York to Brazil to Indiana to Portland made them. To be honest, it was not a #farmgirlhack at all, but a #lecordonbleu hack instead, revealed to me over a brunch at a restaurant (where she was shocked the whites were runny on the eggs I ordered) and revealed to me the secret for making perfect fried eggs. I have been forever grateful and I feel that the technique allows me to honor the products of my hens' loins in the most perfect way.
Now, I have some other egg ideas up my sleeve, so tonight I published a video on Instagram (@xoxofarmgirl) of how to make Shakshuka (say Shock-Shoe-Ka). Here, I share some before and after photos as well as the recipe I use to make it. Here is one thing that's important to know about me. I am not a measuring kind of cook. I do it by feel. But below I include OPTIONS for you to FEEL it in a way that works for you.
Some olive oil. Not too much.
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped roughly (texture is key to this dish)
Tomatoes -- You have options here. One large can of chopped or whole tomatoes that you chop OR if you don't have that, you can chop 3-4 medium sized tomatoes, roughly, and add some tomato sauce or puree. The tomatoes should balance out the onions and peppers. Does this make sense to you? Email me if it's confusing!
3 to 4 medium Red Peppers -- Slice long ways into strips that look like parentheses (also great texture!)
2-3 cloves of garlic or a near tablespoon of what I call "cheater garlic" from a jar
1 tablespoon, Cumin (other recipes will call for a teaspoon... this is NOT enough)
1 large pinch of salt
Several robust grinds of black pepper, preferably from a pepper mill, but do what you have to do
2 teaspoons, Paprika
1 teaspoon, Cayenne Pepper or half that if you don't favor spicy stuff
1/2 teaspoon, Hot Red Pepper flakes (totally optional, but I like it)
3/4 cup, crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup, chopped Parsley
Important Note: The onions and the red peppers are sweet. The tomatoes are acidic. The eggs are super neutral. These elements balance out the spices, so don't be afraid! Trust me!
Heat an 11" cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Add a generous drizzle of olive oil
Add chopped onions
When they start to sizzle add all spices and garlic and sauté until they begin to soften.
Add peppers. Give it a minute and then add the tomatoes and/or tomato sauce.
Cook over medium heat until the veggies are soft and the liquid is thickened and not too soupy.
Make several small wells (one at a time) in the hot mixture and crack each egg one by one into each one.
Keep the skillet on the stove on low heat for a little while to allow the eggs to begin to cook. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Before you put it in the oven sprinkle the top with the crumbled Feta cheese. Now, here you have a choice to make. I think it is best this way, but you can also mix in the Feta before you add the eggs. Up to you.
Place your skillet in the oven and check it every 5 to 10 minutes until the white of the eggs stop jiggling, but just.
Take it from the oven, top with parsley and serve with rice and perhaps broccoli like I did.
I do hope you enjoy this exceptional dinnertime (or brunch) option for eggs. If you have chickens, great! Their eggs will be well honored. If not, some lovely free range, farm raised eggs will do nicely!
xoxo Farm Girl