Chilli with breakfast?
Why not, I’ll embrace chilli with anything and this Shakshouka or “ Eggs in Hell” (such an awesome name!) is going to be your new go to hot breakfast option and it is the epitome of fancy-humble food
What is fancy-humble food you ask?
Shakshouka, it’s a fancy name, right? Unless you are from Northern Africa, Israel, or speak Arabic with some form of fluency, Shakshouka sounds exotic; if you were to tell friends you were making a Shakshouka, I’d be pretty happy to bet at least half of them wouldn’t know what a Shakshouka was (unless your friends happen to be chefs/ food critics/ restauranteurs/ food bloggers/ foodies etc. then I mat not be so willing to part with my money.)
Everyone knows about simple poached eggs but eggs poached in a mixture of tomatoes, beans and spices well….. now we’re talking!
Throw in some feta cheese and cilantro and, yes, this is one fancy-pants breakfast.
However it is also humble. It’s a traditional homestyle recipe that calls for nothing but fresh ingredients and the simplest of cooking tools. It’s not a creation of your local hipster cafe/ bistro/ breakfast bar but a simple variation of a recipe passed down through the generations of the people of Tunisia.
There is no braising, emulsifying, smashing, reducing or any other such activity. Instead it is a simple one-pot, throw together, home-cooked comfort-food meal which can be on the table in lest than 30 minutes
= FANCY-HUMBLE FOOD
So there, this Shakshuka is the perfect blend of fancy and humble, all wrapped together in one spicy little package.
And that’s how we like to roll…
Weekends are great, aren’t they?
You don’t have to get up for work, everything is just a little more relaxed, and your first meal of the day can/ will/ should be more than just a hurried bite of burnt toast or soggy overnight oats that you haven’t quite mastered yet.
You can go out for brunch, and chill out with friends and family over coffee and some over-priced smashed avocado, or you could stay in.
Because what if the weather is miserably grey, overcast and raining like it has been here in Sydney for the past few weeks ( where all hope of an approaching summer has been dashed to soaking-smithereens).
What if the only thing you want to do this coming weekend is curl up on the couch with some hot, comforting breakfast food and continue the Netflix Marathon (what are you watching right now?) you started several thousand weekends ago?
Yeah, you guessed it, this Shashuka is the answer….
Although any form of hot breakfast trumps the measly offerings of weekday breakfast food, a dish called “Eggs in Hell” is always going promise awesomeness. With origins in Tunisia and Israel, Shakshuka is a great blend of chilli, eggs and tomatoes and can be the idela DIY breakfast you’ve been looking for (because who has the time or energy on a Sundday morning to “whip up” a hollandaise sauce, am I right?!?)
If Shakshuka for breakfast was not enough for you, it can also create a fantastic eggs/breakfast-for-dinner situation.
Ah…. breakfast for dinner…..❤️
The secret behind this Shakshuka? Harrissa; the eye-watering, radioactive Tunisian chilli paste. It seems only natural that a Tunisian inspired dish, with chills, should contain a little dash (or even a great dollop) of Harrissa to get that fire burning!
You can buy store bought Harrisa but, of course, I think it is much better if you “whip up” your own beforehand (it can be done in a few minutes and, made in bulk, can be stored in the fridge for several weeks). If you don’t have harrissa, and can’t be bothered to make your own (ok I’ll forgive you), replace it with a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, paprika (hot/ sweet/ or smoked, it’s up to you) and chilli powder (the quantity of which is up to you, spending on you chilli tolerance ?)
So next time you’re feeling like a good hot breakfast but don’t feel like stomping far from your house, give this shakshouka recipe a whirl and add some fire to your morning.
Tunisian Shakshouka Recipe with Red Chilli Harissa
Prep Time: 10 mins || Cook Time: 20 mins || Serves 2 – 4
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- 2Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 100g Bacon, diced (optional)
- 1tbsp – 2tbsp Harissa
- 400g Roma, or other meaty, tomatoes, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup beans (i chose a mix of red kidney, lima
- 4 Eggs
- 50g Feta Cheese (optional)
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor/ blender until you have a chunky tomato sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium/ high heat. Add the Onions, garlic and bacon (if using) and sauté for several minutes or until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked to your liking.
- Add the Harissa paste and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and beans and mix together. Allow to simmer for a few minutes
- In one quarter of the pan make a small well in the Shakshouka mixture and crack and egg into it. Repeat for the other three eggs. Turn the heat down to medium/ low and cook for 5 – ten minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking
- Sprinkle over the feta cheese (if using) and cilantro and serve.