What is shakshouka and why you should serve it at your next brunch

Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish of eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. This version is from chef Amir Hajimaleki of Oasthouse Kitchen & Bar, a gastropub at 8300 RM 620 North in Northwest Austin. Photo by Addie Broyles

Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish of eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. This version is from chef Amir Hajimaleki of Oasthouse Kitchen & Bar, a gastropub at 8300 RM 620 North in Northwest Austin. Photo by Addie Broyles

If you’re a savory breakfast kind of person, omelets, quiche and breakfast tacos are probably on the menu more often than cinnamon rolls and pancakes. Even though there are a million ways to cook eggs, sometimes you run out of ideas and need a little inspiration.

Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish of eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. At Oasthouse Kitchen & Bar, a gastropub at 8300 RM 620 North in Northwest Austin, chef Amir Hajimaleki serves this dish in small cast iron skillets topped with feta and cilantro. You could use a larger skillet with more eggs, depending on how many people you are serving.

This quantity of sauce is enough for at least six brunch servings, and as many as 10 or even 12, depending on what else you are serving and how much sauce you want to serve with each egg, and the sauce is versatile enough to use with pastas, on pizzas or as a dipping sauce with sandwiches.

Shakshouka

For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup poblano peppers, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 (28-oz.) can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
For each shakshouka serving:
1 cooked breakfast sausage, such as an English banger
1/2 cup shakshouka sauce (see above)
2 whole eggs
Crumbled feta, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a sauce pot add olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add onions and peppers and cook until caramelized, at least 20 minutes. Add spices, sugar and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off heat. You can reserve the sauce at this point in the refrigerator and proceed with making individual servings.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stove, add the cooked sausage and half a cup of the shakshouka sauce. Bring to a simmer.

Crack whole eggs on top and place the skillet in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until egg whites are cooked and yolks are runny. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and cilantro. Serve with warm French bread for dipping. Makes enough sauce for 6 to 8 servings.

— From Amir Hajimaleki of Oasthouse Kitchen & Bar

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