When Laura and I decided that the way we'd share a little slice of our cookbook (oh, my God, you guys, we wrote a cookbook!!!!!) with you was that we'd each pick our favourite recipe, I had stab of guilt. Pick a favourite? How? Flipping through the pages, thinking about all the recipe testing that went into each one, remembering the days we spent in the studio last summer… it just seemed impossible to narrow it down. You may as well ask me to choose which kid is my favourite! Well, okay, not quite, but you get what I'm saying. It was hard.
But then I realized it had to be the Shakshuka. Now, you've heard me go on about Shakshuka before but for me, it sort of symbolizes what I'm most proud of about the book. It's a really easy, really fast meal that can bail you out on a busy weekday evening and it's not "kid food." All the recipes in the book are kid-friendly, for sure, but there's not a single one that a grown up wouldn't be happy to tuck into as well. We always set out to make a family cookbook, with recipes and advice to make meal times more fun and less stressful and for me Shakshuka sums that up. But listen, I also love the Crunchy Baked Fish and Chips. And the Chicken Chili Tacos are ridiculously good. Oh, and I just made the Breakfast Cookies again and they're amazing.
photo by Maya Visnyei
See? It's impossible. But for now, try this Shakshuka. If you buy How to Feed a Family; The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook, let us know what you like. And thank you!
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 onion, diced quite fine
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5ml) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin
chili flakes (optional)
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Handful of chopped basil or parsley
photos by Maya Visnyei
Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and let them become really soft and begin to brown. Now add the paprika, cumin and a pinch of chili flakes and stir. Let the spices cool for about 3 minutes. Pour the tomatoes and the tomato paste in there and use a potato masher to gently break them up. Allow the sauce to simmer away for about 20 minutes, until it becomes quite thick. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to spread the sauce evenly across the frying pan. Now gently crack the eggs over the tomato sauce I usually place five in a circle around the pan and on in the center. Cook for about 6 or 7 minutes. You can cover it all for the last minute if you like the tops of your eggs quite set. Crumble the feta and basil or parsley overtop.
Shimmy a big serving spoon under each egg to scoop them out of the pan. Serve with crusty bread and some steamed vegetables.