I know the title of this blog may not necessarily draw you in, and that it may even be the cause of a sour look upon your face. I mean how can the combination of eggs, chickpeas and tomato sauce even create a delicious dish? But it can, and I’m just going to ask you to trust me on this one. It can.
I found the recipe in Bon Appetit some time ago and added it to my recipe wish list as something I hoped to try one day. I did just that this past week. Here are a few things I learned and enjoyed about this dish:
- It’s quite delicious, relatively easy to prepare, very inexpensive and highly cultural. It’s a popular dish in Israel, called shakshuka, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner (though I think I’d have a hard time choking it down for breakfast).
- It’s a cold weather dish that will make you feel all warm inside!
- The recipe calls for an ovenproof skillet. I was able to use my Le Creuset iron handle skillet, a favorite of mine, in the preparation and serving of this dish. It was given to me as a gift by my husband on the eve of our wedding. It’s super special for this reason, but I also love the way it looks, how sturdy it is and how easy it cleans up. I highly recommend!
- Purchase the spices for this recipe in bulk. Buying spices in bulk is inexpensive and allows you to purchase only what you need. It keeps you from spending a whole lot of money on a whole container of spice you may never use again.
- Jalapeno seeds can cause your hands to burn (like they’re hot on fire). Be careful! Luckily this didn’t happen to me, even though I used my hands to remove some of the seeds. I started with my hands because I assumed that one removed seeds from a jalapeno just like one removed seeds from a green pepper, with the hands. Mid process, Kyle shouted from the living room, “Be careful, the seeds can burn your hands.” I had a moment of panic, my hands had already touched the seeds (I know I’d heard something about this at some point in my life but guess I forgot). I quickly washed my hands, several times with soap and water, and then finished the task using a knife.
- The dish is to be served with pita bread for dipping but I chose to serve it with Indian naan bread (found in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s). Naan bread is a tasty, hearty bread that will allow you to sop up all the goodies.
Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2011)
1/4 c olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 1/2-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
2 t Hungarian sweet paprika
1 t cumin
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 c feta, crumbled
5 large eggs
1 T parsley, chopped
2 slices of naan bread, toasted
Preheat oven to 425.
Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno; cook for about 8 min., or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 more minutes. Take can of whole tomatoes and crush each tomato into the skillet, add remaining juice from can. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle feta over dish. Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly. Place skillet in oven and bake about 5-8 minutes, until whites are set and yolks are still runny. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve tableside with naan bread for dipping.