Whether hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled or over easy, eggs make a filling fast and simple breakfast on the go. However, plain cooked eggs pale in comparison to Shakshuka, where the eggs are cooked in a confit of rich and sweet tomatoes. This dish originated in the North African country of Morocco, however it is quite popular in Tunisia and Algeria as well. Shakshuka’s popularity then moved to Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, and now, even to a Trader Joe’s frozen section near you. However, skip the store bought frozen shakshuka starter and make it easily at home for maximum flavor and freshness!
There are countless variations on how to prepare shakshuka. Some home cooks like to add red peppers and onions, others parsley and olives. Some like to add spices like cumin, cayenne, or paprika, still others like only the addition of salt, pepper, and copious amounts of garlic and rich olive oil. Whatever variation you wish to use, the key is to cook down the tomatoes to bring out their sweetness, until they are jam like consistency. Feel free to make this dish your own with whatever add-ons you wish. As I am a bit of a purist, I really want the tomatoes to star in this show so I only add salt and pepper to the tomatoes.
While people enjoy shakshuka with plenty of bread to sop up that decadent symphony of yolky eggs, sweet tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil, you can easily turn this dish into a hearty casserole. As the price of eggs continues to increase, one way to transform this dish to feed more for less is to create a baked frittata with seasoned hash brown potatoes as the base. The potatoes are bound together with mozzarella cheese, and seasoned with za’atar for that middle eastern touch. Topped with cooked tomatoes, the eggs, along with some feta cheese and you have a flavor packed yet filling and budget friendly casserole.
To see the technique on how to make this dish, click on the video below:
Shakshuka Breakfast Pie
For the Crust:
- 1 package of frozen hashbrowned potatoes, thawed (about 3 cups worth)
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp za’atar
- ½ tsp lemon pepper or pepper
- Salt to taste
For the Filling
- 6-8 large roma tomatoes (optional 2 quarts of boiling water in a pot if removing tomato skins)
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6-10 eggs
- 2- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- More za’atar for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the thawed potatoes, and squeeze out any excess water with a cheese cloth or paper towel. Put them in a bowl and combine them with the mozzarella, za’atar, lemon pepper, and salt to taste. Pat the potato mixture in a 9 inch pie pan, or a larger pan if you like the crust a bit thinner.
For the filling, If you want to take the time to peel the tomatoes, submerge the tomatoes in the boiling water for about two minutes. Remove and place tomatoes in another bowl of cold water. This will enable you to peel the tomatoes. Then chop the tomatoes and set aside. You can skip the step of peeling the tomatoes if you are rushed for time. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet, then add chopped garlic. Saute for one minute, then add the tomatoes. Stir and add salt to taste, until the tomatoes are of an almost jam like consistency, which takes around 15 minutes.
Once you have partially cooked the crust, carefully remove it from the oven. Spread the tomato mixture on top, then crack the eggs on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle feta cheese as well as za’atar on the pie. Bake in the oven at the same temperature for another 15 minutes. As the heat of different ovens vary, keep an eye on the tart. You want the whites cooked, but the yolks runny. Serve immediately, however this dish tastes great leftover as well.
St. Patrick’s Day Treat!
And if you guys missed my St Patrick’s Day video, I shared my love for my Pot of Gold Peanut Butter from American Dream Nut Butter! True story, when I was a kid I went to an Irish Catholic elementary school for eight years. I traded my hummus sandwiches for my friends Irish soda bread slathered with butter and don’t regret a bit of it. As a grown-up I can’t get my hands on my friend’s homemade bread -so this pot of gold is a bit of nostalgia for me. I actually had friends that believed in leprechauns! 😂 We would spend hours hunting for 4 leaf clovers 🍀
If you want to try out this incredible nut butter loaded with white chocolate chips, caramel, and crunchy salty pretzels, use code BLANCHE10 and get 10% off at http://www.AmericanDreamNutButter.com
Bonus is the peanuts are locally sourced from farms, 10% benefits veterans, and you support a small family owned business!
Hope you all had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!