News & Opinion

Egg dish scores an ace
Shakshuka is one of the trendiest dishes going these days — just check social media. [Photo: Sandra A. Gutierrez]

Whoever says eggs are boring has no clue. If you haven't heard of the trendiest egg recipe these days, then you've been living in a hole. Now it's time to get you up to par with this vibrant and absolutely luscious meal that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

What's exciting about an egg recipe? One, it cooks in a tangy sauce that takes seconds to make. Two, you can eat the meal right out of the same dish it's cooked. Thirty minutes and you can be out the door to play a round of golf without missing a beat. Also, the recipe is low in fat and will provide plenty of protein to add that spring in your step. 

Before heading into the kitchen, though, learn the proper pronunciation of this dish — shakshuka (shawk-shoo-kah) — or just ask a millennial for help. Chances are they have seen the dish showcased across social media.

The concept is very simple: break eggs into a sauce of your choice and bake it all until the eggs are set. The sauce is typically made with tomatoes, but creamed spinach, chimichurri, and béchamel work too. Then top this with anything you like: bacon bits, pesto, crumbled cheese, herbs, croutons, olives, sliced chiles, or sour cream. Anything goes.

Sandra's Spicy Shakshuka
1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon ancho chile powder or hot sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
4 large eggs
¼ cup chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, basil, dill)
Crumbled goat or feta cheese (optional)
Crème Fraiche (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a microwave-safe dish, combine the tomato sauce, chile powder, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper. Cover it with waxed paper and microwave on high for 3 minutes (alternatively, heat it in a small pot for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat). Pour some of the sauce (at least ½ cup) into two ramekins (1-cup capacity). Crack two eggs into the center of each dish, directly over the sauce. Place the dishes on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Cook them in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the whites are set and the eggs are cooked, to taste. Sprinkle with the herbs, cheese, and with a dollop of crème Fraiche (if using). Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

Note: Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to four months to use for future meals.

Serves: 2

Sandra A. Gutierrez is an award-winning writer and author of four cookbooks. 

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