Part of my quarantine survival plan has been turning Sunday breakfasts into “hotel breakfasts.” We conjure up our favorite breakfasts from travels around the world, and make a spread that helps transport us there.
This weekend’s hotel breakfast: Shakshouka (aka Shakshuka), a hearty and satisfying spicy egg dish. The last time I had it was on the rooftop of El-Fenn in Marrakech, overlooking the Jemaa el-Fnaa main square.
The recipe comes to us from two-time James Beard Award winner, “Father of Wine Country Cuisine,” Chef John Ash, and our friend and favorite Hopland farmer/winemaker Anna Beuselinck at Campovida.
“Shakshouka is a staple throughout Israel, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. It is often served at breakfast but can be found any time of day. Sometimes roasted peppers are added and you can also add cooked meats like lamb or chicken,” says Chef John Ash.
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup extra-virgin Campovida olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small jalapeño chili, stemmed and chopped (or to taste)
1 15-ounce can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 cup or more chicken stock or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 – 6 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon crumbled dry mint
Warm pita, for serving
Heat oil in a heavy 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeños and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add garbanzos, cumin and paprika and cook for another minute or two.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup stock; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. With a wooden spoon crush some of the beans to help thicken. Add more stock if desired. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta over sauce.
Crack eggs into sauce so that eggs are evenly spaced. Cover skillet, reduce heat if sauce is bubbling too frantically, and cook until whites are set but yolks are runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle shakshouka with parsley and mint and serve with pita, for dipping. Alternatively, eggs can be poached separately and added just before serving to heat thru.
Bonus: See AGEIST Adventurist Pilar Guzman’s version of shakshouka.
About John Ash
Many refer to Chef John Ash as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine”. In 1980 he opened his namesake restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa, CA which gained international acclaim and still is critically applauded.
He has co-hosted a radio show on KSRO for 34 years. He also hosted two shows on the Food Network. John has been an adjunct instructor at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone for many years. John has consulted with a broad range of clients over the years including Sonoma Cutrer Winery, Del Monte Foods, Viking River Cruises, and others. He is on the Board of Hog Island Oyster Company.
In 2008 John was voted “Cooking School Teacher of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. John is a champion of sustainable food issues, having served for several years on the Board of the Chef’s Collaborative, as well the Board of Seafood Watch, an educational initiative of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Hear John speak about ethical agriculture and the land that is now called Campovida, home to the Fetzer family, formerly a Stock Farm for animals and the land of Pomo Indians of Sanel Valley.
John has written 5 books and is a two-time James Beard Award winner. Culinary Birds won a 2014 James Beard award and John Ash Cooking One-on-One won in 2005. He has authored two other books: From the Earth to the Table and American Game Cooking. The former was awarded the IACP Julia Child Cookbook of the Year. His latest book Cooking Wild was published in summer of 2016 by Running Press. He is at work on a new book: Soup: The Original Comfort Food. He writes occasionally for culinary magazines such as Fine Cooking and Eating Well and contributes regularly to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
John was honored in 2014 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium as Sustainable Seafood Educator of the Year.