Earlier this year, when I began an obsession with poaching the perfect egg, I started replacing the water I’d normally used to poach eggs in with tomato sauce. Magically, those eggs turned out perfect. Then I started poaching eggs in salsa for huevos rancheros, and it dawned on me that I might never need to poach an egg in water again. Why would I, when they’re so easy and so delicious in a tomatoey, spicy sauce?
Then, enter Shakshuka, a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce. Honestly, I’ve never had this prepared by anyone other than me, so I don’t have much to go on other than dozens of recipes I’ve read. But it seemed like the perfect place to insert some Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce, which I have a major crush on right now. I think I was right about that: the garlic sauce adds just the right vinegary heat alongside sweet smoked paprika.
If you serve this over some thick, hearty toast, it can be lunch or dinner, but can of course always be a stylish breakfast or brunch dish, especially if you’re serving friends (all the eggs can cook at once), and especially if some are vegetarian. This recipe makes enough sauce for 6 eggs, enough for 4 to 6 people, though I only poached 2 eggs in it and am saving the rest for tomorrow’s breakfast (or a midnight snack). If you’ve ever been shamed for eating ketchup on your eggs, here’s your chance to rock out.
Disclaimer: Tabasco compensated me for creating this recipe.
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups diced yellow onion
- ⅓ cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (seeds left in for more heat)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2½ Tablespoons Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes with herbs
- 1 cup water
- pinch of sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 to 6 eggs, cracked into individual bowls
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- ½ cup goat cheese or feta, crumbled
- thick slices of toast, for serving
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes on their own, until lightly browned and very soft. Add the bell pepper and saute another 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and jalapeno and saute two minutes, until softened. Add the paprika and stir for a minute (things should smell REALLY good right now).
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, water, and Tabasco Garlic sauce. Add the pinch of sugar, salt, and black pepper. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until very saucy. Taste to adjust seasoning now, because once you add the eggs, you really can't stir it again.
- Carefully pour each egg from its container onto the sauce, spacing evenly. Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat, without disturbing, for 7 to 10 minutes, until whites are cooked and the yolks are to your desired degree of doneness (I cooked them 8 minutes for partially runny yolks).
- Serve over toast slices, with parsley and goat cheese scattered over the top.