Food Friday is back! After a loooong holiday break, I want to kick off with one of my favorite food topics: Hot breakfasts. Having a hot breakfast is awesome, especially during this time of year. Having dessert for breakfast is not, though, and that’s what a lot of hot breakfast choices are. If you think about it, the butter/syrup/jam/powdered sugar combinations that go with pancakes, waffles, or french toast do not exactly fall into the category of clean eating. And it’s hard to convince people that a side of broccoli goes well with pancakes.
Enter shakshuka, a Northern African dish of eggs based in a spiced-to-your-liking tomato sauce. Baked eggs have always been the epitome of breakfast luxury for me – they traditionally take a while, between the prep and cooking of your base, and then baking time in the oven. It’s not terribly time consuming, but it’s probably more of a commitment than most of us have time for on a weekday morning. The idea of spicy tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions (veggies – check.) with eggs baked right into it (protein – check.) was too much to give up, so I thought I’d see about making it workday-morning-friendly, and this is what I got:
Start with this mildly spiced New York Times recipe. There are lots of options out there on the internet, but this version won me over with the addition of feta cheese. The spices and seasoning are perfect – super flavorful and well balanced.
Follow the recipe up until the addition of the feta.
Put your tomato-and-pepper base in the fridge, for use on the following days.
When you want it, decide whether you want to use the microwave or the oven to bake your eggs.
Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat about a third of the tomato-and-pepper base* until hot, in the microwave (faster) or on the stovetop (less fast). Transfer the base to an oven safe dish, break up some feta cheese over it, crack your eggs over the base, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. If you have one, using a dish that is both microwave and oven-safe will cut down on cooking time and clean up. Winning.
Microwave: Heat about a third of the tomato-and-pepper base* in the microwave until hot. Sprinkle some feta over the base, crack your eggs on top, and microwave for 3-6 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. This method will cook your yolks faster, from my experience, so if you want a runny yolk and still want to use the microwave, try to let the egg white spread more over the base.
*The recipe as written makes about enough for three two-egg servings. If you want to make enough to last for a whole week (or for multiple people to use on multiple days of the week), double the recipe (or more) and use the appropriate amount of base per serving. Or just use more base, if you like the base. It’s pretty amazing.
Breakfast For Dinner: This dish fits so nicely into this category. Use single servings on busy evenings, or if you want to eat as family (or with friends, roommates, or whomever else you want to invite to dinner), follow directions for the oven baking (with an oven safe pan) and serve it family-style with bread and a salad.