Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shakshouka in a Creamy Dreamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce



The easiest way to trick my family in believing they are having a Michelin star chef inspired Gourmet dinner is by repackaging an old wine in a shiny new bottle and giving it a fancy name.

Shakshouka has been my secret weapon for a long time whenever the family wanted to eat something fancy! But they are a bunch of smart people and they eventually DID figure it out that I was feeding them the same ol' Egg Curry in a new avatar!

I had not choice but to up my game. Now who can resist a name as mouthful as Shakshouka in a Creamy Dreamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce!





I am always game for anything that has Roasted Red Bell Peppers in it. Be it the Soup, Hummus or a creamy Dip, Roasted Red Bell Peppers brings a smoky sweetness that takes the dish up a notch. When combined with sauteed garlic, onions and cashew butter, it creates a creamy dreamy sauce that is totally drool worthy.




Using roasted peppers from the jar and store bought Cashew Butter, this sauce comes together in a jiffy and the entire dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. The use of cashew butter not only thickens the sauce and gives it creamy consistency but brings a delicious nuttiness too. Any other nut or seed butter can be substituted or you can even add a splash of heavy cream.

The sweetness from the roasted red peppers and sauteed onions is little overwhelming for me. Just a dash of red chili powder or cayenne pepper powder providers the much needed heat and balances the flavor profile. And since I am practically addicted to Smoked Paprika, I sprinkle it generously too. You don't have to, but you'll surely miss out on the lovely smokiness it brings to the sauce.





Spoon it over steamed rice or buttered noodles; or dunk your oven fresh bread in it, this Shakshouka recipe is guarantee to appease your taste buds. We love having it with whole wheat Bolillos, which we pick from our local grocery store.

[Bolillos is a shorter and more oval Mexican cousin of the French Baguette, with a crunchy crust and a soft inside.]

Please do try it. It is very very simple to make, but it tastes very delicious; very gourmet.

Some of my other Favorite Egg recipes:

Recipe Snapshot: Shakshouka in a Creamy Dreamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


Serves: 3 serving
(1 serving = 2 eggs)

What I used:
Eggs - 6

Onion - 1 medium sized, sliced

Garlic - 4 fat cloves, smashed and the roughly chopped

Roasted Bell Pepper - 1 (16 oz) jar, drained and roughly chopped

Cashew Butter (or Cashew Paste) - 2 heaping tablespoon

Chicken or vegetable stock (or water) - 1/2 + 1/2 cup

Smoked Paprika - 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Olive Oil - 2 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Freshly cracked Pepper

A handful or chopped parsley or basil to garnish


What I did:
1. In a large skillet (big enough to hold six eggs in a single layer), heat up 2 tablespoon of oil.

2. Add the sliced onions and chopped garlic and saute over medium heat heat till soft and aromatic. No need to brown it.

3. While the onions and garlic are sauteing, drain the jar of roasted red bell peppers. Roughly chop it and put it in a blender jar.

4. Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the blender jar and blend everything with half cup of water or stock into a smooth sauce.

5. Pour the sauce back in the skillet and add two heaping tablespoon of cashew butter, smoked paprika, red chili powder or cayenne pepper powder (if using) and a bit of salt and pepper. Crank the heat up and bring to a gentle boil.

6. The cashew butter will thicken the sauce considerably. Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or stock to bring the consistency to a soupy one. At this point, it is important to keep the consistency a little thin. We still need to cook the eggs and the by the time we are done, the sauce would have thickened to a perfect saucy consistency. If we keep it thick now, the end result will be too thick or even a little lumpy.

7. Once the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat to gentle simmer. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. This is important because once you add the eggs, you wont be able to add anything to the sauce.

8. Now gently cracks six eggs (one at a time) over the simmering gravy. Sprinkle a little salt and freshly cracked pepper over each egg. Cover and cook till the yolk is set and the egg is ready. About 7-8 minutes.

9. Garnish with fresh Parsley or Basil and serve hot.

10. It can be served over steamed rice, buttered noodles or as a side to any fresh bread. We love having it with whole wheat Bolillos (a shorter and more oval Mexican cousin of the French Baguette, with a crunchy crust and a soft inside), which we pick from our local grocery store.


Diabetic Platter:
For years eggs have been considered more of a health risk than a healthy food. Since they are high in cholesterol, it was recommended that people with high cholesterol levels avoid eggs. But it turns out the cholesterol content for which they have been vilified is much lower than it was 10 years ago. This reduction has been attributed to the changes in hen feed since the BSE crisis in the 1990s. British research shows that a medium egg contains about 100mg of cholesterol, a third of the 300mg recommended daily limit. Also it is saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol that influences blood cholesterol levels the most.

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