Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I originally saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen - one of my favorite food blogs.  I re-worked it slightly, and it's a delicious vegetarian dish that is hearty and satisfying.  This is an old Israeli dish that has a lengthy history, and it's become a favorite of mine to serve to guests - because I like forcing people to eat with their hands instead of utensils!

Onions, garlic, Sambal, cumin & paprika
You'll notice the recipe calls for a lot of strong ingredients - garlic & peppers to be exact.  Don't be afraid of these.  The first couple of times I made this, I pulled back on the peppers - but the tomatoes and eggs mellow everything out, so make sure you have a bit of a punch to the flavor.  This time I FORGOT the jalapenos!  So, I pulled out my jar of Sambal chile paste and added only a teaspoon which did the trick fantastically!!  My other change is that I use duck eggs for this dish every time - they add such a delicious richness.

Shakshuka - duck eggs cracked into the mixture
And the best part is that I serve it right in the pan.  Last night I pulled out our dining room table (bear in mind we live in NYC, so the table is a gorgeous thing that folds away into a corner and doesn't get used all that often), and sat the pan right in the middle of the table on top of my homemade trivet (it's a picture of the Ohio State Buckeye mascot that I drew when I was five years old - my grandfather had it made into a trivet - cute, right?).  Served with a bunch of pita, you can't help but reach in and enjoy yourself.


1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped finely (or 1 heaped teaspoon Sambal chile paste)
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
6 duck eggs (of course chicken will do nicely)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a large pan that has a lid (or something you can cover it with), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chiles (if using them instead of the paste) and onions with a pinch of salt.  Let them cook and begin to soften for about 6 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, paprika and chile paste (if using that instead of raw peppers).  Stir through and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Open the can of tomatoes and crush each one with your hand before placing it in the pan.  Pour in all the liquid from the can as well, and add about 1/2 cup of water.  Bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken.

Crack the eggs into the dish, evenly distributing them.  Cover the pan and let the dish cook for 5-6 minutes until the whites are cooked through.  Uncover, take off the heat, and sprinkle with feta cheese and chopped parsley.  Place the pan in the middle of the table on your own, homemade trivet.  Serve with pita and encourage everyone to play with their food!


  1. I came home from work today with nothing in mind for dinner and then I remembered seeing this. We had never had this before but I had everything I needed to make it so I thought I would give it a try. We loved it. It was so easy too. We will definitely be having this again!


  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Barb. It's quite a delicious and satisfying meal! I was wonderfully surprised the first time I tried it.