Shakshuka with Feta (for one or a crowd)

This spicy baked egg dish has been on my "to cook" list for far too long. Shakshuka (go ahead, say it! It's fun! "Shahk-SHOO-kuh") is a popular dish in the Middle East, but this one veers towards the Mediterranean with the addition of feta cheese. The next time I make it, I'm adding a couple spoonfuls of harissa, a spicy chili paste similar to (but I think better than) Sriracha. I loved it as is, but in this house, more heat is more better. ;)  

I lost the patience to bake the eggs (it was close to 9 a.m. - FEED ME ALREADY) so I popped them under the broiler for a few minutes instead of baking them at 375. You can do whichever option suits your schedule and hunger level. 

Since I was brunching solo this morning (my husband is out on the coast of North Carolina training BODYPUMP® instructors), I included notes below for serving one for all you single girls (and guys) out there.

It may be Valentine's Day as I'm writing this, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a fabulous solo Sunday brunch. After all, nothing says love like Shakshuka.


Serves 4 - Adapted from New York Times Cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbs. olive oil
Half of a large white onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne (less if you don't like spicy food!)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, plus more as needed
3/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
8 large eggs
 Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for serving
 Hot sauce, for serving (I used Cholula!)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. 

2. Pour in tomatoes and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tomatoes have thickened. Stir in crumbled feta.

3. Preheat your oven broiler.

SERVING FOR ONE NOTE: If you're making this dish for one, baking all 6 eggs at once makes zero sense. Ladle 1 cup of the spicy tomato and feta sauce into a small baking dish or oven-proof skillet and crack 2 eggs over the top.  Package up the remaining tomato sauce for quick breakfasts later in the week. All you'll have to do is reheat the sauce, add the eggs, and bake or broil it.

4. If you're serving 4, carefully crack all the eggs into the skillet over the spicy tomato mixture, spacing them apart. Season eggs lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to the oven under the broiler until eggs are just set, 2-3 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolks. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with hot sauce.

NUTRITION INFO (1 cup of sauce + 2 whole eggs):  308 calories, 14 g carbs (4 g fiber), 20 g fat, 19 g protein