Chakchouka

Chakchouka is a tomato sauce and sometimes spelt Shakshouka. Eggs are often poached in it but it can also be served as a sauce to dip your bread in.  The dish in the United States is often referred to as an Israeli dish. This is not totally true. It was believed to have been created during the ottoman empire and the spread through the middle east and spain. It is believed that the Tunisian jews introduced this dish to israel, where it became popular and made its introduction to the US .

In Algeria they don’t typically eat this for breakfast, but for lunch or dinner. I look at the egg and the merguez sausage and it feels like this is what I want for Brunch! Thats close enough to lunch right?

I had tested a patty of Merguez sausage and there is a lot of fat rendered. I fry the onion in the same pan as the Merguez sausage was cooked in without draining the fat. I add about a tablespoon more of olive oil and saute the vegetables. For the tomato my store had a special on heirloom tomatoes as it is summer and this funky tomato is recommended for sauces.

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Chop it up, add it to the pan and let it cook. It says to cook for 20 minutes, but the tomatoes are not stewed enough so i cook for another 10 minutes. Then of course now the liquid has evaporated. So add 1/4 vegetable stock and continue cooking. The taste reminds me of ranchero sauce with just a slightly different spice profile.  I can’t wait to have some, but I do wait. I don’t have the sausage stuffer to make my sausage yet and I prefer to make my sauce at night and then just cook the egg in the morning.

 

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I was pretty excited to eat this and end up waking up at 5. My dog looked at me like I was crazy, so I went back to sleep for a bit. Once I had made the sausage, I drained the pan, but not wipe it. I wanted to meld the flavors. I add some sauce in the pan and make space to add an egg.

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Add the egg with a little salt and pepper

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There is this technique suggested to scramble the white of the egg in the sauce. I don’t really understand it, but tried it. It turns out it is so that only the yolk is seen when it is cooked.

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Cover and cook the egg, I over cooked my egg . Anyway the result is yummy. It is a simpler huevos rancheros and worthy of a special brunch. I eat it with toasted Khobz Dar and the merguez sausage I have left over from other days of cooking.

Well this is the end of my journey of Algerian food and I am a bit sad to go. I have found all the dishes to be amazing and complicated. I was impressed with my bread yeast skills and yes, my head is bigger for it.  Luckily I still have left overs, so I will be able to keep eating them. My next stop is Andorra.


 

Recipes

Chakchouka

Original recipe can be found here

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  yellow onion, diced
  • 1  green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper
  • chopped green onions (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 6 eggs

 

  1. In a deep, large skillet or sauté pan, heat oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes or until onions are soft.
  3. Add spices and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add peppers and cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of vegtable stock and reduce for another 10 minutes.
  7. At this point you can store the sauce to cook with the eggs later.
  8. In a pan with the sauce make a hole and crack eggs into it.
  9. With a wodden spoon quickly scramble the egg white with the tomato sauce.
  10. Sprinkle eggs with a dash of salt and pepper and cook until desired doneness.
  11. Garnish with green onions.

 

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