In honor of Passover, we enlisted our good friend, Mike, to share his secrets for making a delicious and meaningful dish. Luckily for us, when he is not working on developing youth soccer or volunteering, he is cooking, two floors up from DC Co-Editor Steph. Here are his thoughts and recipe!
Food. Of all the things that I came to love while living in Israel, food was by far number one. My favorite special dish I picked up along my travels was shakshuka.
These days, I relive my favorite Israeli dish by preparing it for two of my best friends, Stephanie and Gavin. Putting two and two together, Steph (yes that Stephanie from this blog) saw the upcoming Passover holiday, combined with her neighbor’s shakshuka skills, as the ingredients to a perfectly-timed Kitchen post.
“Passover and shakshuka?” I chided. “Those don’t really belong together…” (As a very reform Jew, I reserve the right to make blanket statements like this one). However, after consulting the holy scrolls (read: cookbooks) and some deep discussion with some of the greatest Jewish theologians alive (my childhood friends), and of course the all powerful Google, Steph was totally right, Passover and shakshuka do belong together!
Reason #1: It’s “legal.” Check the ingredients of shakshuka: it fits with all the dietary restrictions of your most observant Jew (minus the bread on Passover, obviously).
Reason #3: Shakshuka is a delicious, spicy, warm tomato and egg-based dish, where the eggs are poached right in the sauce, think: your adorable Italian aunt’s very best homemade tomato sauce meets Eggs Benedict, minus the Hollandaise sauce. Shakshuka may be the pinnacle of excuses for eating eggs-for-dinner. Though in Israel, it’s more typical to have for breakfast or lunch. Made commonly in a cast iron skillet, it can be often found served inside a warm pita, or next to a challah or baguette.
Shakuska’s origins are in North Africa. The Passover meal retellings the story of Israelite Exodus from Egypt. So, the beauty of the Passover-shakshuka marriage is not hard to spot – both story and dish take a journey from North Africa to Israel!
Now that you’re totally convinced – on with the instructions:
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 large Onion
- 1 package of Turkey sausage
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Red pepper flakes
- 4-8 Eggs (depending on how many people you’re serving)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook ground turkey in skillet and remove when 90% cooked through.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion. Cook gently until it begins to get translucent. Add the ground turkey and all the spices your heart desires. Some typical ones include cumin, paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt, and cook 1 minute.
- Pour in tomatoes. I use a combination of fresh chopped, stewed, and sauce. Simmer until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
- Gently crack eggs into skillet over the tomatoes, by carving out small little divots with your spoon for the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are as runny or cooked as you desire.
- Serve right out of the oven with warm bread (if it’s not Passover), Israeli salad and a big glass of bold red wine.