I love shakshuka; it’s a classic Mediterranean dish with eggs poached in a tomato, onion and chili pepper sauce. Doesn’t sound like much but trust me, it’s heaven. I had the crave over the weekend, and I just got my FIRST cast iron skillet, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I added bacon to mine because ALWAYS ADD BACON. I use Nueske’s bacon pretty exclusively if I can – it just has the best flavor and consistency. This time I used their black pepper coated bacon, which was delicious and added a little extra spice. I find it to be more salty than other brands, so feel free to adjust salt as necessary – I didn’t even have to add any to mine. Bacon = salt. Remember that.
I also love eggs benedict. Poached eggs on top of Canadian bacon, on an English muffin, and covered in hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise is an egg yolk and butter sauce, in case you didn’t know, and it’s delicious. It’s also kind of a pain in the ass to make, so I decided to scrap that and just combine my two brunch loves into one dish with some shredded cheese on top. Because cheese is always a good idea. I give you: Shakshuka eggs benedict with bacon and chili oil.
Like I said, this was my first recipe made in my new 10-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. HOLLER. From stove to oven…it’s a staple in any cooks kitchen. How I lived this long without one I’ll never know…
Shakshuka Eggs Benedict w/Bacon and Chili Oil
4 slices Nueskes black pepper coated bacon (or whatever brand you use), cut into 1/2-1 inch strips
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane or chopped fine
2 8-oz cans plain tomato sauce
2 tbsps water
1 tbsp tomato paste
3-4 eggs (I had 3 left…I’m lazy)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp Flavorgod Everything Spicy seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste – I like very spicy food so I put a big pinch)
2 English muffins
Chopped fresh chives and parsley for garnish
Olive oil + chili flake for drizzling at the end
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Chop shallots and bacon. You can see below, I cut the bacon into 1 inch strips – some were smaller, but the idea being that I wanted them to be big enough to not disintegrate into the sauce. Add the bacon to the pan first and saute until cooked but not crispy.
2. Add shallots to pan with bacon and saute together for another 2-3 minutes, until shallots are softened and translucent. Add the grated garlic and stir in. DO NOT LET IT BURN. Only stir for about a minute.
3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and spices. Stir together and lower heat to medium so it’s simmering. The sauce should thicken a little, but you don’t want it to reduce too much. I added the water to mine because it got a bit too thick. You don’t have to do this if you like the consistency.
4. Crack eggs right into the sauce. I know it looks weird, but you will pop it into the oven to finish them off.
NOTE: You don’t have to put this into the oven if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. You can easily cook the eggs on the stove top for about 10 minutes to have them cook through, but it’s definitely faster in the oven. And I think the cast iron does a beautiful job with this. So bottom line…shut up and get a cast iron skillet.
5. Pop skillet in the oven and for the love of Christ wear an oven mitt. I almost touched my cast iron skillet with my bare hands to move it to the oven and I remembered at the last second. Thank god. That shit gets HOT. So please BE CAREFUL. Keep an eye on it, but it should take about 5-6 minutes to set the yolks and cook the whites. If you like your eggs more runny, take it out sooner.
6. Toast your English muffins. Mix pinch of chili flake in a few tbsps of Extra Virgin olive oil.
7. Take shakshuka out of the oven and sprinkle with cheese. Pop it in the broiler for a few minutes until it bubbles a bit and gets all sexual. Remove from oven. Again, BE CAREFUL.
8. Drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with the chopped chives and parsley. Spoon each egg onto the English muffin halves. Again, I had 3 eggs but ideally you would have 4, to fit the 2 English muffins. Math was never my strongest subject but I’m 97% sure that’s right…
9. ENJOY THE AMAZINGNESS! SO MUCH FLAVOR.