Shakshuka is an Israeli dish that is typically enjoyed for dinner. Glorious and historic Israeli is on my to visit list, but so far I’ve only visited that beautiful land in my dreams. I’ve seen quite a few tv specials on Israeli cuisine and this particular dish always catches my eye.
Traditionally, Shakshuka is an egg dish with tomato sauce. I added spinach and a touch of cream to mine. Talk about heavenly! I love the combination of runny eggs, tomato and cream together. All of the flavors merry together well, but the key player in this delicious mess is the bread. The bread is your vehicle to dunk and soak up all of the tomato goodness!
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Buttered, toasted French bread or warm pitas, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and sweated, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with the spinach and 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
Add the cream and mix through. Add the Parmesan or Feta cheese, then crack the eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Note: Pop the yolks if you do not like runny egg yolks. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 4-5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with a bit of salt, parsley and serve with toasted French bread or pitas, for dipping (this is a must!)
Man, it has been colder than cold here in Colorado lately. I think the high maybe squeaked into the teens today. BRR!! It was time to whip out some warm, hearty recipes… like this one!
Besides my recent “splurge” at Sprouts Grocery Store (I bought an eggplant and some potatoes) I have mostly steered clear of the grocery stores overall. Continuing with my Fiscal Cleanse, I didn’t buy anything for this recipe. I still had leftover cheese tortellini from a previous recipe, frozen peas, and mushrooms in my fridge. If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to omit them, but do not (and I repeat DO NOT) skimp on the Parmesan sauce. It is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!
1/16 crushed red pepper, extra crushed in your hand, optional
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Boil your tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
Saute the onions and mushrooms in olive oil and butter. Once the mushrooms have begun to soften, about 5 minutes, add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper. Saute for another 2 minutes then add the vegetable broth, heavy cream and frozen peas. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low (simmer). Stir occasionally and allow the sauce to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon and Parmesan and remove from heat. Stir until the Parmesan is incorporated in the sauce.
Add the cooked tortellini and gently toss. Serve immediately.
Fans of whipped cream know that homemade whipped cream is very different than then stuff that comes from an aerosol can. It tastes better, looks nicer, and it has no preservatives, which is always a plus.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to create your own perfectly light and smooth whipped cream:
First things first, do not over-whip your cream! It happens fast, so watch for it. You’ll know by the texture and taste. Over-whipped cream is grainy and tastes heavy. Really, REALLY over-whipped cream starts to separate and form butter. You want your whipped cream to create soft peaks, and is light and billowy.
Start with cold heavy cream, granulated (or fine) sugar, and vanilla extract. You can also flavor the cream with vanilla sugar. You’ll need a whisk (if you’re up for some vigorous wrist action) or a hand mixer. A standing mixer is good for larger amounts of whipped cream, but you risk over-whipping. Your bowl should be big enough to accommodate the expanding cream.
Being whipping the cream. Rotate the beater around the bowl at a medium speed.
When the cream starts to thicken into the first hints of soft peaks — you’ll see little wave-like streaks through the cream., add a small amount of sugar and a few drops of vanilla. Add the sugar to taste. If you like barely sweetened whipped cream, use about 1 teaspoon per cup of cream. Load up to 1 Tablespoon per cup if you like sweeter creams. 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per cup of cream should do it.
Reduce speed (to medium-low) and watch carefully. It’s almost done at this point. Note that with an electric mixer, a half-cut of cream will whip in under 2 minutes.
The whipped cream is done when it holds together enough to hold a dollop shape. Use it right away if possible. Spoon and enjoy!
Note: For a stiff and stable whipped cream (for decorating a cake), soften a little gelatin in cold water and then heat it to a simmer until the gelatin dissolves. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and add it to the cream, along with the sugar and vanilla.