Shakshuka with Polenta
We absolutely love the flavors of the Mediterranean, which comes from a bunch of different regions and their cultures. All of these places being next to the Mediterranean Sea means that they all have common elements in their cooking, whether it’s Greece, Italy, Spain, etc.
It’s really easy to get the taste of the Mediterranean into your own home without having to travel to these places. After all, cooking different cuisines is about understanding the ingredients specific to that region.
Our How to Maximize Flavor series emphasizes the use of spices in specific cuisines to get that flavor profile that you want. To spice things up Mediterranean-style, you would add spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, and more. [Print out our spice infographics here.]
“Amazing! This was so incredibly tasty. Added a kick of flavor and spice we needed. Definitely going on the regular rotation. My husband and I inhaled all 4 portions of it by ourselves!”
Just by using certain ingredients (that you probably have in your fridge or pantry), you can make a quick and delicious Mediterranean-inspired dish, like these Mediterranean Chicken / Turkey Meatballs or Mediterranean Chicken Packets.
However, instead of creating a dish inspired by ingredients this time around, we decided to make a traditional Mediterranean dish, Shakshuka. A saucy dish made with poached eggs, tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and spices, this delicious meal is a staple of Algerian, Libyan, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Tunisian cuisines.
“This. Is. Simply. Awesome. I love spicy food, and this is so easy to do. I now know what to do when I’m in a hurry and want to make some fast couscous / polenta-based food. I’ll probably make Shakshuka-based fajitas in the future.”
You won’t believe how easy this is to make. Using only one pan, you saute your veggies, add tomatoes, and then crack eggs directly into the saucy veggies, which gently poach the eggs.
This is such a nice change from the usual dinner meals. As much as we love our stir-fries, this healthy and flavorful dish is just as quick to make, and it’s something different to enjoy. So switch it up this week and savor every bite of the Mediterranean.
Try these other Mediterranean dishes from other countries:
For More Smarts:
If you’re not a fan of polenta, make this dish more enjoyable by subbing with any of your favorite grains or bread.
Dicing and mincing ingredients into small pieces will help them cook faster, especially when you need a fast and easy weeknight meal like this one. Here’s how:
If you have a rice cooker on hand, it’s a great way to cook polenta!
Use a saute pan with a lid like this one, so that the eggs will cook evenly.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
- Polenta – 1/4 cup, uncooked (sub with grits)
- Water – 1 cup
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Butter – 1 1/2 tsp
- Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
- Onions – 1, diced
- Jalapenos – 3, seeds removed and diced (sub 1 green pepper)
- Celery – 2 ribs, diced
- Parsley – 1/4 bunch, chopped
- Cooking oil – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Diced tomatoes (28 oz can) – 1
- Cumin – 1/2 tsp
- Paprika – 1/2 tsp
- Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Eggs – 6
- Make polenta – Combine water, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (keep an eye on this because milk can easily spill over). Salt and then fold in polenta. Simmer for ~30 minutes, until polenta is cooked through. Alternatively, if you have a rice cooker, you can also combine ingredients in a rice cooker and hit cook (if your rice cooker has settings, cook it on the porridge setting). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Garlic / Onions / Jalapenos / Celery / Parsley – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead of time)
- Heat up a skillet or saute pan that you have a lid for over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil to pan and then garlic, onions, celery and jalapenos to heated oil with a dash of salt. Saute for ~6 minutes, until softened.
- Add in diced tomatoes with cumin, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Mix everything through. Saute for ~4 minutes.
- Crack eggs directly into tomatoes. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook for ~5 minutes, or until eggs are done to your liking.
- Spoon shakshuka over polenta, garnish with parsley, and enjoy!