Making Shakshuka on a Sailboat

Chef Ilya chopping away Last week I shared a video of the boat with you to show you where I was staying--pretty nice, eh? One of my favorite rooms in a home is the kitchen. Yes, because I love to eat, but also because I love to *try* to cook and I find that it's usually just a really social place. I was pleasantly surprised by the galley (that's what you call a kitchen on a boat)--it's huge! Even the appliances are nice--I haven't lived in a place with a dishwasher (unless you count myself as being hte dishwasher) for a few years, yet the boat has one. Needless to say, I'm excited about the kitchen even though I haven't prioritized cooking in it yet. Why should I when I'm in the land of delicious hummus and shawarma and falafel--nom nom nom. Aside from some snacks or a basic breakfast, we hadn't really taken the galley for a spin so we were delighted when Ilya, our local crew member, offered to make us shakshuka, a traditional Israeli dish. Shakshuka is a breakfast dish but we were having it for dinner because who hasn't had breakfast for dinner?!

Shakshuka is a dish made primarily of tomatoes, onions, spices and eggs. Those are the core ingredients with people choosing what other vegetables and extras, such as meat or cheese, that they want to include. It's a breakfast dish that's served with bread and a favourite for locals and tourists alike. On my last trip to Israel, it was a staple at the hotel breakfasts we frequented and made its way onto my plate (and into my belly) on a regular basis, so I was pretty psyched about getting the chance to have a homemade version and learn how to make it along the way. You can definitely make shakshuka a healthy dish by keeping it simple or you can make it sinfully delicious by adding different meats or cheeses to the mix as well. We kept ours fairly simple and healthy--still delicious! I'm not going to lie, I just sat there and took pictures and kept Ilya company while he cooked, but I did keep track of how he made it as I'm sure we'll whip this up a few times along our sail.

Cooking away

Whatchya need:

5 ripe tomatoes, chopped. Blend all but one until they're a liquidy goop. Leave one aside just chopped.

1 white onion, peeled and chopped or diced, whichever you prefer.

1 clove garlic, minced

Spices: we used salt, pepper, chili and rosemary

x eggs (ask whoever is eating how many they want, we used 7 eggs)

(optional) Bread to serve with it

A deep, large skillet or similar utensil. (It was served to us at a restaurant in a cast-iron skillet but we don't have one of those on the boat.)

Getting closer to being done

Whatchya do:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Slowly heat the olive oil.

Add the chopped garlic and sautee for a few minutes until it softens. Add the garlic and continue to sautee. Breathe in the deliciousness :-)

Add the tomatoes, both the mixture that you blended and the chopped tomato you set aside. Let it cook over medium/medium low for a little while. (Great opportunity to start cleaning up the mess you've made? At least that's what I do--I clean while I cook.)

Once the stovetop mixture has melded together a little bit, add in the rosemary, salt, pepper and chili according to your preferences. Cover and let it all simmer together for a little bit. (5-7 minutes). Taste it again at this point and add more of whatever you think is lacking.

Nom nom nom

Once you can smell all of the flavors coming together, you're ready to add in the eggs. Crack the eggs directly into the mixture--they'll poach themselves in the mix. Cover and let it cook until the eggs are done (about 10-15 minutes).

In the meantime, you can cut slices of the bread. Toasting them is optional. We didn't have bread so we just used crackers for our meal.

Once the eggs are ready--poke them with a fork to check--you're ready to serve your shakshuka. If you have fresh parsley or some grated cheese, feel free to top your dish with some. Bon appetit!

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