by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

“The Story of Many Eggs”

I’m a Culinary Arts student at CTC in Frederick. Sadly, since my class cannot go into school, us novice chefs must take to our own home kitchens, armed with new knowledge and fire extinguishers. The first thing our class has learned about is eggs. To say I’m egged out is an understatement. Before this unit, I was a pretty big egg fan, but I wasn’t aware of how extremely versatile eggs are. For example, a chef’s hat has 22 folds because that is how many ways an egg can be made. My brain has been thoroughly scrambled with the sheer amount of hard-boiled facts that I’ve learned about eggs (pardon the puns, I couldn’t help myself!). This online course is free for everyone on, and I’ve learned so much about eggs that my family can hardly bear all the egg-related foods I’ve made. By the way, the egg course provides the usual egg cooking methods (poached, boiled, fried, scrambled), as well as international recipes. One such recipe is Shakshuka, a North African dish consisting of a thick tomato base and eggs on top. It might seem difficult and too exotic to make, but it is one of the easiest (and delicious) dinners I’ve ever made. It’s extremely versatile and can suit anyone’s preference. Enjoy the egg-cellent recipe below!

Easy Shakshuka (Serves 4)

Ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) with a depth of at least 2 in. (relatively shallow)

2 tbs. oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 fresh garlic cloves, minced (canned minced onion works too, but fresh garlic enhances flavor)

1 large bell pepper, chopped (can be green, orange, or red and can be omitted if not preferred)

1 zucchini, chopped (can also be omitted based on preference)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. paprika

1 shake red pepper flakes

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 shakes harissa or cayenne (omit if spiciness is not preferred)

6 cups chopped tomatoes (or canned crushed tomatoes)

½ cup tomato sauce (can use tomato sauce and ½ cup water)

1 cup ground beef or sausage (or fake beef crumbles, rice, or

     quinoa for other dietary adaptations)

4 eggs (pre-cracked into separate bowls)

Garnishes (optional):

Fresh parsley

Toasted Pine nuts

Crispy Shallots

Toasted and crushed sesame seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Start by heating a pan over medium-high heat. If finishing in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Add garlic, onions, other vegetables, and spices to the pan. Turn heat to medium and stir occasionally to evenly cook veggies. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in the ground beef/ sausage (or other adaptations) to the pan. Make sure meat is pre-cooked. Stir in cubed tomatoes and tomato sauce into the mixture. Stirring occasionally, let simmer until boiling, about 10-15 minutes. At this point, the sauce should be thick. Turn off heat. Make 4 indents with a spoon on the surface of the sauce (not too deep, but deep enough to contain eggs). Pour in eggs, 1 egg per indent.

If finishing on the stovetop, cover and let cook. Doneness of eggs depends on preference, but egg white should be firm despite desired doneness. (The longer eggs cook = the harder the doneness).

If finishing in the oven, cover and cook in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Garnish and serve. Can be served with pita, naan, or challah bread.

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