There are few things more enjoyable in NYC than (boozy) brunch with friends and loved ones. The omelettes, hashbrowns, pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, etc. - how could you go wrong? However, brunch often involves long lines, sometimes days wasted, and perhaps more calories than you intended to consume.
Don't get me wrong, I am almost always pro-brunch. In the dead of winter, though, you can often find me in my kitchen on a Saturday or Sunday morning trying to recreate some of my favorite brunch dishes to enjoy in the warmth of my own home. Not only do I avoid the frigid temperatures, but I save a little money and can control the ingredients.
I don't know if Shakshuka is trending right now or what, but I've been seeing a lot of recipes lately for it, and I actually had a dream about making it the other night. So then I did. Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern tomato and egg dish often enjoyed in the winter. It's warming, spicy and delicious. The eggs make for a wonderful source of protein to start the day, and the tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent cell damage. I added some kale to the mix, of course, for a little extra green. You also only need one skillet, which is a win in my old Brooklyn apartment world of no dishwasher (besides my husband). So here's a mashup recipe that I created, inspired by the lovely people at Green Kitchen Stories, and the New York Times.
Reens Greensified Shakshuka
Serves 2-4 (depends on hunger levels)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I used yellow, but any color would do)
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne (optional)
- 2-14.5 oz (or 1-28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 cup kale, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 eggs, depending on your skillet size (I used 5)
- cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil/ghee over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and jalapeno. Add cumin, paprika, and cayenne, and combine until everything is evenly coated. Continue to cook 3-5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, kale, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.
- Gently crack your eggs evenly into the skillet over the sauce. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper.
- Place skillet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until eggs are set.*
- Garnish with cilantro and enjoy! You can serve this with warm whole grain pita, or with avocado toast (which is what I did).
*Note: If you are not using cast iron, please make sure your skillet is oven safe. If not, you do not need to bake your eggs - you can simply cover the skillet you are using with a lid until the egg whites set.
Next time, I will invite some friends over and perhaps we'll also share some bottomless grapefruit mimosas.
What are your favorite brunches to make at home?