Shakshuka for the first-day cure

by Scotty Irani
Food Columnist

Happy 2018! Now, if you have started the New Year not feeling that 100 percent and are trying to climb out of a deep hole from too much celebrating, my Shakshuka is for you.

Not feeling the “hair of the dog” and looking for an easy brunch recipe? Shakshuka is not only easy to make but quite impressive to serve as well. 

Popular in the Middle East, especially Israel, Shakshuka is loaded with spice and protein to cure what ails you. Hope this works for whatever the beginning of 2018 has started out like for you, and hope your year is full of love, health and joyful cooking!

Chef Scotty (add signature here instead of name)


6 whole eggs

1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil

2-3 large shallots sliced into thin rings

1 large poblano pepper, diced

3 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and chopped

3 cups rough chopped fresh tomatoes

1 14.5 ounce can crushed “fire roasted” tomatoes (regular crushed tomatoes work too)

2-3 tablespoons In The Kitchen With Scotty “Little Bit More” Seasoning (or any blackening spice)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (or cayenne pepper)
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into shoestring potatoes

Oil for frying

In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line" Seasoning to taste (or salt and pepper to taste)


1. In a cast iron skillet or cast-iron enamel pan, begin heating a few tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallot rings and diced poblano peppers; cook slowly until tender. Add the Little Bit More seasoning, chili powder and ground chipotle pepper. Mix and let the flavors come alive!

2. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, then add rough chopped tomatoes and mix. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Cover and slowly simmer on low heat for 15 minutes to extract moisture and cook the acid out of the tomatoes.

3. Start working on the potatoes. Rinse, peel, and hand cut (or use a mandolin) to cut the shoestring potatoes (YouTube if you need help). Soak freshly cut potatoes in cold water to prevent oxidation (browning) and to rinse away the potato starch.

4. After cooking tomato mixture for 15 minutes, mash the larger tomatoes down with a wooden spoon to extract more liquid and break down the chunks of tomatoes. Turn the heat off from under the pan.

5. Carefully crack the eggs in a circular pattern onto tomato mixture. You can crack three eggs at a time inside a liquid measuring cup and slowly pour out one egg at a time. Add all six eggs. Give the pan a few gentle shakes to nestle the eggs into the tomato sauce, cover and slowly return to heating. Gently cook another 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are set but still “jiggly.” They will continue to cook in the hot tomato sauce even after removing from the heat.

6. Heat 1/2 inch of fry oil in a pan. Pour the string potatoes into a colander and drain off the water. Turn the potatoes onto a kitchen towel or paper towels and dry off well (water in hot oil will pop, so make sure those suckers are dry).

7. Fry the shoestring potatoes until golden brown. Place in a paper towel lined bowl and toss to season with Cook’s Line Seasoning.

8. Serve the tomato sauce with a poached egg or two and a nice pile of shoestring potatoes. Add minced parsley for color, and your Shak Shak Shak Shakshuka is ready to enjoy!

Copyright The Gayly – December 31, 2017 @ 7:20 a.m. CST.