“Poached Eggs in a Harissa Tomato Sauce”

My tastebuds seem to be leaning towards Middle Eastern/ Moroccan flavors lately.  Probably because they combine such robust ingredients that are layered into some of the most delicious, satisfying recipes I have ever eaten.  I first came across a recipe for Shakshouka on a Fox News article.  I printed it and put it in a place that I would be sure to remember it when I was ready to cook!  Of course, I never saw it again.  Recently, while looking through one of my middle eastern cookbooks, there it was!!!  The most beautiful picture of poached eggs nestled into a chunky looking, savory,  tomato sauce.  It was time to make the dish!!!  That book was The New Book of Middle Eastern Food written by Claudia Roden.  By the way, this book has some fabulous recipes!!!  I modified the recipe somewhat but loved her variation of adding preserved lemon rinds.  Chad and I made some several months ago and have never been brave enough to try them. Perfect opportunity!!!  And let me tell you…..  FLAVOR, FLAVOR, FLAVOR!!!  I can see where it could over power a dish so I only used half a peel and it was plenty.  I used the recipe in Claudia’s book to do the preserved lemon rinds.  I also used several other spices that we have used in other middle eastern dishes and it all came together very nicely.

Ingredients List:

2 TBS olive oil

1 large onion, rough chopped *** Note: rough chopped is larger chunks not fine pieces

1 large bell pepper, rough chopped

6 – 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine (white is fine too )

4 – 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes, hand crushed, liquid reserved ***Note:  reserve the liquid in the can as well as the liquid that results from crushing them.

1 TBS tomato paste

1 tsp harissa

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

1 – 2 low sodium chicken bullion cubes

1/2 preserved lemon rind, pulp scooped out, rinsed, and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro *save out a pinch for garnishing

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley *save out a pinch for garnishing

4 – large eggs


In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over high heat.  Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until the onions are tender and golden, 6 – 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to saute.  Stir constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add in the wine! Cook for another minute.  Turn the heat to low while adding in all of the spices.  Add the crushed tomatoes and two cups of the reserved liquid. Blend the tomatoes in with the onion mixture.  Add the harissa and the tomato paste.  Season the pot with the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and bullion cube.  Blend well then add the chopped lemon rind and the cilantro and parsley.  Add another 1 1/2 cups of the tomato liquid.  Return the heat to high and bring it up to a slow boil until slightly bubbly.  Stir it well, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about another 20 minutes.  Taste to see if you need another bullion or a pinch of salt.   Now, make 4 small “wells” in the sauce as beat as you can.  Crack an egg into each well. I had to make a well and crack an egg…make a well and add an egg…etc.  Cook over medium heat until the eggs have poached.  This takes several minutes or more.  You will know they are poached when the egg whites have become opaque.  Carefully remove each egg with some sauce into individual dishes.

 Serve and enjoy!!!!!

Speak Your Mind