Today, we’re going to talk about something very cute, very small and very lovely. Are you ready?
Of course you are!
Her name is Molly Yeh (pronounced YAY!), and when I first laid eyes on her new cookbook, I gave it a bear hug. Molly’s book is my top pick for holiday gift giving this year. Her book has recipes that showcase the lovely mix of her Asian and Jewish roots (plus her husband’s Scandinavian influence) with a fair dose of her personal food obsessions thrown in (think: tahini, marzipan, and so many eggs!). It’s the type of book that draws you in because of the story telling. She gives you directions on how to ‘bahn mi’ anything, how to get macaroni and cheese on your table the fastest, and 6 ways to harass a batch of challah dough into something incredible.
I’m a longtime fan of Molly’s blog, and her book is a lovely extension of it.
I’ve made so many things from this book: her Mum’s matzoh brei, her ex-boyfriend’s meatless meatballs, authentic hummus (serve it warm and stick your whole face in it), chicken paprikash, and now this fun twist on Shakshuka. She adds big pearls of Israeli couscous so it’s more of a substantial meal. And it’s exactly the type of thing I’ve made no less than 3 times in 3 weeks, because it comes together with everything you already have on-hand. And the babe loves it, too! (I’m starting to worry that Camille doesn’t have spice receptors in her taste buds…that’s how much she loves harissa!)
The sauce is forgiving: stir it together in 15 minutes with a quick saute, or leave it on the stove for 2+ hours. If you can’t locate Israeli couscous (it’s the big pearls–see the video at the end for reference), use a small pasta like ditalini. Harissa is a lovely spice paste that wants to be in your pantry, and I noticed that Trader Joe’s started carrying it–hooray! Grab a tube (it keeps for a while), and you’ll be squeezing it into everything–scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, steamed rice, your coffee. Wait, don’t stir it into your coffee–use Molly’s Hawaij spice mix instead (it’s like pumpkin spice swam in a bowl of cardamom…and thus became approximately 100 times better).
If you’ve never heard of Shakshuka, you might know it by its other name: Eggs in Purgatory. It’s a spicy tomato sauce for poaching eggs, and it’s usually served with bread. Molly’s recipe has a bit more spice and swaps the bread for couscous. Much improved, if you ask me.
Here’s a little step-by-step stop motion vignette for ya:
Yields 2 servings
Shakshuka with Israeli couscous by Molly Yeh.
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 a medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon harissa (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato pasta
- 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Israeli couscous
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 3 large eggs
- feta cheese, for serving
- fresh parsley, for serving
- In a small 8" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic, cumin, harissa, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes another pinch of salt, a few turns of black pepper, and stir, Cook for 1 minute, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes (with juice). Stir everything to combine it well, and either simmer it for 15 minutes on medium, or turn the heat to low and let cook for up to 2 hours. Your choice.
- When ready to serve, crank the heat to high, stir in the couscous and broth, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until the couscous is done.
- Create 3 little wells to add the eggs. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. If you like a more well-done egg, baste the eggs with the tomato sauce around it.
- Scatter feta and parsley on top, and serve.