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From the time I can remember, I've always loved to cook. My grandmother, Clara, was an amazing cook and I grew up eating her food almost every Friday night when my family would go to my grandparents’ house for Shabbat dinner. Me, my parents, and my three siblings, plus my aunts, uncles, and cousins would all come together to celebrate the sabbath, eat, and catch up. My family moved away from Chicago when I was 12, but those gatherings are some of the most wonderful memories from my childhood.

 

My grandparents were Holocaust survivors. They met after the war and my mother was born in the Czech Republic. They came to the States when she was only six months old. Both of my grandparents had lost almost their entire families in the camps, and I can only imagine the joy they must have felt on those nights to be surrounded by a large, growing family that they created. Notably, my grandparents’ naturalization papers and many photos from my family’s archive are on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

 

There are so many recipes that bring back childhood memories of my grandmother’s cooking: chicken paprikash, cholent, stuffed cabbage…and on and on.

 

However, in 2000, I went to Israel for the first time to attend my cousin’s wedding. I immediately fell in love with the country and its people—and, of course, its food. One of the dishes that has stayed with me since is shakshuka. I love vegetables and dishes that scream FRESH and have lively, bright flavors. I also like dishes that are really healthy. This is one of those dishes. There are many variations on shakshuka, and different ethnicities and countries often have their own spin. This is the way I learned to make it and it is a dish that I make often.

 

Makes two servings.

 

Ingredients:

6 Eggs

28 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes

1/2 C or 60g of Yellow or Red Pepper, diced

1/2 C or 50g Scallions, chopped

1 Clove or 1 tsp Garlic, minced

1 tsp Tomato Paste

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 C Cilantro, chopped

2T Reduced Fat Feta

½ tsp Olive Oil or Cooking Spray

 

Optional:

Pinch of Cayenne

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Using a deep, large skillet or sauté pan, warm the oil or coat with cooking spray. Add the chopped onion until they soften. Then add garlic until they’re well combined and the mixture is fragrant.
  2. If you’re going to add salt & pepper, I usually add it at this stage. I think it carries the most throughout the mixture and allows me to only add a touch of each with great results in flavor.
  3. Add the bell pepper and sauté until softened
  4. Add tomatoes and and the tomato paste. Stir until well blended. Add the cumin and paprika {and cayenne if you’re adding it} and let it simmer and reduce for approximately 5-7 minutes.
  5. We’re now ready for the eggs, but this is the best time to taste the mixture and make sure it’s to your liking. If it needs a little more salt and/or pepper, now’s the time to add it.
  6. Start adding the eggs by making a small well with a spoon in the center of that skillet. Carefully crack the egg and place it in the well. Repeat that process by making wells one at a time and adding the five other eggs spaced out around the center one.
  7. Cover your skillet and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the whites are completely cooked.
  8. Remove the cover and allow the steam to dissipate. Then, sprinkle with cilantro and feta. If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute with another fresh green herb of your liking.

 

 

I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

ABOUT Taste from Home

Taste From Home is brought to you by the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Our mission is to connect, promote, and support centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive Chicago. 

Taste from Home is collection of recipes and stories inspired by the food that defines who we are and where we come from. As we are all home exploring new recipes and cuisines, we encourage you to share a recipe and story with us that connects you to your family and cultural heritage. 

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