Mexican Green Shakshouka

Mexican Green Shakshouka.JPG
Shakshouka is one of my favorite brunch dishes, up there with chilaquiles. Eggs are poached in a spicy tomato and onion stew, making it an incredibly easy, fool-proof, healthy and flavorful crowd-pleasing dish.

Different Middle Eastern cuisines claim the dish: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Israel. It's essence is also decidedly Mexican: tomatoes, chili peppers, cumin, onion - it could be the start of any Mexican salsa.

When I found myself with a handful of tomatillos and craving a Mexican brunch it all came together. The tomatillo and poblano chile give this a kick: tomatillos are acidic, while poblano peppers can be spicy and smoky. Reduce the acidity by substituting half of the tomatillos for yellow or green tomatoes, and/or adding a dollop of Greek yoghurt if you eat dairy.

Add veggies! I threw in a handful of chopped cooked asparagus I had in fridge. Use kale or collard greens (stems removed), spinach, chayote, green beans, zucchini...

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 white onion, chopped into small squares

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

6 tomatillos, outer husks removed and rinsed, coarsely chopped

2 poblano peppers, prepared (see note)

2 celery stalks, chopped evenly and thinly

green vegetables (asparagus, collard greens, kale leaves, etc)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

salt for seasoning

cilantro leaves for garnish

optional: crumbled feta or greek yoghurt, for serving

Char, sweat, peel and devein chile poblanos (see detailed instructions here). Cut into small squares or thin strips, set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium pot. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often until onions become translucent. Take care not to burn garlic. Add poblano peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add chopped tomatillos and celery, season with salt and turmeric. Add any other vegetables, if using. Cover pot and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos have released their juices. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, stir in oregano and let sauce thicken.

Make a 4 indentations in sauce with a back of a spoon, and crack an egg into each. Simmer until whites are gently set but yolks are still wobbly, 8-10 minutes. Watch closely, eggs go from undercooked to overcooked quickly. You can spoon some sauce on top of eggs to help them cook faster, or cover the pot (peeking often to check doneness).

Remove from heat, sprinkle with feta (if using) and garnish cilantro leaves. Serve with black beans and avocado, and either corn tortillas, tostadas or crusty bread.

Serves 2

Note: you can substitute poblanos for ~4 fresh jalapeño peppers, either roasted or fresh. If you're sensitive to spice, remove most inner seeds and veins. I'd recommend leaving one of them whole - you want a kick!

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