Rockin’ Shakshuka, Breakfast of Kings

This summer I went to Israel, lucky me. I stayed in the luxurious King Solomon Hotel.

And while my travel mates were gorging themselves on the chocolate rugelach for breakfast (and who can blame them), I was madly, wildly in love with the shakshuka.

Not only did I have fun eating it, but talking about it was pretty awesome too. Go ahead, say it. Out loud. SHAKSHUKA!!! *fist raised in air* There!
You are now so empowered that you don’t really need that second cup of coffee to get you going (have it anyway).
I’ve had shakshuka before and frankly it was either too spicy or had too many bell peppers for my taste, but this, this was bliss. At the King Solomon, there were big metal trays of chunky garlicky tomato sauce with eggs poached on top and fluffy pita bread on the side. Warm and nourishing, and like almost everything in Israel, healthy.

So I put the chocolate rugelach in my purse for later (my grandma would be proud), but for breakfast, only shakshuka!

Shakshuka, King Solomon Style
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped (not from a jar)
¼  cup extra virgin olive oil
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes (Muir Glenn is my favorite)
4 to 6 good quality eggs
Pita bread (if you live in The Lou I command you to go to Pita Plus and buy it there)
Optional: crumbled feta, chopped parsley

   1.      In a medium to large sized skillet warm the olive oil and the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is sizzling. Make sure to keep it moving in the pan and do not let it brown.

2.      Add the can of tomatoes, a pinch of kosher salt and 1/8 of a teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier).  Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
3.      Crack desired amount of eggs on top, cover, and cook, 5 minutes for soft eggs, and 7 minutes if you like them cooked through.
4.      Scoop onto plates, sprinkling with feta, parsley, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, which are all optional. Serve with warm pita bread, which is not. B’tayavon!

We Are What We Eat

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” Brillat-Savarin

Ahem, hello?*tap*tap* Is anyone out there? *tap*tap* Is this microphone even on?

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about food?

We are what we eat. Such a cliche, and I don’t mean if you eat a carrot you are a carrot, although, maybe to some extent I do. 

We are defined by the choices we make. And as Americans in the 21st century we are lucky enough to have choices. We eat like kings all day, every day, all the time.

But we are also defined by what we don’t eat, whether due to diets, allergies, intolerances, preferences, political beliefs, or religion.

Maybe how we define ourselves as eaters also defines us in other ways too: vegetarian, vegan, organic, low-fat, kosher. Maybe you don’t eat dairy. Or gluten. Or carbs. Or pork. Or any red meat. Or processed foods. Or foods that have travelled more than 100 miles to get to your kitchen. Or maybe you eat everything (if so, please come over for dinner immediately).

Food has the power to make us feel good or guilty, energized or sluggish. It can bring us together or keep us apart.
In any case, we are driven by our need for and interest in food. Whether for health, sustenance, or pleasure–we are all in this together. And we are defined by it.