Serious Eats: Recipes

Meat Lite: Eggs Any Style Shaksouka

Editor's note: Philadelphia food writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond drop by each week with Meat Lite, which celebrates meat in moderation. Meat Lite was inspired by the book coauthored by the two, Almost Meatless, due out in spring 2009.

Eggs are arguably the most customizable food. They are also one of the best sources of complete protein available to us, which is why Joy and I decided to devote an entire chapter to eggs, amongst the seven other meat-centric chapters, in Almost Meatless. Plus, eggs as a meal are inexpensive--even when you opt for the highest quality, fresh-from-the- source dozen you can find. These nutrient packed orbs go far beyond breakfast and baking for delicious meals and sustenance all day long.

Joy and I met for lunch last week at Kanella, a Greek restaurant serving Cypriot specialties and other Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food in Philadelphia. The place has been wooing Joy with its avgolemono, a tough-to-beat bowl of chicken broth and lemon juice thickened with egg yolks and rice that tastes as homemade as it gets. I was lined up to order the same, until the Shaksouka won me over.

The dish--especially common in Israeli cuisine--is simply a tomato sauce simmered with herbs and spices. It rounds out to a satisfying meal with the addition of two eggs, cooked to your liking in the sauce. I opted for soft set yolks, which spilled out upon the slightest nudge with my fork, seeping into the tomatoes. Soft, garlicky bread and a wide spoon were the best tools for cleaning my plate.

Tweak the herbs and spices, add a kick of heat, fry or scramble your eggs--this iteration of Shaksouka is as customizable as the eggs you add to your go of it.

Tara Mataraza Desmond writes about, cooks, and eats food for a living. Her blog, Crumbs On My Keyboard, is dedicated to delicious things in Philadelphia and lots of other places.

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