Ohhhh shakshuka, that’s fun to say!
…..But what is it? It is a mediterranean/North African dish that is traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers and a blend of spices with eggs on top. The shakshuka base of this recipe is pretty straight forward and traditional. Buuuut the dippy eggs and the tomato soup-like base makes for the most perfect grilled cheese dipping situation.
Speaking of grilled cheese, let’s chat about how to get the perfect grilled cheese.
This fairly simple dish that everyone can make can very easily be taken up a few notches.
- Don’t have your heat up too high. If your pan is too hot you will burn your bread before your cheese is fully melted, leaving you with a charred piece of bread and luke warm cheese in the middle. No thank youuuu. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Step out of your traditional grilled cheese comfort zone of butter and try it with mayo instead! The egg in the mayo adds an extra bit of crispiness to the outside of the bread.
- Use a mixture of cheeses! In this recipe I did cheddar and provolone, but you could really do any type of cheese! But rather than just using cheddar, having a mixture of a few cheeses gives a more exciting flavor.
- And when it’s all said and done, go ahead and sprinkle a bit of salt on top of the final product grilled cheese. Trust me.
And just like that, you have taken your standard sandwich into a restaurant worthy grilled cheese sandwich.
The other part of this recipe that makes it super delicious are the poached eggs. I have always been scared to try poaching eggs, but we learned how to do it in class and holy cow it’s so easy!
There are a few keys to perfecting a poached egg:
- Bring your water to a boil but be sure to lower it to a simmer before adding the egg! Getting it to a boil gets the water hot enough, but if you leave it at a boil the bubbles will tear apart the egg protein. So be sure to reduce it to a simmer before adding the eggs.
- Add in just a touch of vinegar to help keep the egg whites together. You don’t need much.
- Create the slightest of swirls in your water before adding your eggs to cook. But not a tsunami.
- Depending on how runny you want your egg yolks will vary the amount of time you cook the eggs. I like 7-8 minutes with the white cooked all the way through and the yolk runny. But you can pull
So when you pair your traditional shakshuka with a restaurant worthy melty grilled cheese and the perfect poached eggs, you have yourself a chef approved meal! And your taste buds will most definitely approve of this flavor explosion.
Try out these tips and let me know how it goes in the comments!
This classic shakshuka with poached eggs and melty grilled cheese is the perfect pair for proper dippage!
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1.5 c chopped bell peppers
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vinegar
- goat cheese for topping
- 4 slices bread
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
To prepare the shakshuka:
In a medium sized frying pan, heat up olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic and bell peppers. Saute for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the bell peppers are soft. Add in the canned tomatoes (with juice) and the chili powder, paprika and cumin. Reduce heat to low for twenty minutes.
To prepare the poached eggs:
Bring 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of vinegar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Crack each egg into an individual bowl and drop the eggs in the water. Let sit in the water for about 8 minutes, depending on the doneness of the yolk that you prefer. Remove egg from water with a slotted spoon and place on top of finished shakshuka.
To prepare the grilled cheese:
Spread the mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Heat up a frying pan over medium heat and place 2 slices of the bread mayo side down on the pan. Top each slice with 2 slices of cheddar and 1 slice of provolone cheese. Place other slice of bread on top of the cheese with the mayo side up. After several minutes, flip the grilled cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Continue flipping intermittently until the bread is lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
Remove from heat and serve with shakshuka.
You can use either red bell peppers or a medley of mixed bell peppers. I used the frozen diced bell peppers from Trader Joe’s to make things even easier!