This Mexishuka (Mexican Shakshuka), a delicious twist on Mediterranean Shakshuka, will send your tastebuds spinning. By now, most everyone knows and has eaten some version of shakshuka. And like everyone who has tried it, I love it too. But in an effort to use up (down) my pantry, I recalled a recipe that I had come across years ago but never tried. Months into sheltering-in-place – it was time.
I had just received my grocery delivery which would last me for two weeks. Now I have a minor pet peeve. When I am watching cooking shows – not competitions – that are based in someone’s home, I am always amazed at how totally empty their refrigerator and freezer are and how clean their ovens are. Come on! No one who cooks all of the time as such an empty fridge or an oven that clean! I especially love the one who lives in the middle of nowhere North Dakota on a farm – IN WINTER – with an empty fridge and freezer. THIS is what my fridge looks like after my most recent delivery. Keep in mind that I won’t shop again for two weeks.
But I digress. While I had not ever made the recipe for Mexishuka (Mexican Shakshuka) before, I already saw that I wanted to adjust the recipe and I made some significant seasoning changes. I had everything I wanted on hand, including some cans of vegetarian, fat-free refried beans from – well, I don’t actually know, but since the cans were still okay, I’m using them. I did try to buy some Queso Fresco with this last order but nothing was available. So I will substitute with a shredded mozzarella. A shredded cheddar also will go well with this. This dish is vegetarian so is perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner, although it would also make a delicious Sunday brunch. It is loaded with serious attitude and yet tastes soooooooooooo comforting. My version is very well-seasoned but not crazy hot.
Yield: 4 servings
15 oz. can of refried beans of choice ( I used a fat-free, vegetarian version) [Delicious but optional so don’t fret if you don’t have any.]
15 oz. can of pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
About 2 Tablespoons EVOO (Canola oil is fine too)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, crushed (or diced)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 large jalapeno chili pepper, finely diced (or a hotter chili if that is how you like things)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika (preferably Spanish smoked Paprika)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
4 to 6 large eggs
Large handful of loosely packed greens, coarsely chopped ( kale, Swiss chard, spinach, watercress or a mixture)
Garnish (Optional, so take your pick or use them all)
salsa of choice
Tortillas, pita or other bread that you have around
Warm the EVOO on medium heat in a heavy (preferably cast iron) large skillet. Add the onion and jalapeno and stir frequently until the onion begins to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring. Then add the spices and tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring until the spices release their fragrance and the tomato paste just begins to brown.
Add the tomatoes, pinto beans, apple cider vinegar and greens and stir through. [NOTE: when you add your greens depends on the greens being added. Baby spinach takes almost no time to cook so I would only add that just before adding the eggs. Kale takes longer so I would add it here.] Cover the pan and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Make 4 to 6 indentations (depending on the number of eggs you are using) in the mixture. Carefully crack each egg into an indentation, being careful not to break the yokes. Using a knife or spatula, carefully pull on the egg whites (being careful not to disturb the yolks) to mix them with some of the sauce.
Turn the heat back on to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, basting the egg whites with sauce from time to time. Now cover the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.
In a separate pan or the microwave, heat the refried beans. For serving, place a good dollop of refried beans on the plate/shallow bowl alongside the Mexishuka. Garnish and enjoy!