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I first tried shakshuka at the Park Slope restaurant Miriam, which serves an amazing variety of Israeli foods for brunch. It's a hearty and filling meal that is still packed with fresh ingredients prepared simply. I try to use fresh tomatoes from the farmers' market, but you can use high-quality canned ones as well.
Traditionally, the eggs are poached in the shakshuka but I've found making them in the sous vide machine adds a level of control to the process that I didn't have before. I like to use Modernist Cuisine's technique to make egg blossoms before poaching them, which removes the difficulty of getting them out of the shell and also results in a unique look. Feel free to just cook them in the shell if you prefer.
Note: You can learn more about eggs from viewing all my sous vide eggs articles.
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Preheat the water bath to 167°F (75°C).
Place some plastic wrap in a small bowl and lightly brush the middle with olive oil then crack an egg into it. Salt and pepper the egg. Pull the corners of the plastic wrap up and twist the bottom of the plastic to form a ball, removing all the air, then tie to secure it. Repeat for the remaining eggs.
Place the blossom pouches in the water bath and cook until the white is set, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the egg.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and their juices then stir well to combine and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, as well as the spices and bay leaf, then stir well to combine. If the tomatoes don't have much juice, you may need to add some water or balsamic vinegar to prevent them from drying out.
Let cook until it has thickened slightly, the vegetables have broken down, and the flavors have melded, about 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. If you prefer a less chunky shakshuka you can puree the resulting mixture in a blender or food processor.
Fill a bowl with the shakshuka. Cut the plastic wrap off of an egg and place it in the bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with pita bread.
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