The name may sound exotic, but this is a deliciously easy meal of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, with spices like cumin and paprika. Shakshuka originated in Northern Africa, yet it appears on brunch menus across the US and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, it truly is that amenable of a meal. I think this dish is perfect for a lazy Sunday when you want something that is both warming and comforting but takes less than 30 minutes to pull together.
I like to make Shakshuka in my large 12-inch cast iron skillet. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, don't panic, use your heaviest skillet with the most real estate (see photo) so you can nestle as many eggs on top as possible.
Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet
One question a friend of mine asked while I was cooking was how to season a cast iron skillet. This really needs to be done only once after you bring your cast iron home. Scrub the skillet well with hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet and place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place a foil-lined baking sheet on a lower rack to catch drips.) Bake for one hour, turn off oven and let the skillet cool in the oven. From there on, you only need to be careful how you clean the skillet.
Cleaning a Cast Iron Skillet
Always wash the skillet by hand using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan's seasoning. If you have to scrub off stuck-on bits of food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Rub with olive oil or vegetable oil and place on the stove to heat through, then allow to cool. I heat my cast iron on the stove after we wash it to ensure all the water has evaporated and this will prevent rusting.