This “Spicy Salted Cod Shakshuka with Bacon, Feta & Courgettes” not only raised my hubby’s eyebrows, but sent his eyes popping out 2 feet, cartoon-style, “Aaah-OOOOOH-gaaah!!! ZOINK!!!” !!! (*Not kidding!!)
I watched as he took his first bite, which sent his eyes rolling back into his head, and was immediately followed by moans and groans of yummy sounds! No better compliment than that!! He has officially been “shakshuka-ed”!!
Though my hubby is a staunch breakfast eater of traditionally “designated” breakfast food items, I’m a little bit different. I confess! My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is….salad! (Or last night’s leftovers!) And I more prefer “breakfast food” for supper! So this dish, as hearty, spicy, and easy as it is to make, will take care of everyone’s preferences! Because this is a breakfast dish that’s just so flavorful and hearty, that you can enjoy it any time of day!
And just wait…it gets even better than that! You make it in ONE PAN. Yep! Who doesn’t love THAT, right?!! Life is crazy-busy enough to have to stand over the sink scrubbing pots and pans. Seriously.
Hello, gorgeous!!!! I know, right?!! Just look at that dish!!
So are you excited to make this easy, but extraordinary, exotic dish? Well, let’s go!!
~ A quick bit of important info for you first~ just so that you know what it is that you’re using and what this post is for! When I was asked if I’d like to participate in a Blogger Challenge and Annual Contest for CFE International using “saltfish”, I was immediately intrigued by this product that I personally had never heard of before. And after researching it’s history, I was so excited to try it! If you’re not familiar with “saltfish” either, it’s simply fresh-caught cod that’s filleted, salted and dried, (and more recently to include pollock or haddock), that originated in Newfoundland dating back over 500 years. It was also made by many maritimers and their families in Eastern Canada, as well as Norway, Iceland, and other northern coastal countries. The fresh-caught cod was sliced into thin filets, salted, and dried in the sun and fresh air to preserve it. Saltfish became a highly sought-after trade item, and it’s popularity quickly spread to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Western Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Saltfish is especially well-loved in Jamaica! “Ackee and Saltfish” is the National Dish of Jamaica!
Due to the over-fishing of cod, though, other fish are used today in addition to cod. But side-by-side taste tests done, say that most couldn’t tell the difference between the two. I did choose Cristobal® Boneless Skinless Cod, but the other varieties of their product are rated just as highly. And to prepare these filets for cooking, you simply soak them a good 8 – 12 hours, (or overnight), in the refrigerator changing the cold water a couple of times. This is to rehydrate it and get rid of most of the excess salt is all. Couldn’t be easier, and then you’re ready to have some fun!
So. I really wanted to make something special and exotic for this coveted fish, and decided to venture out of my comfort zone and make a dish that has captured my attention for quite some time now. I’ve kept “shakshuka” filed away for a rainy-day surprise for the hubs, and now was the time to just go for it! This is not a traditional shakshuka like you would expect to taste if you were in say, Tunisia, in Northern Africa where it originated, or the Middle East and Mediterranean where it is also extremely popular. My version became a delightful fusion of lots of different cultures and flavors to all come together in a very harmonious, wild and crazy party for the tastebuds! Like a chef once told me, “If your tongue isn’t singing and dancing, and you don’t have breath, you didn’t really eat!” 😉
And believe me, all the flavors that are in this dish are having one magnificent concert!
Basically just sauté, simmer and fold in!
Crack the eggs over the top, cover, simmer, and…WHOA!!!!
Ta-dah!!!! Is that not a thing of beauty or what?!! Almost too pretty to eat!!
(I even added a scoop of rice for extra fun! Why not, right?!)
And it’s so easy!! You simply add your ingredients into a cast iron skillet and simmer until they’re so happy, that you have to move the pan to the side to cool down the party before the nosy neighbors call the cops!
The eggs themselves are cooked by simply just making a few shallow wells in the top of the spicy-rich tomato, pepper and cod sauce with the back of your spoon, cracking a few eggs into each of the wells, and then covering the pan with a lid and lightly simmering them until you’re all happy! *You traditionally only want to simmer this until the whites are just barely opaque, and the yolks still have a little bit of runniness. That’s just so that you can sop up all that yumminess with some crusty bread, pitas, or tortillas! But cook your eggs as you enjoy them normally. (I added a scoop of cooked rice to the party for extra fun! And just before baking, I snuck in a little feta cheese!) You can play around with “shakshuka” any way that you like though, as traditionally, it was made by adding whatever bits ‘n pieces were on hand. (I added some courgettes (skinny zucchini and yellow squash) for extra fun!) But if that’s not your thing, you could certainly swap it out for some spinach or even kale! Just use whatever you have on hand that needs to be used up!
Besides being voracious cheese lovers, we’re also admitted carnivours. So, yea, like bacon wasn’t going to happily crash the party? So…yep. In that went, too!!!
This dish really turned out incredible! The sauce is pheNOMenal, loaded with healthy ingredients, hearty enough for a filling meal any time of day, and simple to make…it’s the perfect dish! The hubs was amazed and I had a blast creating it! It smelled heavenly simmering, and we LOVED the sauce! I’m actually not much for eggs, so I simply had mine with a little rice and we were BOTH happy campers! SO versatile!!!
Thank you so much to CFE International and Cristobal® for having me! I learned so much about your company, your crazy good product, and ventured out of my comfort zone to create a dish that I’m very proud of and one that my hubby raved over! Truly special, so much fun, and definitely company worthy! I was amazed at how easy it was to use, it rehydrated beautifully, and had a nice mild taste, not “fishy” at all, just as fish should taste like! Very good!!
*You can find this product at your local participating stores including: Costco, Food Bazaar, H Mart, Key Foods, Jetro, Shaws and ShopRite! (*If your store doesn’t have it, you can always ask that they get some in. Most stores are more than happy to accommodate their customers).
- For Shakshuka Sauce:
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 Tbl. butter
- 1 - 4 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (1 for mild, 2-3 for medium, 4 if you like it hot!)
- 1 sweet red (or green) cubanelle pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
- ¼ of a large red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ Tbl. kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes with the juice, crush by hand or with a potato masher
- 4 Tbl. tomato paste
- 1 Tbl. paprika
- 1 Tbl. cumin
- 1 Tbl. chili powder
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- ½ tsp. cayenne
- ¼ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. coriander
- 2 tsp. honey, or to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ cups diced courgettes (the long skinny variety), I used yellow squash and zucchini (*quarter lengthwise and slice ¼")
- ½ of a 16 oz. bag (8 oz.) *prepped and coarsely chopped in very small bite-sized pieces Cristobal® Cod saltfish, (*easy prep directions below)
- 2 strips quality thick-cut crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled or torn into small pieces
- Rest of Ingredients:
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- (one small serving of rice, optional but fun!)
- 4 - 6 eggs, as you like
- Garnish Suggestions:
- ¼ cup more crumbled feta cheese, finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, snipped fresh green onion, hot sauce, and of course more bacon!
- (*Serve with warmed chunks of crusty bread, flour tortillas, naan, or pita triangles for sopping and scooping!)
- The night before, place saltfish into medium bowl and cover completely with cold water. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, drain the water and refill to cover again with clean cold water. Keep chilled. (*You can keep in water in the fridge, changing several times, up to 3 days). Drain when using.
- In large deep cast iron skillet, add oil and butter and melt over medium heat. Add peppers and red onion, and sauté until just tender. Add garlic and salt, and sauté 1 more minute. Set aside. Add rest of Shakshuka Sauce ingredients breaking up tomatoes with your hand as you add them, stir to combine, return to heat, bring to a simmer, and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until thickening but still just a little loose. Stirring occasionally. (*Add a little water if too thick). Reduce heat to Low. Fold in ¼ cup feta cheese, or as much as you like.
- Make a few shallow wells in the sauce with the back of a large serving spoon and crack eggs into the wells.
- Place on lid and simmer until whites are completely opaque and yolks are done to your liking. About 15 - 20 minutes. Less if you like runny eggs.
- Remove from heat and garnish as desired. Serve hot with warm crusty bread, pita triangles, or flour tortillas for dipping, scooping and sopping! Enjoy!
- *This dish is eaten straight from the pan. SO much fun!!!
**You can also make larger batches of this sauce, freeze it, and have it on hand to enjoy Shakshuka whenever you'd like for a quick meal!
*Though I was sent product to use, any and all opinions are solely my own.