Matbukha Recipe and Shakshuka Variation. Gluten-Free
Posted on 16th of April, 2013 by Lévana
Matbukha (Salade Cuite) is one of our Moroccan favorite dishes, a sort of comfort food for expats and honorary Sephardis alike: See how they mop that sauce with their bread! My Matbukha version has roasted garlic in it, for an easily added wonderful layer of flavor.
Shakshuka: Please scroll down for instructions.
1 whole head garlic
2 red bell peppers, washed, cored, and seeded
2–3 jalapeño peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, or 8 plum tomatoes, diced small (settle for 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, liquid and all)
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Slice about ¼ inch off the pointed end of the head of garlic, leaving the cloves exposed. Drizzle the olive oil onto the garlic and the peppers, place them on a cookie sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the peppers are charred (the peppers might be ready a few minutes before the garlic). Press the cloves out of their skins while still warm and mash with a fork. Peel the peppers and cut them into thin strips.
In a heavy, wide-bottom pot, bring the tomatoes, oil, and paprika to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the roasted garlic and peppers, and cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Check the liquid. All of the liquid should evaporate, and the oil will resurface. If the oil has not resurfaced, cook uncovered for just a few more minutes, stirring to prevent scorching (if you neglect this step, you will not get the desired reduced Matbukha look and texture but a glorified tomato sauce). Add the minced garlic and the salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to two weeks (gentle reminder: No double-dipping!). Use a slotted spoon to serve so the oil stays behind. Makes about 3 cups.
Shakshuka is nothing more than Matbukha with eggs scrambled into it and served as a main course, and gets its funny name from the Arabic word for “scramble”. But for Shakshuka use fresh tomatoes, and 1/4 cup oil total; no need to roast anything, just sauté the garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and add the spices. OK if it is not totally reduced like for Matbukha, just be sure to give it a really good sauté to reduce the tomatoes. Stir 8 eggs into the Matbukha on a medium flame, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon, all the way at the end of cooking, and cook just a few more minutes, until the eggs are barely set. If you would rather end up with a more pristine look, leave the eggs whole, break them one by one, and set them over the mixture, also at the end of cooking, close but not touching, and cook covered on a low flame until they look barely set. I am insisting on the eggs not getting hard, which makes them lose all their creaminess, ending up in an uninspired dish.
You can jazz up up your Shakshuka, as I do, by adding greens in your sauté, for a green Shakshuka: lots of chopped parsley, or chopped spinach, swiss chard or kale leaves. Guess what? You can even add fish cubes, at the same time you add the eggs, and end up with a fabulous main course. You can also make a dairy Shakshuka, by adding cubed feta (in this case no added salt anywhere)
Serve hot, alone or with a good whole-grain bread, or on a bed of cooked (canned OK) white beans (except on Passover). Makes 8 servings.