In New Mexico we call it huevos rancheros, in Italy it’s called purgatorio, and in Yemen it’s called shakshuka. But whatever you call it, poaching eggs in a spicy tomato sauce is a frugal breakfast dish that also serves a family for lunch or dinner. And it’s easy to make! Here’s how:
(Serves 4 to 6)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon or more cayenne (depending upon how hot you want it)
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes when in season, chopped (or 1, 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped)
- 5 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) of your favorite cheese, like queso fresco, queso blanco, cotija, or feta
- 6 local eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro to taste
Preheat oven to 400F (375F for those living below 3,000′)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika, and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper taste. Simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 15 minutes (less time if you’re using canned). Stir in crumbled cheese.
Crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. (Alternately you can do as shown in the photo and transfer the tomato mixture into single-serving baking dishes and crack the eggs on top.)
Transfer to oven and bake until eggs are just set (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle with cilantro and more cheese, if desired.
Photos by Christina Keibler. Recipe adapted from this one from the New York Times.