One of my favorite middle-eastern dishes is Shakshuka. It’s basically a tomato-base of stewed vegetables with the eggs cooked right in the sauce. I absolutely adore it but it wreaks havoc on my digestive system due to the acidity in the tomatoes. So, never one to give up anything I love, I came up with this non-tomato concoction and changed the name to make it my own. It’s not quite as stewy as traditional Shakshuka—it’s a bit firmer—but it’s equally delicious.
KASHUKA (serves one)
1 Idaho potato, rinsed, pealed and grated (large grate)
1 vadalia onion, pealed and grated (large grate)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup fresh spinach, washed
¼ cup parmesan cheese grated, (fine grate)
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 sliced avocado
In a large bowl, combine the grated potato and onion. Using a cheesecloth or clean linen dishcloth, squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can and discard. Add the garlic, spinach, parmesan, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the potato/onion mixture.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of oil making sure to coat the entire pan. Just as the oil begins to smoke, add the potato mixture to the pan and flatten it so that the entire bottom of pan is covered. Cook untouched for about four to five minutes until the bottom begins to brown. Shake the pan to loosen the potato cake. If it is sticking, gently use a spatula to loosen it from pan.
Using a plate that can cover the skillet, flip the potato cake onto the plate. Add two more tablespoons of oil into the skillet allowing it to come up to temperature. Slide the cake back in the skillet with the uncooked side down. Don’t forget to use potholders. If it has come apart a bit, just use the spatula to try to bring it back together. (If you can flip an omelet over like a pro, then you should be able to flip the potato cake too. But be careful. You don’t want half your dinner on the floor.)
Using a soup ladle, make a dent in the center of the potato cake. Crack open an egg and gentle place the raw egg in the dent. Cook for four to five more minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking.
To serve, carefully use a spatula to loosen the potato cake. Slide it onto a plate trying not to break the egg. Place the sliced avocado around the cake.