The Snowpocalypse of 2014 was such a
(blessing) in so many ways. Not only did we see our city perform amazing acts of kindness in a collective stressful moment, but this Shakshuka Pizza recipe was born.
In case you haven’t heard, the little Kehilla is the community that could. Over the past five years, more and more people (some observant, others not) have moved within walking distance to this warm synagogue community. And one of the upsides to this growing group of people is that we only need to walk a few moments to ask our friendly Jewish neighbors for a cup of sugar.
So when bad weather hit and the cabin fever crept in, it became a perfect moment for a little fusion cooking experiment. Before I knew it, a dozen good friends were cozied in my home, sipping on homemade amaretto and playing card games.
Let’s think about this for a moment: what is pizza? It is bread with tomato sauce and your favorite toppings. So what could possibly go wrong if you replaced marinara with shakshuka sauce? NOTHING.
Most people have their own little shakshuka recipe. I will admit, my recipe includes spices you would not normally find in a shakshuka, but no one is complaining and everyone is asking for seconds. If my "spice palette" seems daunting to you, then remember that shakshuka sauce is really hard to mess up.
We should also discuss the cheese situation. Shakshuka doesn't traditionally have cheese, but any visit to a good shakshuka restaurant in Israel, and you will find slices of feta or goat cheese as options on the menu.
I have selected goat cheese. We also tried feta, but the goat balanced the acidity of the tomato better.
I also made my own pizza dough, but ain't nobody got time for that on a busy day. There is no shame in a frozen or pre-made crust.
Yields 2 pizzas.
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 diced green pepper
1 diced yellow onion
3 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
3 T oil of your choice (Vegetable, olive, canola...whatevs)
2 T fenugreek (this spice is the key to my heart)
1 1/2 T paprika
1 T cumin
1 t sumac
1/8 t cayenne or other heat you prefer
1/8 white pepper
1/8 t celery seed
On medium-high heat, saute the onions in butter until translucent. Add the oil, peppers, and half of the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add in your spices and oil, and saute for another 3-5 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes and the rest of the garlic. Let the sauce cook for a good 10-20 minutes. Taste as you go. Add more spices as you go, if need be. (I am heavy handed with my spices. I probably use a lot more than what is mentioned above, but I don't want to burn your mouth off.)
DOUGH---unless you are very smart and buy a pre-made crust
4 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 t salt
1 t instant yeast
1/4 c olive oil
2 c very cold water
You should use a mixer for this, unless you are intersted in skipping your upper body workout at the gym. In which case, go to town because this takes elbow grease. If you are mixing by hand, please knead the dough for 20 minutes. I bet the pre-made stuff is sounding great right now.
Mix together your dry ingredients. On a slow setting, slowly add 3/4 of the cold water. Turn the mixer to medium and let it go for about three minutes. If you need to, slowly add the rest of the water, but it may not be necessary. Let the mixer knead the heck out of that dough for about 10 minutes. It should be very elasticy, and not tear easily if you stretch it out.
Make a proof box out of your oven. Place a bowl of water in the oven. Preheat it to 350, and then turn it off. Stick in your dough and walk away for about an hour. This is going to give the gluten in the dough time to rest.
I mean, duh. It is tough being dough. It needs to relax.
ASSEMBLE YOUR PIZZA
Preheat the oven to 400.
Lightly bake off your crust. Spread the sauce over the crust. Generously sprinkle chunks of goat cheese over the pizza. Gingerly add one egg at a time to the top of the pizza. You can make little pockets in the sauce to help keep them contained. I put 6 eggs on each pizza.
Pop those suckers in the oven AND THEN WAIT FOR THE GLORY TO BAKE! Your eggs are done when the yolk is partially baked.