Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Omega Sector Shakshuka

Harlequin authors are sharing their favorite recipes this week. Head on over to Twitter with the hashtag #sweetandspicyholiday to find some great ideas and maybe fine a new author to read! My contribution is Omega Sector Shakshuka! 

Shakshuka is a Northern African/Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, and peppers, often spiced with cumin. It is a common breakfast food, but can be served as any meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5-6 (but it’s so easy to make more or less)

1 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 eggs
½ medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green and/or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
Chili flakes (sprinkled for spicy flavor)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Pinch of sugar (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Chopped parsley (optional)

Besides being totally delish, another great thing about this recipe is its flexibility. Use whatever you want/have on hand in your base: mushrooms, eggplant, spinach, jalapenos, parsley, green chilies… (I once diced potatoes and put them in)


1. Heat oil in deep, large pan on medium. Add onion and sauté until softened (3-5 minutes). Add garlic until fragrant (1-2 more minutes), then add peppers (5-7 more minutes).

2. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka

3. Once sufficiently thick, crack in the eggs one by one on top of mixture (as if you were frying them), making sure to space them out evenly. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer and condense for 10-15 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your eggs.

4. Once the eggs are cooked, garnish with chopped parsley, and the shakshuka is ready to be served with pita or challah bread!

Derek Waterman, the hero in my December Intrigue SPECIAL FORCES SAVIOR did multiple tours in the Middle East during his time in the Army. Shakshuka would undoubtedly been something he became acquainted with there. Quick, easy, made up of whatever is on hand -- the perfect recipe for a solider who wanted to fix his own meal.

Our family of six (including four teenagers!) loves it too. Introduced to us by an Israeli neighbor, this has become a weekly staple in our house, a breakfast food we love to have for dinner!

Be sure to order your copy of SPECIAL FORCES SAVIOR -- Book 1 in the critically acclaimed Omega Sector: Critical Response series. Available Dec 15th.

Book 2 - FULLY COMMITTED is available mid-January. 

Details/excerpts/buy links  HERE.

© 2016 - All rights reserved.

"Did I misread what I saw? Was it all in my imagination?”

Lie to her. That was all he needed to do. One tiny lie, let her down easy, and avert this crisis. Moments passed. It was his tactical advantage and he knew he should take it.

But looking into her precious brown eyes, her sweet face, he couldn’t. “No. You didn’t imagine it.”

She took a step closer. He took a step back.

“Why, Derek?” Her question barely more than a whisper. “Why have you stayed away from me all this time? You’ve had to know I wanted to be with you.”

“Molly, our worlds don’t mix. I’m not the right person for you.”

“Don’t you think I should be the judge of that?”