I know it sounds silly and trite, but it makes my heart race with almost overwhelming anxiety when I make a recipe up that uses special ingredients. Want me to throw fridge surprise together? No problem. Any second of any day. Want me to make something with four of my homegrown tomatoes and one special Burrata chunk from an Italian cheese mart, as gifted to me by a chef? Nope. Crumbling with nerves. What if I mess up and the ingredients go to waste? What if the ingredients get outshined by something because I’m not a real chef and I don’t really know sh*t about anything?!
I was so nervous making this Shakshuka at first, but I had to stop and smile about it, because I’ve come a long way. I rarely follow recipes to the letter anymore, and that makes me proud.
I first had Shakshuka in Israel and shared it with some of the most dear people I’ve ever known. We were a hodgepodge group of strangers who in 10 days got closer than people do in 10 years. The experience inspired me to get my one and only tattoo – need I say more? Our last meal together was a classic Shakshuka that we all dove into together, tearing off pieces of each other’s bread and basically eating out of each other’s mouths, which sounds gross but was so family-style wonderful that we need a new term for family-style. This dish is also my rendition of Sicilian Baked Eggs. Because that’s the recipe I glanced at to get some inspo.
Then I really went off the rails and made the base of this pretty little thing coconut rice. You heard me. It gave this dish a creamy crust and a little Paella wink. Mainly, we had leftover coconut rice, and I wanted to use it.
Enjoy this easy peasy, multi-culti brunch must!
Brunch Shakshuka Paella
1 1/2 cups coconut rice*
1 jar tomato sauce
1 garlic clove sliced thin
1 talblespoon olive oil
1 burrata lump
Pinch salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Warm olive oil in cast iron skillet, and then add garlic for about a minute, stirring constantly until fragrant.
- Add coconut rice as base layer, and turn off heat
- Pour tomato sauce on top, covering all rice and sprinkle some salt and pepper
- Make a little well in the middle of the pan, but do not go to the bottom – just a very small well in the sauce later. Crack your egg over this, and do not touch it
- Pull off blobs of Burrata and place sporadically around the egg, and let sit on top of sauce.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes – anything more and your egg won’t be runny.
*To make the coconut rice, make rice on the stove as you normally would, but instead of using water, use one can of coconut milk. It will seem milky and like too much liquid at first, but it thickens up and is incredible! Sometimes I sauté shallots in the pan and toast the rice before pouring in the coconut milk, which is epically better.