What makes our food Jewish is the soul and passion that we bring to it. As Jews of a variety of backgrounds and histories, I see food as the perfect way to embrace our differences that bring us together as a people and a family.
Shakshuka, the North African classic poached egg dish, is a breakfast staple in Jewish and Arab homes all over the world. Both traditional shakshuka and Mexican cuisine are full of peppers, tomatoes, and spices; both are about heat, texture, spice, and care. As a Mexican-American Jew, I thought, “Why not combine the two?” My recipe for Mexican shakshuka is influenced by another classic dish, chilaquiles, by layering freshly fried tortillas, beans, shakshuka, and topped with queso fresco, avocado and cilantro.
This dish, while not too different from traditional shakshuka or from chilaquiles, is the essence of my being as a Mexican-American Jew. Read more about this dish, why I created it, and how it connects me to my Mexican and Jewish identities.
- Mix taco seasonings together; set to side.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet and sauté poblanos and jalapeños to bring out a roasted flavor. Peppers should be lightly charred when done. Remove from heat.
- Roast tomatoes (see directions in prior step) to get char on the skins. Remove from heat.
- Dice onion, set to side.
- Once cooled, chop roasted tomatoes, poblanos, jalapenos, and red pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and peppers to finish cooking until soft.
- Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoning; stir into onion and pepper mixture.
- Add tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes have thickened. Taste the mixture; make sure you have enough salt and taco seasoning. Add more as desired.
- Create small divots in the tomatoes and gently crack one egg in each divot.
- Cook eggs until whites are set and to your desired yolk hardness.
- Place a handful of corn tortilla chips in bottom of large bowl. It is best if the tortilla chips are made fresh, but you can also buy corn tortillas, cut into quarters, fry in a skillet and sprinkle with garlic salt, or buy tortilla chips.
- Place a spoonful of black beans on top of the tortilla chips.
- Serve shakshuka over the tortilla chips and beans.
- Add queso fresco, cilantro, and avocado to taste.
Amanda Ryan is a religious studies and sociology graduate student, an elected official, and a Latina Jew. She works as the program director for the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, NE, promoting interfaith understanding, empathy, and relationships.