By 300 Sandwiches
In an ideal morning, I can get a workout in, make a sandwich, write about said sandwich, blow dry my hair and still have time for coffee with E. But most days, when work begins at 10 AM, not all of those things can happen. Then I feel like a failure for not doing it all (and I don’t even have kids—I can imagine moms must struggle with this every morning).
The worst part—I take it out on E. “I can’t DO EVERYTHING!” I moan, as he stands there perplexed in his natty white robe, contemplating if he should slip a shot of whiskey in my coffee to calm me down.
I have to remind myself: no one can save the planet and make a sandwich all before lunch. Not even the First Mom, Michelle Obama. Let the dishes sit in the sink. Let my hair go curly instead of getting blown straight. Miss a morning workout. Either way, it’s okay. And it’s certainly not E’s fault!
I chose shakshuka today because I remember back to the first time we made this dish, maybe a year ago, when I was hovering around sandwich number 30. I was having one of those “I can’t do it all” mornings, but on top of that I felt even more embarrassed because I didn’t know how to cook shakshuka properly. I think I burned the eggs or forgot to get basil or something. But after a year of practice in the kitchen, today I could handle the meal on my own no problem. Actually, with my eyes closed. E was quite impressed.
(Plus, how much fun is it to repeat “shakshuka” over and over? “Shak-SHOOOK–ahhhh!” “SHAK–shooook–ahhh!” It’s like what superheroes say before their superhuman powers kick in so they can slay the bad guys.)
Shakshuka only takes about 20 minutes to make, leaving time do other things in the morning. But after breakfast, I left the dishes in the sink. And that was okay. More so, because E ended up cleaning them while I blew out my hair. I guess I can’t do it all—but I don’t have to, because I have help.
4 English muffins or Portuguese sandwich muffins
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups marinara sauce (I use Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce. It has the perfect amount of sweetness)
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small red onion, cut into strips
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large skillet, warm olive oil, then add garlic. Then add green and red peppers and onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add marinara sauce, and stir. Simmer for another five minutes.
Next, scoop out four small craters in the sauce with a spoon to make room for eggs. Crack eggs into a small saucer, then pour into the indentations. Cover with a lid, and cook for about 6 minutes or until eggs are desired doneness. When eggs are near done, sprinkle cheese on top, and layer fresh basil leaves in the mixture evenly (or you can chop the basil and sprinkle on at the end of cooking).
Meanwhile, toast bread. Remove shakshuka from heat. Lay out sides of roll next to each other, and with a spatula scoop out one egg with peppers and sauce onto roll (I like tons of sauce and peppers, like a 1-to-5 ratio of egg to sauce). Serve. Makes four open faced sandwiches.