What happens when someone abandons their blog for two months and then makes a meek attempt to creep back in and pretend they were never gone? You just go with it, okay? Also, what happens when someone still tries to make a 2014 year review happen at the end of January 2015? You give them a second strike and hope that their white shakshuka recipe can make up for the unforgivable sins that are about to be committed. So where have I been, wondered no one around here except for my mom. I’ve been busy, so busy that I have trouble fitting in watching my favorite TV shows (obnoxious, I KNOW). I took on a lot of different projects and work opportunities in pursuit of finding what I love. I overextended myself and found myself thinking longingly about my abandoned blog and when I could find any time to tend to it. I turned 28 and decided to make a few changes. I quit my job, almost a year after leaving my boring office job. I got better at identifying the things that make me happy and walking away from the things that don’t. I successfully tricked a living, breathing, wonderful man to propose marriage to me. I kept my dog alive for another year. And I spent time with lots of people that I love. 2014 was great. 2015 can only get better.
I thought a lot about why I started the 5,849,457th food blog on the internet. For a while I was hoping to become the Leandra Medine of the food world, but with time I came to appreciate the small space I built for myself, freeing all the ideas I’ve kept inside my head to the outside world. Rivka’s Kitchen let’s me embrace who I really am – a New Jersey girl living in a Middle Eastern world. And I love this Middle Eastern world. It is what has fostered my evolution into becoming the epicurean I am today. So here is my first contribution to 2015, a white shakshuka. Shakshuka is a staple in the Israeli breakfast regimen. Allegedly hailing from Tunisia, the dish often features tomato sauce, chili peppers, onions, cumin and poached eggs. Hard as I tried, I could never get into shakshukas. So I decided to give the classic a twist and turn it from red to white. Though often enjoyed for breakfast, you can make this egg filled wonder anytime of the day. Enjoy! White Shakshuka Serves 4-5
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper (or any other spicy pepper) deseeded and minced
- 1 cup of mushrooms (I used forest mushrooms and champignon, but any will do and I encourage mixing it up)
- 1 cup of spinach, loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup cream
- 150 grams (5.3 oz.) gruyere cheese, sliced thin
- 5 large eggs
- Crusty bread
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and spicy pepper and and saute for 3 more minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Finally add in the spinach, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Once the spinach has wilted, add the cream and let cook for another minute. Cover with the slices of gruyere and let melt slightly.
- Make a small indent in the mix and crack the eggs evenly over the sauce and make sure to spread the egg whites either by tilting the pan or distributing with a spoon. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the eggs reached your desired consistency (I like them on the runny side). Serve with bread.