Everyone has those recipes. Those break-the-emergency-glass, cook in times of extreme darkness and desperation, use your tears as a seasoning kind of recipes. When it feels like you’ve fallen down and can’t get up, cooking can be cathartic. You’re feeding yourself and you’re reminding yourself that you matter and that you are important and that you’ve survived 100% of everything thrown at you thus far and that’s a pretty good track record, but just to be sure, whip out a saucepan and a whisk to remind yourself.
Here’s what you’ll need. I’m of the opinion that’s it’s better to overcook than undercook, so ingredients are variable on this one.
1 or 2 handfuls of feta or mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup to 1/2 a bottle of tomato sauce
1 bell pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
“What in the blazes is all that?” you’re thinking as you read this. “I’m in a time of bloody crisis, I don’t have to go to the grocery store and buy handfuls of green garbage! I’m not a rabbit!”
You’re right. Look, shakshuka is just eggs in tomato sauce and whatever you have lying around your house. Chicken, pine nuts, ramen noodles, whatever. Get crazy with it. It doesn’t matter what you put in. The point is having something warm to fill your stomach and please your soul.
Get out a saucepan. Dribble a few tablespoons of oil on it. Light a fire under it. Let it simmer. Add the onions, peppers and other vegetable paraphernalia you have around the house.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs and let them sit in a bowl. Try and work up some energy stirring the sauce.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the egg mixture.
Pour the tomato sauce onto the saucepan when the oil is bubbling. At this point, your house should start smelling good again and you should start feeling almost human again. You’re not alone in the world, or if you are, it doesn’t matter. Mix it up with the vegetables. Stir in the cheese. Spoon in the eggs.
Lower the flavor and cover the concoction. Let it set.
Return when the eggs are white and the yolks are hidden away under them.
Don’t bother transferring to a plate. Eat it straight out of the pan. It’s going to be okay.
Wash those dishes after. Because if you don’t wash them immediately, you probably never will.
Shira Feder worries about everything, always. You can reach her at email@example.com