On Our Radar: Trader Joe’s Shakshuka Starter Kit
We are loving this super simple way of spicing up breakfast (or lunch) (or dinner)
When I first spotted our garden columnist Kevin Espiritu’s recipe for traditional shakshouka in this month’s Garden Guide, it seemed serendipitous. Mere weeks prior, we’d seen this tiny, unassuming box in the freezer section of our local Trader Joe’s and popped it in the cart. It wasn’t until the checkout that anything felt out of the ordinary. It was one of those moments where you feel like a celebrity, the cashiers all gushing over your exceptional taste in their products, saying awestruck things like “Have you tried this yet? It’s amazing,” and “We keep running out of these.”
Then it sat in our freezer at home until the magazine issue went to print. If you know the print cycle at all, you may also be wondering how often I clean out my freezer. This weekend, though, in the name of a digital exclusive, I decided to whip up a shakshouka (or “shakshuka” as it is sometimes written), with the help of the Trader Joe’s $1.99 Shakshuka Starter.
It felt a little odd to dump a bowl-shaped ice cube of seasoned tomato and onion mixture into my frying pan, but I was just following instructions. (Note: there are also microwave directions but I opted for the stovetop method.) After a few minutes of simmering, it was saucy and ready for the eggs. I’ve tried baked egg dishes before, but this one didn’t require baking, just simmering (covered or not) until the eggs are as firm as you desire.
The end result was delicious, if not very photogenic. (In fact very unphotogenic, but that’s not why I eat breakfast.) Having a few fresh leaves of cilantro as pictured on the packaging would have gone a long way in convincing me this wasn’t a $1.99 frozen meal.
If you want to shake up your breakfast without actually chopping onions, go for it. But if you want to serve authentic shakshouka to impress and delight any world travelers waking up in your home, maybe stick to Kevin’s recipe (or at the very least, hide the box and don’t forget the fresh herbs).
Get our full recipe for traditional shakshouka here.