10 Recipes for Middle Eastern-Inspired Meals

Ancient traditions will meet modern standards in an old world-new world fusion when you take your kitchen on a trip to the Middle East. Geographically, the Middle East covers a fair amount of land, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to your culinary choices. The USA Today describes Middle Eastern food as having a quality of homogenous diversity. Certain dishes will be the same — or similar — across regions while others have a distinctly local stamp. Yogurts, cheeses, chicken, beef, lamb, peppers, and lentils are staple ingredients in meals, boosted by spices like cumin, tumeric, and nutmeg. Spicy, strong, and simple to prepare, which of these 10 recipes will you be making?

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclonebill/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclonebill/

1. Shakshuka

When providing this recipe to The New York Times, Melissa Clark explains that she had countless versions of shakshuka – eggs baked in tomato sauce — while she was there. You’ll only need one skillet to make it, and it can easily transition from breakfast, to lunch, or dinner. Serve with pita bread if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.

Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.