Chocshuka (aka Chocolate Shakshuka)
When Ethel the Goat first came into my life and tempted me with the #capricornchallenge, I was really excited at the prospect of creating some savoury chocolate and goats cheese dishes. When the hamper arrived full of good things, including olive oil, onions, peppers, tomatoes, thyme and goat’s cheese of course, the very first thing I thought about was a chocolate version of Shakshuka.
Shakshuka is a North African dish which is purportedly the precursor to the Spanish Omelette. It’s a dish of onions, peppers and tomatoes topped off with poached eggs and is really delicious. This together with Megadarra, a Middle Eastern rice and lentil dish is a staple in our house, especially if we have friends or family eating with us. I first had it when I was living in Egypt and immediately fell in love. Much as I love it, however, I had never had it with chocolate before – well why not? As goats cheese was the challenge ingredient, I substituted this for the eggs and thus Chocshuka was born.
We ate the shakshuka, scooping it up with ciabatta bread and it was even better than I was hoping. The chocolate added a certain richness and depth, without turning this flavoursome, colourful and inviting dish into the vegetable equivalent of Nile mud.
- 1 red onion - sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large red pepper - deseeded and cut into strips lengthways
- 1 large yellow pepper - deseeded and cut into strips lengthways
- 1 red hot chilli pepper - deseeded and finely chopped (I used lacotto)
- 300g small ripe tomatoes - halved
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 70% dark chocolate - chopped
- 100g soft goat's cheese - sliced (I used Capricorn)
- Prep the ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a large deep frying pan and threw in the cumin seeds.
- Add the onion and fry gently until soft.
- Add the peppers to the pan and stir.
- Adde the chilli and tomatoes, filled by the garlic and thyme.
- Season with a little salt and pepper and add a splash of water.
- Stir and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add 25g of chopped 70% dark chocolate and stir until fully incorporated.
- Place the goat's cheese on top and allow to melt a little before serving.
- Serve with bread for a quick meal or rice for something a bit more substantial.
- For a special occasion, increase the quantity and serve with megadarra.
- For a classic version crack a couple of eggs over the top, five minutes before dishing up.