Mediterranean Shakshouka

By xoxo

REPOSTING my favorite Middle Eastern Breakfast!

I was first introduced to Shakshouka in Jerusalem when I got married in 2009. Believed to be of Tunisian origin, Shakshouka is a breakfast dish of poached eggs in sauce of tomatoes, jalapeños and garlic. Jerusalem is known for their coffee shops that not only serve delicious coffee, but really good sandwiches, pastries and breakfast foods. It was at the coffee shop called Hillel that I tried a Shakshouka when my sister-in-law recommended it. One bite and I was instantly in love. This recipe is inspired by all those delicious Shakshoukas I had at Jerusalem coffee shops and to the last Shakshouka my father-in-law made for my husband and I before we moved to the US.

Mediterranean Shakshouka

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
A handful of basil, roughly chopped
6 eggs

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 30 seconds, or until fragrant and garlic is pink. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper(to taste) and bring liquid of tomato to boil. Bring down to low heat and allow the tomatoes to simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes in their own juices. Cover and cook another 10 minutes until soft and tender. Add olives and sauté for a 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the feta cheese and crack the eggs over the hash. Cover pan and cook until eggs have a thin layer of white over the yolk (be careful not to overcook egg, you want them to still be runny). Basically, we are pouching the eggs in the tomato sauce. Turn off heat and add the remaining feta cheese and basil. Serve with toasted bread.

Mediterranean Shakshouka

Thai Shrimp Burger

By xoxo

shrimp burger 2 (1)


Lately I’ve been really into the show, The Kitchen, on the Food Network. I must admit, I wasn’t so sure what I thought of it when it first aired being a fan of The Chew on ABC. But after giving it a few episodes, I can honestly say it’s a great cooking show that I have learned a lot from and picked up a ton of useful cooking tips.

A couple weeks again, one of the hosts, Katie Lee, made a Shrimp Burger. A Shrimp Burger! I’m such a burger fanatic and obsessed with anything shellfish. Shockingly, never, ever had had a Shrimp Burger! When I saw Katie making it, my mouth was watering the whole time! She made a classic Shrimp Burger with Old Bay seasoning. Looked freakin delicious! I knew right when I saw that Shrimp Burger, I had to make one ASAP.

So, I did my take on. I know Shrimp loves Thai flavors and I love Shrimp and Thai flavors together. So goooooood. Bless my husband. He’s always the one that tastes all my food….even if it’s something I’ve never made and was not too sure about. But even though I had never made a Shrimp Burger before, I knew I was going to nail this one.

When it comes to burgers or any kind of ground, spiced meat or seafood, you should always cook test a little bit of it before making the final product. So for this Shrimp Burger, I added a tablespoon of canola in small skillet over medium-high heat. Formed a mini patty out of the shrimp burger mixture in my hand and seared it in the pan for a couple minutes on each side. I tried it and made sure that it was just right. This way, if your mixture was off or under seasoned, you can always adjust it!

I decided to pair this Thai Shrimp Burger with a simple slaw, some fresh slices of tomato and avocado and a bail aioli. All these delicious ingredients in between two perfectly toasted brioche buns and taaa-daaaaa, you have a gorgeous, super tasty Shrimp Burger! It was heavenly!!


Thai Shrimp Burger

1 pound peeled and deveined medium size shrimp

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 scallions, thinly sliced

A small handful of basil, julienned

1 egg

1 tablespoon of canola oil and ¼ cup canola oil

1 tomato, thinly sliced and seasoned with salt and black pepper

1 Avocado, skin and seed removed, thinly sliced and seasoned with salt and black pepper

4 brioche buns, halved and lightly toasted

Slaw, recipe below

Basil aioli, recipe below

For the shrimp burgers, coarsely chop half the shrimp (into 1 inch pieces) and pulse the remaining shrimp in a food processor until smooth. The coarsely chopped shrimp with add texture against the pureed shrimp. Combined both the shrimp in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, fish sauce, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, scallions, basil and egg.

Before refrigerating or forming your mixture into patties, I like to test the mixture out. In a small pan, add a tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat. Take a small handful of your mixture and form into a mini patty. Add your mini patty to the hot pan and sear on both sides for 1.5-2 minutes. Try your patty and make sure its seasoned well. If not, adjust seasonings.

Now that you made sure your mixture is perfect, refrigerate it for 10 minutes and then form into 4 patties. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes.


Heat your remaining canola oil in a large pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook the shrimp burgers for approximately 3 minutes on each side.


To assemble: Spread basil aioli on bottom bun. Top with a shrimp burger, some tomato slices, avocado slices and slaw. Enjoy!



½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

½ cup of green cabbage, thinly sliced

¼ cup of carrots, thinly sliced

¼ cup of scallions, julienned

¼ cup of fresh basil, julienned

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

½ lime, squeezed

Add the red cabbage, green cabbage, scallions and basil to a bowl. For the dressing, add the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and lime juice to a small bowl. Mix well and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, toss all your ingredients and adjust your seasonings to your liking.

Basil Aioli

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon of lemon zest

A squeeze of fresh lemon

Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix the mayonnaise, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice in a bowl. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

shrimp burger 1 (1)

Grilled Bone-in Ribeye

By xoxo

photo (3)

Grilled Bone-in Ribeye. My other love and weakness that always satisfies my carnivoure self. A beautiful steak like this one deserves all the love and care in order to grilll it to perfection. Here are a couple steps I take to make the most delcious Bone-in Ribeye:

1. Season your steak well. I like to use a combination of spices: garlic salt, black pepper, cayanne pepper and brown sugar. The brown sugar will add a nice , carmelized crust to the steak and the cayanne adds a little heat to compliment the sweetness of the brown sugar. Sprinkle a good amount of garlic salt and black pepper, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a dash of cayanne on both sides. Make sure to rub on the spices into the steak well. If you don’t want to use spices, make sure to season with salt and black pepper generously on both sides of your steak. Make sure to season your steak at least 40-50 minutes before you plan to grill. This way, the salt will bring out the mositure of the steak and reabsorb it.

2. If your steak has been refrigerated, take it out 30 minutes before grilling. Bringing it to room temperature will allow for more of an even grill.

3. Turn your grill on high heat.

4. Drizzle a little of olive oil over your steaks.

5. Start GRILLING.

6. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes for medium-rare. 5 minutes for medium.

7. Allow your steak to REST once done grilling for 5-10 minutes so the juices retain in the steak.

8. Bon apetite or in arabic, sahtan!

photo (2) 3