When I first moved to Israel around five years ago, there were no Mexican food restaurants, and really very little interest in the cuisine. Fast forward to today: Tel Aviv has blossomed with possibilities for burritos and genuinely spicy salsa as well as 5 Mexican-style restaurants currently.
In truth, the ingredients used in Mexican food aren’t that different from those native to Israeli diets: a focus on fresh tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lots of spices and citrus. So it was only a matter of time until Mexican food arrived in Israel.
It is also lime season in Israel, and for this reason a celebration of excess lime usage is in order. To most this declaration sounds confusing: Israel is known for its fine citrus fruits, so why would lime season be such a big deal? As it turns out, like other produce in Israel, much of the best crops are exported (primarily to Japan) so we don’t see it as much in our markets. Also, because the lime season is short, farmers do not see as much value compared to other citrus fruits.
Combine my love of Mexican food, love of lime season and shakshuka and you have a unique Mexi-terranean fusion perfect for summer breakfast, or anytime you feel like enjoying some Israeli fusion comfort food.
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2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
8 small (or 5 large) tomatoes
1 red chili pepper, diced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne Pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can refried beans
1 lime, cut into wedges
Corn tortillas (or Corn Tortilla Tostada Shells)
Avocado, sliced thinly
Warm the olive oil in a heavy pan at medium heat. Add the onion and stir frequently until onion turns golden.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook for one minute, then add the tomatoes and cover. Lower the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
Add the spices and stir, tasting and adding spice to your desired flavor.
Crack the eggs directly into the tomato mixture, being careful not to break the yolk.
Continue cooking the sauce with the eggs for another 5-10 minutes until the yolks are cooked to your liking.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the refried beans according to the instructions on the can.
If making the tostada: In a separate pan, grill the corn tortillas until crunchy then cut into chips to be used for dipping.
Arrange the tortillas either on a plate or in a bowl (or use a pre-cooked tostada shell), layering on top the refried beans and other desired toppings of cheese, cilantro, and avocado.
Once the eggs are cooked into the tomato dish, use a large spoon to transfer the tomato sauce and eggs on top of the tortilla (or tostada).
Add additional toppings to your taste, including a hefty squeeze of lime juice.