Shakshuka from Cooking Light Magazine, October 2013

Dudette’s tooth fell out two nights ago. When I went in her room to wake her up yesterday, the news was the first thing she offered up as she crawled out of bed.

When she smiled up at me, it was easy to see that what she said was true. There was an empty space next to her front tooth, a perfect match to the space on the other side of the other front tooth, where another fell out some time ago.

I’ll admit it. The adolescent that still roams free in my mind immediately thought of Sponge Bob and Timmy Turner, two of her favorite cartoon characters, both with very, um, prominent, yeah, prominent front teeth.

I’d like to say that I took the high road and buried that juvenile thought, but I may have congratulated her in joining such esteemed company instead. Just maybe.

What I will admit to doing was asking her when the tooth fell out. ‘At 4:14,’ she answered cheerfully. 4:14. In the middle of the night. Seriously?

I think I’ve read Stephen King’s Tommyknockers too many times, because if I had woken up at that hour, spat a tooth into my hand, I most definitely would not have put it in it’s little tooth fairy pillow, rolled over and gone back to sleep.

Of course, I’m not supposed to be losing my teeth. And, if I did, there wouldn’t be a monetary reward for having done so to look forward to. For my girl, however, that’s right where her mind went. As she handed me the pillow, she asked if she could just get the money right then. Again, I say, seriously?

Even though I know she believed in the tooth fairy for all of five minutes, opting instead to take a more capitalistic track with the whole lost tooth/cash combination, I told her she had to wait until that night, and she had to put the tooth pillow where the fairy could find it.

Cue the eye roll. The exaggerated, over-the-top, get the point eye roll. ‘Well, if you’re going to do that, at least put more than one dollar in there when you take the tooth, ok?’ she announced as she flounced away.

This morning, the tooth fairy left her two dollars. And then said fairy had shakshuka for breakfast as she lamented her daughter’s relentless march toward adulthood.

The Process

After the process of slicing peppers and onions yesterday, I was well practiced for this so it was pretty easy to do the same. That, mincing a couple cloves of garlic and measuring out marinara, salt and paprika was all it took to set the tomato base for the shakshuka.

I was really, really tempted to forego the instruction to crack the eggs into a custard cup and to slide them on to the sauce that way, but I did go ahead and do as I was supposed to. So, I don’t know what happens if you just crack the egg right onto the tomatoes. Maybe it’s done that way to make sure none of the yolks break. Maybe I just looked more cool doing it that way.

Whatever the case, preparing this breakfast did stay within the 25 minutes allotted and only used the one skillet and custard cup.

The Verdict

I had an Armenian dish similar to this while growing up so eggs and tomatoes is a favorite combination for me. And, I enjoyed this too, especially over the rice. I did find that the smoked paprika was a bit overwhelming after a few bites and I missed the other flavors that are typically found in Middle Eastern cooking (cumin and cayenne or Aleppo pepper). But, overall, it was a delicious, easy breakfast.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

I would use regular paprika instead of smoked and I would include a teaspoon cumin and a half teaspoon Aleppo (or cayenne) pepper.

Shakshuka from Cooking Light Magazine, October 2013
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch-wide) strips red bell pepper
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch-wide) strips green bell pepper
  • 2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) vertically sliced red onion
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup fresh baby basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  1. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell peppers, onion, and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in marinara sauce and paprika. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Form 4 (2-inch) indentations in sauce, using the back of a spoon. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into a small custard cup, and gently slip into each indentation. Cover and cook 6 minutes or until eggs are done.
  3. Divide rice evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Spoon egg mixture evenly over rice, and sprinkle with basil and cheese.
What I'd Do Different Next Time
I would use regular paprika instead of smoked and I would include a teaspoon cumin and a half teaspoon Aleppo (or cayenne) pepper.


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20 Responses to Shakshuka from Cooking Light Magazine, October 2013

  1. Ayshela says:

    usually when I’ve seen the “break into a custard cup” it’s only partially so that the yolks don’t break, and at least as much so if shell fragments end up in the egg you can fish them out before they get lost in the pan.

    Kids… they grow up way too fast, in many ways, don’t they?

  2. The Cooking School says:

    I love Shashuka, and this variation looks like the perfect soft food for a dudette who isn't chewing on all cylinders.

  3. Oh my at 4:14 that is so cute. She remembered the time! One day older and one day wiser that is for sure! Being the mom of a little girl who is also growing up faster than I can keep up with, I feel as though I can relate haha. Will the eye rolls ever run empty??

    This shakshuka is absolutely gorgeous! And you get mom points for making this for breakfast! Maybe the custard cup is to make sure the custard cups get used for more than the occasional custard.

  4. We make something similar to that called Eggs in Purgatory. It is delicious! I think dudette is a old soul.

  5. Kristen says:

    My 7 year old has lost 11 teeth and has only had 3 grow back. Her snaggletooth smile is pretty unique. She has gotten to be such a seasoned tooth loser that she just walks into my room with the tooth in one hand and the other hand out for her reward. Then she walks over to her bank and makes a deposit. The thrill of the tooth loss has been lost to avarice.

    I think just announcing shakshuka was coming to the table would be a delight. I love words that are fun to say.

  6. thatskinnychickcanbake says:

    Aw, Dudette is getting so grown up. LOL at her bargaining for more money and/or money on the spot. I'm not big on eggs except for scrambled or hard boiled, but I'd still give this recipe a taste…and I don't see any of Bill's forbidden ingredients your shakshuka, imagine that!

  7. spcookiequeen says:

    Well at least you compared her to SpongeBob she may be able to get over that one. My dad called my oldest dracula when her two front teeth fell out and she brings it up. Lol. I haven't had eggs like this in years, my husband would love it he is my breakfast lover, he would say it was breakfast unless I put a steak next to it. Have a great weekend and tell congrats.

  8. Café Sucré Farine says:

    Such a fancy name but it's beautiful enough to deserve a fancy name. Such pretty colors.I'm with you about the smoked paprika, I always think I'm going to like it but I really don't.
    Kids losing teeth is such so bittersweet to me, it fun, but so sad at times to see them growing up.

  9. eliotthecat says:

    I'm laughing at the Tommyknocker reference! Haven't thought about that book in years. (I have, however, read The Stand like eighty-bizillion times!)

    This looks really warming and delicious.

    • I am SO glad that you and I have close enough tastes (and ages) that you get and appreciate my references. I read The Stand about every 2-3 years so yeah, I'm with you on the eighty-bizillion times. :)

  10. seana says:

    Apparently no Sunday Sip:(: I do like your new pic you posted in in the corner;)

  11. Jessica says:

    I was looking for something just like this to make for lunch, don't have any feta cheese so will have to go without but I think it will be fine anyways, thanks!

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