Sunday, March 22, 2009

Eggs from the Internet: Eggs in Purgatory

After a glut of Chinese food, I needed something different this weekend. The only problem was figuring out what. Thankfully serious eats is a wealth of culinary information, particularly recipes. While browsing the site, I remember seeing an article on Mario Batali’s marinara sauce. A quick search pulled up this page.

For some reason, I thought a plain marinara wouldn’t be satisfying enough, and I remembered an article on eggs in purgatory.

With a carton of eggs nearing expiration in the fridge, I thought this would be a great recipe to try. After a few items from Fresh Market, I was ready to start on my damned eggs.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 small white or yellow onion, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
(Alternatively, replace the above ingredients with a leftover tomato sauce)
2-4 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 eggs
8 slices thickly cut rustic Italian bread
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

The recipe starts simply enough.

I minced the a yellow onion and sliced a few cloves of garlic.

With the oven set to 375, I started sautéing the onions and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat.

After 8-10 minutes, the onions had just started to brown, and I dumped in the can of crushed tomatoes.

Brought to a boil and then lowered to simmer for 20 minutes, I ended up with a thickened sauce.

A generous helping of salt, pepper, and Tabasco were added to taste, and the whole concoction went into a baking pan.

I realize the recipe calls for 8 eggs, but I only used 6.

It was 6 for a reason. If this recipe was terrible then, I would only be out 6 eggs. If the recipe was a success, I’d only have 6 eggs to eat. Even if this dish was pure ecstasy to my tastebuds, 6 eggs and a 28 oz can of tomatoes is a lot to eat.

For each egg, I had a slice of fresh market ciabatta bread.

And a few minutes after the eggs were put in the oven, I slid the tray of bread in as well.

After about 12 minutes, I checked on the eggs, and decided it was time to pull them out.

I was surprised how much white had been in these eggs. They almost completely obscured the marinara sauce.

Per the recipe, I served each egg on a piece of toast.

Covered with a healthy dose of grated parmigiano reggiano and drizzled with olive oil, this was pretty good.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried about the combination of eggs and marinara sauce. I’m not one to slather his breakfast eggs in ketchup and this seemed like a fancier version of fried eggs and ketchup. However, the majority of my fears were relieved when I tasted the dish. The grassiness of the olive oil combined with the richness of the parmesan was a perfect compliment to the marinara and eggs. I say majority because of my fickle oven. I had forgotten to rotate the pan midway through cooking, and as a result some eggs were perfect and slightly runny and the rest were practically hard boiled.

I suppose that’s fitting for eggs in purgatory. Not perfect, but not terrible, they were just stuck in limbo right in the middle.

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