Saturday, March 30, 2013
Eggs in Purgatory
It is easy to get bored of cooking the same old things the same old way. This dish is a welcome change- take your basic eggs, and some leftover tomato sauce (or gravy rather), and a nice piece of bread to make something memorable and a little different- eggs in purgatory.
The basic idea here is to take a tomato sauce, add a little extra chili pepper to spice things up, and poach a few eggs in it. With all that yolk and sauce, naturally, you'll want to soak it all up with a few pieces of bread. This is an incredibly simple idea that just works, even if it's a simple idea that most people wouldn't think of on their own.
I start mine with leftovers- if I make the "sunday gravy" I typically have a few cups of extra sauce afterwards. Using the leftovers in a somewhat creative way is always preferable to letting it go to waste. Ladle enough into a small pan to make a puddle about 3/4 inch deep. If your leftover sauce is already very thick, you can add a small amount of water to loosen it up a little. Bring this sauce up to a low simmer.
Some people don't enjoy spicy food, but I'm not one of them. The chili flakes, or red pepper, is what really brings the character to this dish, so as your sauce heats up, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes. This dose of heat, along with the red of the sauce, is the inspiration for the name.
Once your sauce is simmering, just crack two (or more) eggs into the sauce and let them poach. Put a loose fitting lid on the pan so the tops of the eggs steam, and let it simmer for a few minutes- but keep an eye on them- anything past the five minute mark is probably going to solidify the yolks, and you'll lose that runny yolk effect.
Once done, carefully transfer the mess to a plate (or eat it right from the pan). Garnish with a little black pepper and a little basil, and enjoy with your favorite piece of bread. The richness of the eggs offsets the heat and tang of the sauce, and if you're smart, you'll toast your bread so that you have a little bit of a crunchy/crusty texture to offset the smoother textures of the egg and the sauce. It can be rich and hearty enough to serve as a brunch, a lunch, or even a dinner.