Sunday, March 01, 2009

Me Make Ugly Eggs

This photo just makes me want to scratch my EYES out, it's so poorly lit. (It's winter. That's my excuse.)
But I wanted to share the idea for this meal, because it's so satisfying.
Sometime back, Catherine blogged about an egg dish she loved, at a restaurant. It was a ramekin of tomato sauce, topped with an egg which cooks in the sauce, in the oven.
She and I went to this restaurant recently, and I tried the egg dish (uovo al forno, or something like that). It was pretty good, but I thought I could improve on it.
I wasn't even going to write about it, because the pictures came out so bad. But yesterday my cyberpal Ilva honored me by mentioning my blog, along with several others she likes. Many were new to me. I visited Buff Chickpea, and look at this recipe she posted a couple of weeks ago! (Much better pictures, too.) Hers is more vegetabley, and mine is more saucy, but, eggs, baby!
So, in essence, I prepared a tomato sauce, chunky with chopped black and green olives, onions, and flavored the way you like it: garlic, oregano, a splash of wine. I made sure the sauce was nice and hot, then spooned some into individual ramekins. I tried to hollow out a hole in the center for the egg, but it might have been too shallow. Nevertheless, crack an egg into the hole. Then I sprinkled grated cheese on top, and I know now that's partly where the photo went so very wrong.
Pop them into a preheated oven (350, always) in a bain marie. Wait six to eight minutes, and jiggle the ramekins. When the white is not disgustingly gooey anymore, pull them out of the oven; the eggs will continue to cook in the hot sauce. I got it just right; the yolk was still runny.
This is simple bistro cooking. Homey and comforting. Easy, if you're careful with the timing in the oven. The recipe is flexible; flavor it the way you like.
Glass of wine, chunk of bread. Good.


Kailyn said...

I've found that some of the food that does not photograph well is by far the tastiest. I'd still put the cheese on even if it means it doesn't look as pretty.

Anna Haight said...

You've reminded me of how good these were!

dancingmorganmouse said...

This sounds sort of like coddled eggs, only with veg/sauce.
Coddled eggs sound delish until you poke one with a spoon, then the truth comes out - egg blood!!!

cook eat FRET said...

my kinda food - totally
what kinda cheese id you use?
how could you leave us hanging?

Anonymous said...

Sounds very much like Shakshouka, which was a brunch dish at a nearby restaurant. One of those common food memes.

Kristen Peterson said...

So weird! Just the other day I posted my own version of uova in purgatorio. Eggs are in the air! Must be a sign of spring.... Thanks for the great links and ugly food photos!

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: I've been told that if you anticipate a dog of a dish, you might be better off photoing the raw ingredients as a sort of work of art...

Anna: It was good! Now you try them at home.

Morgan: You can cook the eggs to Easter-egg firm-yolkedness, if that's what you like. In fact, it's hard not to get them hard cooked. I was just bloody lucky. ;-)

Fret: Probly parmesan. Gruyere would be nice too. Those are pretty much the two cheeses in our fridge.

Anonymous: I can't wait to look that up. Thank you.

Kristen: You know I'll be over in a minute to look at your Spring (wish) eggs!

Greg said...

Is ugly but sure do taste good! I've seen a similar recipe called eggs in purgatory.

Brooke said...

Definitely leave the cheese IN. Sounds awesome. I just saw a recipe for baking an egg in a bowl lined with spinach and cheese for breakfast. Now I have to try this one too!

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Yes, one of our commenters called it uova in purgatorio.
Then... Did you see Shakshouka? Totally it. You should give it a try.

Brooke: This is opening up whole new avenues for me. Merci, xx.
We have thought about lining the ramekins with breadcrumbs, then layering garlicky spinach, and next an egg. Bake. Eat. Eee.

Catherine said...

I'm so glad you blogged this! I think it is one of those super simple seeming dishes that is very hard to pull off.

I really must work on this recipe. It was better the first time I had it, but I'm not into runny yolk. Always makes me think of the movie, Moonstruck. Just whow did Olympia prepare those eggs with tomato sauce?

Heather said...

Winter really does make the worst lighting ever. I had to reshoot all of the food I made the other night, waiting until the next day's light before I could be happy. Sigh.

I'd still put a hurt on those eggs, though.

Ilva said...

I honestly think we put to much importance on the food photos, I have begun to crave cookbooks with just recipes in them lately! Strangely enough. Love your eggs baby! xx

cookiecrumb said...

Catherine: No, actually it is super simple. Especially if you're not into runny yolk. I'm going to be experimenting with loads of variations.

Heather: Yeah, you blogging fool, you. Me, I had to put a hurt on those eggs, and they didn't last until the next day. :D

Ilva: If we could all shoot pictures as beautiful as yours! Sigh... xoxo

Andrea said...

I'm so glad you blogged this! I think it is one of those super simple seeming dishes that is very hard to pull off.

Sweet Bird said...

Oh wow. I want to eat that.

cookiecrumb said...

Andrea: Wow. That sounds like comment plagiarism.

Birdie: I want it again, soon.

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife said...

I've seen and made a variant on this. An egg baked in cream. The recipe I saw used a very small ramekin and slices of black truffle along with the cream. I'm not all that into truffles, and besides, they're expensive. I just substituted plenty of sliced garlic. It was delicious, and decadent.

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: That's the first version of baked eggs I ever made, back in sixth grade. They were called Shirred Eggs. Nice, but the tomato sauce is more... tasty!

Pia said...

Well Ilva sure does inspire a lot of people, including me (many times).
I like your egg dish, I make something similar using the tomato as the holding element for the egg.
Comfort food, my grandmother used to make it.

cookiecrumb said...

Pia: I wish I had some tomato sauce... This is making me hungry again.
Ilva -- heh, she wouldn't even have photographed that dish. She'd have cooked another one that looked right. :D