Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recipe: Eggs Fried in a Quick Tomato Sauce

1 point if you knew what the heck you were looking at when you first saw that picture. 50 points if you ID-ed it without reading the title of this post. Fact is, there is just no way to make that yolky, tomato-y, gooey mess look the least bit recognizable. Perhaps I should have led with the picture further below. Those are definitely eggs.

But what this protein-packed wonder lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor and ease. I have yet to find another dinner that is more deliciously satisfying and also comes together in 12 minutes. That might even include the time it takes to inhale. Er, eat. (Lesson learned: a cup of leftover rice noodles for lunch makes one pretty damn ravenous come 7:00.)

The best part is that I’ll bet you have everything on hand, except maybe the fresh herbs. But trust me – you don’t want to go without those. I may have even added another handful of basil and parsley after taking the picture. It’s cool, though, Mark Bittman says I can.

Tip: I have an unnatural affection for my microplane, so I use it to grate everything from garlic to cheese to chocolate. No microplane or fine grater? Mince the clove(s) as fine as possible, then sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt. Use the back of a knife to mash the garlic into a paste. It won’t be as fun, but it gets the job done.

Ingredients (serves 1)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, grated (or minced)
1/3 pint grape tomatoes
2 eggs
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Liberally coat the bottom of a small frying pan with olive oil and heat over low heat. Add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes and a clove of grated garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add the whole tomatoes and toss with oil and garlic to coat. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Gently push on a tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. If it doesn’t burst easily, cook for another minute or so. Once tomatoes are soft enough, crush them all with the spoon. Stir the pan and simmer the tomato sauce for another minute.

Raise the heat to medium, and clear a spot in the pan. Crack one egg into the cleared space, and repeat with the second egg.

Cook eggs for 2-3 minutes, breaking up the whites occasionally so they cook evenly. Leave yolks intact. Once whites are set, carefully flip the eggs one at a time. Cook for an additional minute for runny yolks, and 3 minutes for set yolks.

Slide the contents of the pan onto a plate or shallow dish, and top with a generous sprinkling of basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese.

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