Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Devil's Breakfast: Eggs in Purgatory with Artichoke Hearts, Potatoes, and Capers-- anEgglands Best Eggs Contest Winner I am!!

NOTE: Since this recipe was published, I won the Grand Prize from Eggland's Best for making this dish. I've just been informed that this will also be featured in an upcoming cookbook from a national magazine. I will let you know when it is published. Wow!

One of the perks of being a Food Buzz Featured Publisher is that I am given a chance to sample free products from Food Buzz Sponsors.  When Eggland's Best was highlighted as a Sponsor, I was one of the lucky recipients of a coupon for a choice of Eggland's Best eggs.  It wasn't hard for me to give a positive review on this product, because I buy this brand all the time!  I pay extra to buy quality eggs, whenever possible.  I look for free range, hormone-free and I always check the date on the carton.

I chose brown eggs, because I'm partial to them. I don't know why, but they look special. Actually, I love any kind of naturally colored eggs! To read more about what makes Eggland's Best nutritional value so special, you can click to their informative website which has great information and tips.  I've used one of the eggs to make Ina Garten's Baked Scampi (which is excellent), and another recipe I have yet to post.  I was inspired on how to use the remaining eggs when I read the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.  Yesterday, I posted the Soda Bread recipe, which will become a family favorite.  I've heard of "Eggs in Purgatory" before, and I've seen several versions. I chose this recipe because I'm a fan of artichoke hearts. You see, I live about 15 minutes from Castroville, California-- which is the Artichoke Capitol of the World. A little trivia-- Marilyn Monroe was once a Castroville Artichoke Festival Queen! I don't know the exact year, but this is folklore in my area-- but many locals attest to it.  I also liked that this recipe is healthy.  Before I show you how I made this, I want beginner cooks to know that is is very simple.  I also followed most of the Bon Appetit's directions to make this-- but I was inspired to try an experiment with the remainder of the ingredients on the following day. So, let's get started:

The first thing I did, was to cut the recipe portions in half-- I was cooking for two. I had a bag of frozen artichoke hearts, from Trader Joe's. You need potatoes, and I had a large "Butter" potato on hand. I grow my own thyme, but had to resort to buying it--my own garden thyme is coming back, but not enough yet. You need an onion and a can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes.  These ingredients were not expensive. I'd say under $5.00.  There's a little prep work to do:

I didn't have red potatoes or Yukon Golds (my favorites), but I don't peel them anyway (which the Bon Appetit recipes says to do. There's a lot of nutrition in the skin, and I like the rustic look of it anyway.  I washed the potato and cut them into even-sized cubes. The artichokes got a quick thaw, and some help with a rinse of warm water.  I decided to cut them into bite-sized pieces.  If you don't like artichokes (you are missing out), or you can't find them easily-- mushrooms would be a great substitute (or addition) for this recipe.

You can use dried thyme, but fresh is so much better! Just grab the stem and pull down-- then mince the herbs. Dice the onion.  You need red pepper flakes.  I used to be scared of them, but now I love them.  1/4 teaspoon is just right, if you are wimpy about heat. If you opt out of using the red pepper flakes, that's okay. I just think they complete the whole layer of flavors in this dish. You decide. C'mon, conquer your fear!  The prep work took me about 15 minutes. If you're nervous with your knife skills, it might take longer. If you prep everything, then the rest is Easy Street.

Turn on the stove and grab a good skillet. I love my large cast iron skillet!

Heat the olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped thyme, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle lightly with coarse kosher salt and sauté until onion is tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the artichokes and minced garlic; stir 1 minute. Stir in diced tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover skillet and simmer 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. 

The top left photo are capers.  I used to hate these, but now I like them. Its another food aversion I've gotten over. They're slightly salty and they're nice in this recipe. Drain them and set aside. If you hate them, or can't find them, that's okay too.  Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in small saucepan of boiling salted water just until tender, about 8 minutes*. Drain. *NOTE: Since the potatoes will continue to cook in the oven, don't overcook them, or they'll become mushy. I overcooked them, because photography distracted me. The potatoes are going to cook more, in the oven. Be forewarned!  It's almost time to add the eggs. I like to break an egg into a cup, to be sure I don't get shells in them... or have a bad one (so far, this hasn't happened to me). But, next...

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Now, add the drained potatoes and capers to tomato-artichoke sauce; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper  NOTE: The tomato sauce reduced a little more than I wanted it to, so I added a little bit of chicken stock which worked out really well.
DO AHEADYou can stop here, because the Tomato-artichoke sauce can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm sauce before continuing. I didn't do this, so let's keep going. I'm going to show you something else in a moment...  The directions say to transfer the sauce into a baking dish.  If my skillet is oven-proof, why bother? After all, this is a one skillet meal!  So...



Using the back of spoon, make 8 evenly spaced indentations (in my case, four) in sauce for holding eggs. Crack 1 egg into each indentation in sauce (some of eggs may run together slightly in spots). Pop the oven proof skillet right into the oven!  That's one less dish to clean!


Pretty?  I loved the presentation of this! 

I'm going to give you an honest opinion of how this dish tasted.  It was very satisfying, even though it's "healthy". By that, I mean that the red pepper flakes, fire roasted tomatoes and the heartiness of the potatoes and artichokes worked really well together.  Of course, we loved the Soda Bread with this!  My only disappointment was that the eggs were a bit overcooked.  I was not to be discouraged, though.... because there was a lot of vegetables leftover, after we ate our breakfast.  I do not like to waste food! So...

I decided to scoop the remainder of the vegetables into ramekins. Clever? No?  Yes!  I covered them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.  The next morning.... (today)

I added a little bit of chicken stock, to liven up the vegetables, and preheated the oven to 375F.

One egg per cup made sense to me.  I set the timer in five minute increments, watching the eggs closely...

16 minutes later, the whites look set.  I learned my lesson-- don't focus on the yolks. I removed the ramekins and sprinkled grated Parmesan on top.  Lesson learned on Take Twothe eggs will continue to cook, even though you've removed them from the oven!  Get ready to drool....

My breakfast (after a 30 minute swim, thank you very much)... Soda Bread with butter and homemade apricot-pineapple jam and Eggs in Purgatory.  But, how did the eggs turn out, this time?

Just the way I like it.... a little runny, but not too runny.  So, here's my theory-- the shallower the dish and tomato sauce, the quicker the eggs will cook.  Depending on your oven, the time varies from 12-16 minutes. Eggs in Purgatory is a very simple and versatile way to serve eggs.  It's lovely for a brunch, and a breeze to serve if you prepare the sauce one day in advance.  Thank you, Eggland's Best, for your gift!  I hope I made you proud! The recipe is printed at the bottom of this post.


Thank you Eggland's Best for choosing me, as the Grand Prize Winner of your Contest!  A recipe card is at the end of this post.







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18 comments:

Bo said...

Great recipe! We eat lots of eggs at my house. I will have to try it.

Claire (Culinarygoddess.com) said...

omg I am obsessed with eggs and this made me so hungry for them!! i will be making this ASAP seriously looks delicious! and great pics :)

Debbie said...

I made something similar to this a couple of weekends ago. It's great! Your pictures are much better than mine.

À LA GRAHAM said...

Ok I have to admit, I am totally scared of egg yolks unless they are totally cooked thoroughly...over hard. What's wrong with me...I feel like I am the only one out there.
I am feeling really brave lately and you have me considering this recipe; I know my husband would love me for it. Beautiful photos!

Bird said...

This recipe sounds very yummy! can't wait to make it for breakfast one morning.

TKW said...

You eat your eggs just the way I like them--runny in the center! These look outstanding! Funny--I'd bookmarked the exact same recipe to try this month!

Kim said...

This looks like a wonderful breakfast Debby! I like how you did the comparison between the two baking vessels. It's almost cuter in the little ramekins too.

It's nice to hear that Trader Joe's carries the frozen artichokes. I always look for them (Whole Foods & Fresh Market) and I never find them. They would be a great product to keep on hand and add to all kinds of things.

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll:D

Mary said...

What a lovely giveaway and how fortunate we are that you had such a wonderful recipe in which to use those eggs. I can't wait to try this one.

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
This looks exactly like my eggs in ratatouille photo!
I love eggs in purgatory, and any which way. Artichokes and capers are a great idea! Yummy.

Bellini Valli said...

I grew up on corned beef hash so thanks for bringing back childhood memopries.

bella said...

I've never heard of this dish, but since I love artichoke hearts and eggs, I've got to try this soon! I've been subscribing to Bon Appetit since 1978 and it has never failed to deliver great recipes! It is SO nice and green out there in CA! Still very winter here on the east coast! Yes, I'm jealous of your weather! Roz

Cathy said...

What a terrific recipe, Debby. I'm looking forward to making this for family. Eggs make a great meal any time of day. Your photos are wonderful and I love your step-by-step guides.

You live in a beautiful part of the West Coast. I do too, just wish it was a little warmer here.

lostpastremembered said...

what a great breakfast...and a great name for it too!!! wicked thing to eat on SUnday brunch!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I could eat that any time of day!
And I am so jealous that you are getting spring! It is still dead and cold and dreary here.

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous pictures! I am coming to your house for breakfast! ;-)

Monica H said...

Clever? yes! Drool? Plenty!

My goodness this looks good. I made something similar a while back with speet potatoes and while it was very good and filling my eggs were over cooked too. I will definitley try again though.

I'll have to try these eggs too. But I just bought fresh eggs last night in gorgeous shade of brown, blue and green. I'll have to use those up first!

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, I thought the grand prize winner was last year2013 that was the first year they started it, in 2013. She made a blueberry peach bread bake. It was in the paper too. Great recipie anyway :-)