Thursday, January 26, 2006

Eggs In Hell

a recipe adapted from The Passionate Vegetarian!

we have chickens, they lay eggs. 10 a day. it's a beautiful thing. what do we do with all those eggs? is a question people ask us more than any other. we are still learning how to best use all of our eggs, but this recipe has quickly become a family favorite.

stage 1: Tomato Sauce

canned (or fresh, if you have them) tomatoes
olive oil
bay leaf

i spent the first couple of years of my housewife career unable to make a decent tomato sauce. every time i tried, i failed- the sauce missed something. it just wasn't Good. these days i love a tomato sauce from Passionate Vegetarian, and the easiest version of it is what i use for Eggs in Hell. i can't really say what is different with this sauce from my old failures. but something is- this sauce is Good.

heat the oil, a lot of it (2 tbsp- 1/4 cup) and add the onions, then the garlic, and then the tomatoes. tailor the amount of tomatoes to how much sauce you want, it really doesnt matter. add the honey and stir it in, maybe a big spoonful. salt and pepper to taste, a bay leaf. oregano, thyme, basil. Fresh or dried. simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes. that's it!

variations i have tried and recommend:

for Eggs in Hell these days i always peel a fresh beet, quarter it, and almost puree it in the food processor. i add this to the sauce about 10 minutes before it is done. truly Hellish color, wonderful flavor, very good for you and your picky toddlers.

also, add finely chopped carrots or celery, this gives the sauce a comforting character.

if you arent making Eggs in Hell, but want a good vegan bolognese, omit the honey for molasses & crumble tofu in the finished sauce, it is so good.

stage 2: Pasta

one pound or one package
the water and pot to cook it in.

when our friends and family are kind enough to send organic, whole-wheat pasta to us from California, we use just about any shape for this recipe. linguine is best, or spaghetti/ capelinni. but any noodle will do, even homemade pastas. (which are a wonderful thing! more on them some other day...) we also order whole wheat pastas in bulk from a local mill, Hodgson Mill.

stage 3: Eggs

one dozen organic, free range eggs

as i said, we have fresh eggs from free range hens we know and love. i recommend you have chickens, too. if that isnt in the stars, buy free range eggs. our family of barely-four (two adults, a 3.5 year old & an 18 month old) eats at least 10 eggs in this meal. i usually use a dozen and have a couple as leftovers.

the pasta is cooked as usual and drained. the sauce is simmering over low/ medium heat. you have grated a lot of monterey jack, or not, it isnt required.

take a small bowl and crack one egg into it, careful not to break the yolk! open your sauce (for whish you have a lid, no doubt! and use a spoon to make a dent in the surface anywhere in the pan. gently pour egg into sauce. if your sauce is the 'right' consistency, the egg will sink a bit into the sauce and stay put. if it is too thick, it will stay on top. no matter, add 1/4 cup of water at a time to your sauce until consistency is reached, but dont stir around the egg that is already there. depending on how your sauce is, and how high the heat is, you may have to add more water after the first batch of eggs.

my pan fits 6 eggs at a time, without the eggs touching in the sauce. crack and pour as many eggs into the sauce as yours fits. cover, at a slow simmer, not a crazy boil. check often- when the white of the eggs is done, remove them right away. overcooked, poached eggs are okay, but not as good as runny yolk poached eggs. when the first batch is done (and in a covered serving dish for later) do it again, perhaps adding 1/2 a cup of water to the sauce and simmering a bit first.

the eggs are done. now pour all the sauce into a bowl with the pasta and mix it up. serve pasta, cover with cheese and a couple of perfectly poached eggs. voila!


Blogger Danielle said...

Can you tell me what you put in the cat food? There are a couple reason I want to make The Professor's food. I'm tired of buying the junkie stuff for him and he is getting older and needs better nutrition. Can you give me any hints or secrets?

4:23 AM  

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