This was one of those dishes that was made by just shoving everything in a pan and ended up being a delicious weekend brunch. Although we had this as brunch, you could easily have it for lunch or an evening meal.
The ingredients list below may look quite big but just do as I did and throw in what you have at home. That way you don’t need to buy lots of ingredients and you will create an incredibly flavourful
dish. For these eggs, I added red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, char-grilled peppers (the ones from a jar (if you are using fresh peppers, you will need to cook these down a little first)) and ham. The recipe below includes these but as I say, add whatever you want. Pancetta or chorizo would be a brilliant addition. Spinach and mushrooms too and even duck eggs would be fab. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can leave all of the extras out and have it with just the garlic and chilli. It will still taste fantastic.
What is so lovely about this dish is that as the tomatoes bubble and cook at the bottom of the pan, they develop a lovely rich flavour. The eggs then gently poach and steam on top. The yolk is still runny and the cheese melts all over. Thick crusty bread is a must for dunking!
TOMATO POACHED EGGS
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 small or 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 char-grilled peppers, roughly chopped
12 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 slices ham, roughly torn into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon oregano (thyme or rosemary also work well)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar (if required)
4 free-range eggs
50g cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
- Heat a little oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the crushed garlic, chilli flakes and red onion. Cook for 1 minute. (if you are using pancetta or chorizo, you should add that now but you will need to cook it for a little longer to crisp up.)
- Next add the tinned tomatoes, a good amount of salt and pepper (probably 1 teaspoon of salt flakes and 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper) and whatever extras you want so for me it was the char-grilled peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, ham and oregano. Give it a good mix and then taste the tomatoes. If they taste a little bitter then add some sugar. The tomatoes need to be really hot to make sure that the eggs cook so let them come up to a bubble, stirring occasionally to make sure they are heated all through and aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the tomatoes are hot enough, crack the eggs on top. Place a lid on the pan to create some steam and leave the eggs to cook on top of the bubbling tomatoes. This will take about 5 minutes. After about 2 minutes, sprinkle some cheese on top. You want to make sure that the cheese has melted but you don’t want the yolk to over-cook so that should be around the right time. Place the lid back on to help the cheese melt quicker.
- Once ready, remove from the heat and sprinkle the eggs with a little extra salt and pepper. An extra sprinkling of herbs would also add a lovely bit of colour.
I think it looks great taking the pan to the table and letting everyone dig in. It is a bit of a show-stopper and I love sharing food at a table. Serve with some thick crusty bread and break those yolks immediately!