One pot wonder and a cultural fusion…
Baked eggs seem to be a raging phenomenon in cafes across Melbourne and why not, it is such an incredible dish. With that said I still haven’t found a baked eggs dish to reckon with, until one day I decided to make my own. I know, I know, time to show some modesty. How about I let you try this recipe and judge it for yourself.
As you would have realised by now, I am an experimental cook. I love finding new spices, herbs and cooking techniques to use in my kitchen. This baked eggs recipe was inspired by the beautiful harrisa paste I discovered in the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Harrisa is called the ‘National Condiment of Tunisia’, there’s a little bit of trivia for you. The paste is a hot chilli pepper paste whose main ingredients are roasted red peppers, serrano peppers, other hot chilli peppers and a mix of spices such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic paste and some oil and lemon juice for preservation.
If you are game enough you can make your Harrisa paste, but I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel so I chose to buy it. This is actually the key to quick cooking find a grocer or two that you trust, then you know that you will always get fresh, authentic and delicious produce. You won’t need to worry about making the pastes and spice mixes from scratch and this will really assist you in making quick meals.
Back to baked eggs, I call these baked eggs a cultural fusion because they have the heat from the North African harrisa paste, smokiness from the Spanish smoked paprika and flavour sensation from Indian spices and Italian herbs. Without further ado here’s the recipe.Ingredients: 12 Cooking time: 20 minutes Serves: 2
- Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Four free range eggs
- One can of crushed tinned tomatoes
- One sliced brown or red onion
- One or two chopped green chillies (depends on how hot you like it)
- One tablespoon harrisa paste
- One teaspoon of smoked paprika
- One teaspoon of cumin powder
- One teaspoon of rosemary
- One teaspoon of brown sugar
- Salt to taste
- Fresh parsley and goats cheese (optional) to garnish
In a pan (that you can use in the oven too) add extra virgin olive oil and let it heat. Pre-heat your over to a 180 degrees. Add the sliced onion and chopped green chillies. To take the punch of the onions cook the mix until the onions are translucent or even slightly caramelised.
Now add the crushed tomatoes, followed by harrisa paste, smoked paprika, cumin powder and rosemary. Stir the delicious tomato sauce and do a quick taste test, if you can handle the heat great if not add one teaspoon of brown sugar and stir again. Season with salt as required.
The best way to take the acidity out of tinned tomatoes is to let them cook, you will know the tomatoes are cooked once the oil surfaces to the top. Now crack the eggs making sure you leave enough space between each egg as the eggwhite will spreadout.
Place the pan in the pre-heated oven for about five to seven minutes, until the eggwhite is cooked and the best way to check that is to take the pan out and try shake it if the eggwhite isn’t gooey and is stable its all good. It is a fine balance to have the eggwhite cooked and the yoke still runny and my only tip is keep an eye on the egg.
Take the pan out and let it rest while you toast your bread or make a green salad. Chop the parsley and crumble the goats cheese (about one tablespoon worth) for the garnish.
Once the toast or salad is ready, garnish the baked eggs with parsley and goats cheese and serve hot. This melting pan of cultural fusion and unbeatable flavour will knock your socks off…