Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Breakfast Eggs Baked with Tomato, Red Pepper, Smoked Sausage and Feta

In the style of Mexican baked eggs, this versatile breakfast dish is splendid for serving a hungry crowd. This is a great make-ahead dish, because you can prepare the sauce several hours in advance, pop the eggs in at the last minute and sling the lot into a hot oven.  Even better, make the sauce the day before, because, like most stew-like mixtures and curries, it improves upon standing.

Breakfast Eggs Baked with Tomato, Red Pepper and Smoked Sausage
Bowl by David Walters
The only tricky part of the dish is getting the eggs just right. How long it will take for the eggs to bake depends on your oven and the size of the dish, so the cooking time I've given in the recipe below is a rough guide. I suggest you check the eggs after ten minutes, and give them longer if the whites are not cooked through. You will need to cover the dish with a lid, or foil if you're using individual serving dishes, to prevent the yolks from drying out and turning a nasty colour as they cook.

This dish is good with a peppery chouriço sausage, but you can use any spicy, smoked sausage. Skin the tomatoes if you want to -  by steeping them in boiling water for a few minutes -  but I honestly can't be bothered to peel tomatoes.

I like to add cold feta cheese to the hot dish - I love the contrast -  but you can bake it along with the eggs, if you like.

Breakfast Eggs Baked with Tomato, Red Pepper and Smoked Sausage

Breakfast Eggs Baked with Tomato, Red Pepper, Smoked Sausage and Feta

2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower oil
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 large red peppers, cored and sliced [bell peppers]
a large chouriço sausage, or similar, cubed
a large sprig of thyme
flaky sea salt
12 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 Tbsp  (15 ml) Balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
2 tsp (10 ml) cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) coriander
1 Tbsp  (15 ml) sweet paprika
freshly milled black pepper
a handful of chopped fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley
6 free-range eggs
250 g feta cheese, or creamy goat's milk cheese

Turn the oven on to 180ºC. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, red pepper, sausage, thyme and a pinch of salt and fry, over a medium heat, for five minutes, or until the vegetables are softened, but not browned.  Drain off any excess fat. Add the tomatoes, chilli and vinegar, turn up the heat, and cook, uncovered, at a brisk bubble for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are beginning to collapse. Now add the garlic, Tabasco, cumin, coriander and paprika. Season with plenty of milled black pepper, and more salt if necessary. Cover the pan and turn it down to its lowest heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, very gently, until slightly thickened.

Pour the mixture into a large dish with a lid (or one that can be covered with tin foil). If you prefer, you can use individual dishes.  Make six 'wells' in the mixture.  Break an egg into each well. Cover the dish with lid or foil and bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs done. Remove from the oven and crumble the feta cheese around the eggs. Scatter over the coriander or parsley and serve hot, with buttered toast or hunks of bread.

Serves 6

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redkathy said...

Oh my that is one beautiful breakfast dish! Never have I baked eggs but after seeing this I had better get busy! said...

I do a Moroccan version of this and it is always a crowd pleaser! Have a super weekend (mine starts today) xxx

Jamie said...

Wow this looks amazing! The flavors are brilliant and it looks just picture-perfect! This is certainly not a simple breakfast to me, this would be dinner!

rain.drop said...

Very tasty indeed. Thanks for the recipe :)