I could never be one of those “I don’t eat breakfast” types. I would eat breakfast for all meals of the day if I could! Of course, my idea of breakfast isn’t exactly cereal and toast. This foods are great and I have days when I crave them, but my favourite breakfast foods are more of a brunchy kind of thing – scrambled tofu, homemade baked beans, sauteed greens, potatoes, breakfast pizza, omelettes, huevos rancheros, and of course these delicious baked eggs…
This dish is very similar to shakshuka, a Middle Eastern baked egg dish but this is my version, a make it up as you go with the ingredients you have on hand version. I have made it previously while camping with Mexican leftovers, it’s amazing with vegan chorizo chopped through it, and would be great with a crumbled cheese over the top, like fetta or ricotta. This morning I felt like something fresh so I went with onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes and chillies, a little smoked sea salt and red pepper seasoning and some gorgeous eggs from my friend’s chickens. (Side note: after a few months of empty nests, my chickens have started laying again!!! I look forward to many more dishes like this to come!)
You’ll need a pan with a lid that you can put into the oven for this dish. If you don’t have any of those, you could cook the sauce mixture on the stove and then transfer it to a baking dish before adding the eggs. You do need to cover it though, so a baking dish with a fitted lid is best. As a last result, lay a baking tray over the dish when you put it into the oven but I can’t guarantee how well this will work 🙂
You can make the sauce ahead if making this for a brunch and just heat it quickly before cooking the eggs when you are ready to eat.
Spicy Baked Eggs
2 cloves garlic
2 long red chillies
3-4 fresh ripe tomatoes
Sea salt (smoked if you can find it)
Red pepper seasoning (I use Slap Ya Mama)
Coriander or other fresh herbs to taste
Heat oven to 180 degrees.
Chop onion, garlic, and chilli and saute in olive oil. Once translucent, chop tomatoes and add to the pan. Stir frequently, this helps the tomatoes break down and form the sauce for your eggs. I like to smoosh them a little with the back of a wooden spoon once they have been cooking for a few minutes. You can add a splash of water to help loosen the mixture if it is seeming too dry, but be careful not to water it down too much. I find that using fresh tomatoes rather than canned really helps here, especially when they are in season.
Once the tomatoes are cooked down and starting to form a sauce, add a healthy pinch of sea salt and red pepper seasoning. Season to your own taste – I like mine spicy and a good shake of both of these ingredients worked really well. If you’re doubling or tripling this recipe to serve for a larger group who may not all like chilli, I suggest leaving it on the mild side and serving with a good hot sauce for those who like it a little hotter.
Reduce the heat, and use the back of your wooden spoon to make two hollows in the sauce for the eggs. You might need to do one, put the egg in, and then do the other as they do tend to fill themselves back up. Break an egg carefully into each of the hollows, put the lid on your pan, and place in the oven.
The lid is important, as you want the eggs to be receiving heat from both the top and bottom so that they cook evenly. Remember they are already sitting in a hot sauce, so you want the tops to cook quickly as well so that you don’t get hard, overcooked eggs. Ideally, the whites should be set, but the yolks still a little runny. The cooking times will change according to your pan and oven so I suggest checking them regularly to see their progress. Jiggling the pan a little will give you a good indication of how set the whites are.
Once they are set to your liking, remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander. I served mine with some quinoa and soya toast from the amazing Brasserie Bread, and had it with coffee in the sun with my girl. Ahh, Saturday morning! I love you!