Monday, June 21, 2010

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs are dropped into a bed of fiery tomato sauce, made from fresh tomatoes paired with chunky Rotel and enhanced with bacon, onion and sweet bell peppers, and then passed in the oven to set, topped with cheese and served over cheese grits.

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory is one of those recipes that I consider to be a lost classic. You don't hear about them much anymore, though thanks to us bloggers, they seem to be making a resurgence in the past couple of years. I see folks doing it all the time, but I have never been one to put ketchup on eggs, though I do love them with salsa, especially in a breakfast wrap. I absolutely adore these Eggs in Purgatory though, done up in a bed of thick and spicy creole tomato sauce. They are just delicious!

Called Eggs in Purgatory because the eggs rest on top of a bed of fiery tomato sauce, just about every country in the world seems to have some version of this dish. Hard to tell where it actually originated, but no matter. They are mighty fine and a great breakfast, brunch, or supper meal anytime.

Now, before we start... don't go gettin' all up in arms because I am cooking tomatoes in a cast iron skillet. I cook pretty much everything in my cast iron. In my opinion, if you have well seasoned cast iron - and you start off with a fat of some kind {that is a key when cooking with cast iron to me} - and you don't use the skillet as a storage container for the tomato dish, it's perfectly fine. Not only that, but according to author and nutritionist, Cynthia Sass, tomato sauce, when cooked in a cast iron skillet, has nine times more body beneficial iron in it. One recent study with women who were not deficient in iron, found that when they increased their dietary iron they had a 50% less reduction in fatigue and more energy. Feel free to use a heavy, stainless skillet or any skillet that can go from stove-top to oven, if the thought of this strikes fear in your mind though!

You start off with a bit of bacon. That's good already!  Then you'll need to pluck a couple of ripe tomatoes out of your garden and get the skins off of them. That method of boiling is the traditional old fashioned way, but I have to tell y'all - I discovered the soft skin peelers and let me tell you, there's nothing easier. You really should get one!


Chop up some onion and green bell pepper and add that to the bacon.


Oops, forgot to do the tomato paste - you'll next want to brown that in with the bacon, onions and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then, add the chopped fresh tomato and Rotel tomatoes. 


Let that simmer on medium low for 30 minutes until it has reduced and thickened. While that is cooking, fix some garlic cheese grits.   Make four wells in the skillet and drop an egg into each one.


Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and using potholders, very carefully transfer the entire skillet to a preheated 325 degree oven. Let it bake for about 10 minutes or until the yolks are set where you like them.  Carefully remove the skillet and sprinkle the eggs with a bit of shredded cheese, if you like. Return to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.


Using a large spoon, scoop out an egg with some of the sauce and place the egg onto a bed of cheese grits. Grab a thick slice of buttery toast and devour.


Recipe: Eggs in Purgatory

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 40 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients
  • Garlic cheese grits
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of chunky Rotel tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cheese, optional
Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cut up the bacon into a cast iron skillet and cook until just about crisp. Remove and set aside, reserving the bacon drippings. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped fresh tomato and the Rotel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Make a batch of cheese grits while the tomatoes are simmering and hold them over low, stirring occasionally.

Using a spoon, make 4 wells in the sauce and crack one egg into each well and sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper. Using pot holders, carefully transfer the entire skillet into the preheated oven. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until yolk is set as desired. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, if desired, and return to the oven just until cheese is melted.

Serve over hot cheese grits and with thick crunchy, buttery toast.

Cook's Note: If you prefer this on the milder side, omit the Rotel and substitute an additional tomato.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on June 21, 2010
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33 comments:

  1. No ketchup, yes to tomatoes. Maybe it's the fact that the ketchup is too sweet? Not sure, but either way, eggs and tomatoes do make a nice pairing. Especially for brunch!

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  2. These sound wonderful. Reminds me of Huevos Rancheros which I used to get in Texas. I can hardly wait to try this recipe.

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  3. Yum. This might have to be in my meal plan for tomorrow.

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  4. Slurp, slurp, slurp!

    I .. am .. so .. sorry .. I .. can't .. talk .. right .. now. .. I'm .. drooling .. all .. over .. myself.

    YUMMY! Did I say "YUMMY"? I meant YYYYYUUUUUMMMMMYYYY!

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  5. I have no words for how good this looks, I have never been speechless in my life--just ask my husband :)

    anne
    www.anniebakes.net

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  6. Good lord that looks good in the final shot on top of the grits! If this is purgatory, I don't wanna go to the Pearly Gates ;)

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  7. I'm not one for eggs and ketchup...however....this looks very good....and if it is spicy I'm in.....plain ketchup No...but this little conconction looks very yummy...thanks for sharing...

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  8. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing these look. I am so into baked eggs right now!

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  9. YUM. I have yet to master the art of the cast iron skillet. Clearly, I need to.

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  10. thanks for visiting me on my sits day and making me feel special! And oh my this looks deeelish!

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  11. I love the name of this, I love the look of this...well, I love just everything about this dish. It sounds wonderful!

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  12. Tomatoes are delicious with anything! I love my eggs with a little salsa, too!

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  13. Dropping by via SITS. Wonderful, wonderful blog. Originally from Louisiana, and this blog makes me homesick. I am your newest follower. I live in Honduras now, and sometimes, I gotta have some Cajun or Southern cooking. This blog is an inspiration!

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  14. I'm glad I just ate or I'd have to head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of these.

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  15. Oh my goodness...this site is gorgeous! I am a new follower and also a southern girl, found you through SITS!

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  16. Ok. Several folks have commented "Ketchup". Ketchup and Tomato paste are VERY DIFFERENT things. The original recipe does look interesting. I'm not a cooked egg fan (even scrambled) but my guests are, so we'll probably try this on a small crowd...

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  17. Hi McKay House! The ketchup comments are likely referring to my mention in the first part of the post (not the recipe) about people putting ketchup on their eggs. It's a common practice but not one that I have taken to!

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  18. Mary, Mary, Mary ... if you were here, I'd hug ya. I made this for my hubby's birthday dinner along with your Southern Cheesy Grits. DEL-ISH-IOUS!!!! I also made my first loaf of artisian bread to go with it. SO, SO, SO good. Next time I make it though, I will be doubling the recipe. Thank you for such a great recipe : )

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  19. You're so welcome! Thanks for being so loyal about coming back to leave comments about the recipe you cook from here. HUGS!!!! Happy Birthday to the Hubs too - hope he had a nice one.

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  20. This is great! Just made this for dinner along with your garlic cheese grits recipe and it was fantastic! My brother (not a real fan of grits), said, "Hmm. I think the time for tomatoes and grits has come."-- Meaning he loved it! My southern boy (also a picky eater) loved it, too. Thanks so much!

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  21. Rachel that's the biggest compliment anyone could ever ask for! So glad they enjoyed it!! Thanks for taking the time to come back to leave a comment.

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  22. When I was anemic, my doctor insisted I buy a cast-iron skillet and start cooking tomatoes in it, to give me more iron. :-)

    A friend made me a similar dish once, with a rosemary-infused tomato sauce (no cheese). I am not a fan of tomatoes with eggs, but it was divine.

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  23. Nice site! Just stumbled on your page while researching recipes. Eggs in purgatory (as far as we can tell) is a gift from Italy. Still, this looks like a very delicious Southern take on the 'original'. Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that every region of our world has a version of this so I'm not about to argue the original sources - I do know that this one is a typical deep south version, however I'm betting that they are all delicious, no matter where they originate!

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  24. Why do you not cook tomatoes in a cast iron skillet? I've never heard that before. My aunt who raised me was an excellent cook & she cooked EVERYTHING in a cast iron skillet. I understand why the Dr would advise Serene to cook tomatoes in cast iron because the vitamin C in the tomatoes picks up the iron from the skillet (well, actually, any food picks up the iron) & then the Vit C helps the body to absorb the iron. Love your blog & try to read it everyday. I always enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks so much Mary! Actually a lot of folks refuse to cook anything tomato in cast iron. Some rumor started along the way no doubt!

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  25. This was absolutely delicious! Your garlic cheese grits recipe is one of my favorites for grits, so the whole dish just came to together nicely!

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    1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it & thank you SO much for taking the time to stop back by and let me know Diva!! That really means a lot to me - thanks!!

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  26. Ummm.. What are the grits for? This looks delicious by itself.

    Oh, and it appears my Firefox issue has been resolved. I can post again.

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    Replies
    1. Pretty common to serve these over grits down here but yeah, the eggs are good just as they are too.

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  27. I was getting ready to email you when I thought about doing a cast iron search to see if you had any takes on the tomatoes in cast iron, I found it LOL. I don't know where that idea came from. I was scolded for it but I never had any issues my pans worked just as well as before. This does look good, not sure how I missed this recipe I love eggs and cheese you just can't go wrong.

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  28. I was getting ready to email you when I thought about doing a cast iron search to see if you had any takes on the tomatoes in cast iron, I found it LOL. I don't know where that idea came from. I was scolded for it but I never had any issues my pans worked just as well as before. This does look good, not sure how I missed this recipe I love eggs and cheese you just can't go wrong.

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