Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brunch Munch Munch

Brunch is one of those magical meals that always piques my palate and sends me running to grab an eggy delight. Brunch heralds the arrival of the weekend and is characterized by a dynamic interplay between sweet and savory, tradition and innovation, and of course breakfast and lunch. I rarely cook brunch though I have begun experimenting with using eggs in interesting ways paired with other flavors and ingredients that would not normally find themselves together. Poached eggs with braised kale and pecorino and baked eggs arrabiata are worthy alternatives to weathering the lines at brunch hot spots around town and have been big hits with my friends and family. This baked egg dish is very easy to make at home and can be made in big batches to accommodate a large crowd. The yolk stays runny, which adds richness and mellows out the acidity of the tomato, and the whites get slightly browned to a crisp. For those that like hot sauce with their eggs, the red pepper in the sauce adds a welcome kick. I usually serve them with some thick sliced country bread and some of the myriad jams and preserves I keep in the fridge or pantry. A simple side salad and some thick slices of smoked bacon or crispy pancetta are a welcome accompaniment to round out a complete meal. I have slowly been learning that brunch can be a breeze; you just get creative and experiment because you never know what you will come up with. I cheated with Scarpetta marinara sauce with some added red pepper flakes and a shot of habanero salsa though this recipe is even more delicious with fresh homemade tomato sauce. As always I encourage you to enjoy and share delicious foods and home cooked meals with yourself and others!

Baked Eggs Arrabiata

8 Fresh Eggs
1 Jar of Marinara or Arrabiata sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan
Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 4oo. Line a heavy baking dish or casserole pan with Tomato sauce and make 8 holes large enough to break an egg into. Break each egg into its respective hole, being careful not to let too much white spill out onto the tomato sauce. Season with cracked pepper and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Check every now and then to make sure that the eggs cook through though remain tender. Top with a generous shake of parmesan and put under the broiler for about a minute to achieve a crispy crust. Serves 4 or 8 depending on the array of sides and the appetite of the group. Enjoy!

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