baked eggs with salsa – perfect brunch food

baked eggs with salsaIf I’ve had a big lunch, dinner gets pared down to a lighter fare.  Baked eggs are simple to make and you can add just about anything to the dish that suits your fancy.  Or for something super duper easy chop up fresh tomatoes, add eggs, and pop into the oven.  There are oodles of baked egg recipes out there and I like mine with a bit of heat and spice.  My recipe is an adaptation of the Arabic dish called shakshukaTomato based Shakshuka has chili peppers, onion, cumin, and topped with fresh eggs and baked in the oven.  Some cooks do not use an oven and prefer a stovetop method; I have yet to try the latter.  I’ve made this dish several times and each time the ingredients vary depending on what I have on hand at the time.  I chose cheese curds this time as the pièce de résistance.  Cheese curds you say?  Yep, they’re the magical ingredient in poutine – one of Canada’s favourite snack food. If making for dinner, serve baked eggs with a side salad.

individual baking dishes or cast iron frying pan
cheese curds, broken up if stuck together
hot Italian sausage, meat removed from casing (about 1 per dish)
1 to 2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
olive oil
salsa sauce (commercial or homemade)
country bread slices toasted  (to mop up the juices)

Preheat oven to 375f (190c).  Add a splash of olive oil to each dish.  Add sausage meat and scatter sliced garlic over meat.  Add tomatoes and a generous portion of salsa sauce to cover the meat.  Make a slight indention in the middle and crack an egg into it.  Place cheese curds throughout the dish.  Move to oven and bake 20 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking.  Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat before serving.  Serve with toasted bread to help mop up the juices.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Use feta cheese instead of cheese curds and cut up chunks of chorizo sausage in lieu of sausage meat.  About 5 minutes before cooking time has ended, turn on broiler to give the cheese a golden brown look. Enjoy!

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