I’ve been eating variations of this dish, ever since it was introduced to me on a trip to Israel, several years ago. The ingredients are simple, and allow for endless variations. For example, I’m adding some pork sausage to make it a one-dish breakfast eye opener.
In addition, it’s usually cooked it up in a nice big skillet, but I’m going to give it a go in individual ramekins, and bake/poach them in the oven.
I serve this dish several times during the holiday season; it’s one of the dishes that gets requested by my overnight guests.
3Add the breakfast sausage, and cook until nicely browned.
4Chef’s Tip: While the sausage is cooking, break it up using a wooden spoon.
5Drain the sausage on paper towels, and reserve.
6Wipe out the skillet, and return to stove over medium heat.
7Add one or two tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pan.
8Add the onion, and garlic.
9Sauté until the onions have softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.
10Chef’s Note: Keep an eye on the pan, and don’t allow the onions or the garlic to brown, or (heaven forbid) burn.
11After the onions have softened add the tomato paste, and sriracha chili sauce.
12Stir to combine, and allow the ingredients to cook for 2 minutes.
13Add the crushed plum tomatoes, the fire-roasted peppers, paprika, cayenne, honey, and cumin.
14Chef’s Note: I like to crush my tomatoes with my hands… it’s therapeutic
15Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and continue to cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
16While the dish is cooking, add salt and pepper, to taste.
17Chef’s Note: This stage is to help the flavors of the ingredients to merge. But make sure that you have the heat under the pan set to a slow simmer. That’s where there is hardly any movement in the pan, and no bubbles are breaking the surface.
18While the sauce is simmering, grate the cheese, and chop the parsley.
19Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (176c).
20Create a bain-marie and place in the oven.
21Chef’s Note: A bain-marie (pronounced "bane mah-REE") is a container filled with hot water that is used during the cooking process. The steam from the water fills the oven and keeps things moist.
22Coat the inside of each ramekin with oil.
23Add about 1/2-inch of the simmering sauce to the bottom.
24Sprinkle breakfast sausage over the top (enough to cover the sauce).
25Carefully add just enough sauce to cover the sausage
26Add the grated cheese (enough to cover the sauce).
27Fill with more sauce, until just below the rim of the ramekin.
28Chef’s Note: By layering the sauce and the sausage and the cheese, you’re creating layers of flavor.
29Use a spoon to make an indentation in the middle of the sauce.
30Break an egg into a small bowl.
31Carefully pour it into the indentation.
32Cook in the bain-marie, in the oven.
14 minutes for a runny egg
18 minutes for a harder yolk
33Garnish with parsley, and serve straight from the oven with some toasted bread or tortillas. Enjoy.
34Chef’s Tip: You can make the sauce and cook the sausage a day ahead, and then refrigerate them. The next morning, reheat the sauce; prep the oven, and you’re ready for breakfast with your family and guests.