Eggs in Passata || Travel Cooking

Robbie thinks I need to get more recipes up here, like 'the old days'; and I'd like to oblige, but things just haven't been going to plan lately. We've been traveling since October, in and out of rented houses and friends' houses and hotel rooms, and though I still like to cook for sanity and value on the road, my desire to try out new things seems to get shuffled out of my own kitchen. I've been leaving experimentation to local bars and restaurants, collecting ideas as keepsakes - apples in BBQ sandwiches (seaside Cayucos, CA), or corn meal and veggie burritos (old town Tucson, AZ), or pear vodka and ginger beer cocktails (upscale Scottsdale, AZ). Oh yes. 

And at home, whichever home that is at the moment, I've been concentrating on what I know I can do with simple things like eggs and butter and plain flour, beans and rice and passata and sour cream. In fact, almost all my culinary experiments of late have been big. fat. failures. 

Salad tacos? Success. 
Pita pizzas? Success. 
Peanut butter popcorn cookies? Fail. 
and so on. 

But this, this recipe's both new and simple - using ingredients I buy every time we rent a house somewhere: eggs, passata (tomato puree), sour cream, toast and butter, and in this case parsley. A great in-cabin breakfast before heading into town for a hot coffee, something that might work just as well on an early campfire or BBQ, next to sizzling slabs of bacon. If you're that way inclined. 

And now, thanks to that, I'm laying in bed with my laptop in lap envisioning the camping trips we'll take next year ... forming vague, dreamy resolutions that we'll get out of this house or that house more, wake to birds and stretch out the kinks and make food in hot sand or hot coals or our little Weber ... 

Bring it.
Happy 2013, 
Amanda xx 

Eggs in Passata
serves 3-4
adapted from Saveur

I used parsley here, but that's what I happened to have in the fridge - you could try any number of different herbs like cilantro, basil or fennel - but the best thing is that you can use up the stalks you'd typically discard and save the leaves for garnish or salads or other meals. Feel free to substitute thick, plain yogurt for the sour cream if you prefer, or if that's what you have on-hand. Add chilies, cheese, or nothing at all. 

The time
20-30 min

The ingredients
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped finely
3/4 cup finely chopped parsley stalks (or herb of choice)
3 cups passata, or tomato puree (~1 jar passata or 2 14oz cans puree)
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 organic eggs

sour cream + parsley leaves + buttered sourdough toast, to serve

*Try to use organic when you can

The process
1.  In a large skillet over med heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the passata, herbs, and salt, bring to a low boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.

2. Break the eggs into the tomato puree in the skillet - you may like to break them into dips to keep them somewhat separate, or let them all run across the top together. Either way, cover the skillet with a lid (or, in my case, a cookie sheet) and simmer away on low heat till the eggs are cooked. Peek at them now and then, and remove the skillet from heat when the eggs are how you like them - soft-poached and runny or cooked through. Though the original recipe says this part took just 5 minutes, it was closer to 10-15 min for me. Keep checking your eggs.

3. To serve, scoop 1-2 eggs and ample sauce from the skillet and set atop toasted, buttered slices of sourdough. Try not to break the yolks, if you've left the eggs runny. Dollop sour cream onto each plate and sprinkle with parsley leaves, to serve. Enjoy!

The cost
This organic family breakfast came in under $10 for me. Not including coffee.