Looks Ugly, Tastes Pretty Good

Okay, so tonight I finally tried making Eggs in Piperade Pizza from Biggirlssmallkitchen.com. This dish was one of the things I had been most excited about making. It’s at the top of this blog in the banner..that’s what it’s supposed to look like – very rustic, yet really beautiful in its own way. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d have too much trouble making this, but oh was I wrong.

First, here’s the recipe, courtesy of Biggirlssmallkitchen.com:

Eggs in Piperade

For the Pipérade (adapted from Gourmet):

– 1 large onion, diced
– 2 red bell peppers, finely diced
– olive oil
– 1 teaspoon hot paprika
– pinch cayenne
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
– 1 tbsp basil, julienned

For the pizzas:

– 3-4 large eggs
– 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings
– 1 loaf ciabatta
– 1 clove garlic
– 1/2 lb fontina (or other mild melting cheese like Bel Paese, un-aged Manchego, or Monterey Jack), thinly sliced
– 3 slices prosciutto
– 1 tbsp basil, julienned (optional)

For the sauce, I began by cutting half an onion into rings. I didn’t want to dice them for two reasons: 1. I thought it would look nicer with onion rings and 2. I wanted to try caramelizing them first before making the sauce. To caramelize the onions, all I did was pour enough olive oil to coat the pan and then cook the onions on medium high until they started to brown, then turned the eye to low and let the onions hang out for 20 minutes. I didn’t stir them much, only enough to make sure all the onion pieces cooked equally.

They looked so good, but honestly, I probably could have let them cook longer.

My downfall in cooking will be my impatience. But anyways I was feeling pretty good at this point.

I had added some red pepper flakes, some chili powder (didn’t have cayenne here), some garlic (but only towards the end so it wouldn’t burn) and salt/pepper. Then I added the can of tomatoes, juice and all. This was my first mistake…I don’t think I should have added the juice – it make the sauce really soupy and my oven sucks, so it didn’t thicken well. I added in some basil, and then some pizza sauce since it wasn’t thickening. It gave a lot of extra flavor to the sauce, but it felt like cheating.

My next mistake was making pockets in the sauce while it was still in the pan and cracking three eggs into it. I was supposed to pour the sauce into a small baking dish, THEN make the pockets and pour in the eggs. I realized this mistake after watching the eggs diligently for seven minutes and seeing that they were not setting at all. So, like I should have done to begin with, I read over the directions and saw my mistake. Thus, I tried to scoop out the eggs (didn’t work very well) and then I poured the remaining sauce into a casserole dish. This mistake also made the sauce sort of resemble….uh, cat vomit at this point.

Gross.

I was seriously ticked at this point, but I decided to keep going anyways. So I made semi-pockets and cracked three more eggs and put it in a 450 degree oven. Meanwhile, I made the toast part. I didn’t have ciabatta, so I just used regular white bread.

I should really invest in the right ingredients.

I brushed some olive oil on each piece, then stuck them in the oven for about seven minutes, then took them out and and added garlic powder (didn’t have garlic cloves) and some mozzarella cheese (didn’t have fontina…noticing a pattern? I really need to get to the grocery store), then stuck the toast back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Back to the eggs. For awhile, it didn’t look like they were going to set/cook, so I began to let my head travel farther and farther up my butt in annoyance. After about fifteen minutes, I poked the eggs with a fork and the yolks seemed pretty firm, but the whites were still a little liquid-y. At this point, I decided to call my dad for advice. While he told me that the eggs were probably fine to eat (Sara, I used to eat raw eggs for protein in college), I could hear my mother in the background yelling in protest (SARA! DON’T EAT THOSE EGGS! NO!). Also at this point, my roommates made the wise decision to order a pizza as backup. Finally, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it…what could happen?

Best decision, not of my life, but definitely of the past few days.

The presentation wasn’t nearly as pretty as the one on biggirlssmallkitchen, but I think it tasted right (AKA it was awesome). Granted, it did have a load of pizza sauce, probably 1/4 of a cup, but whatever. Here’s a picture, but don’t judge it too hard. It tasted a lot better than it looked.

Next time I make this (yes, I’m going to try again at some point – I HAVE to get this right), I’m going to drain the tomatoes, and make sure I follow the directions correctly. I’ll probably also have all of the ingredients (ie red bell pepper, cayenne pepper) as well. To make it easier, I think I’ll just make an Egg in the Basket and pour the leftover sauce on top. I could have done this to begin with, but I really wanted the nice presentation.

Up next: Brie Cheese and Chocolate Panini – I have brie (Kayla got some in a gift basket) and we now have a George Foreman. WOO!

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