Eggs in Purgatory......can you get anymore classic? I grew up with it, and I think any good Italian-America Roman Catholic kid knows what they are. Until I was older, I never even knew what they were called. I guess when I was about 8 years old, I finally heard my grandmother say "eggs in purgatory" and asked her about it.
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She explained to me that the eggs represented our souls and the red tomato sauce represented hell and to remind us that we are always surrounded by the Devil.
Now, I gotta be honest here, that's downright terrifying to hear at 8 years old. I was deathly afraid to eat eggs in purgatory until about 15 years ago. I was afraid to eat "hell". (I'm serious, it really bothered me....) But I could never get the wonderful taste to erase from my memory.
Now that I am older and a seasoned chef, my palette has changed. I have access to more ingredients than I did when I was a little girl growing up, and I know what I like.
Peppers.....you could go through my recipe vault and see that I LOVE peppers. From my Creamy Sausage and Pepper Pasta to my Quick and Easy Couscous Salad. I put peppers in a lot of my recipes. I love the texture when raw and cooked, and the immense flavor they bring to a dish.
I also love pepper and egg sandwiches. The corner store around the corner from our house used to make the BEST pepper and egg sandwiches on a long roll for $1.50. They were so big, you would split them with 2 of your friends and eat an awesome breakfast for .50 on your way to school. God I miss those days......
Anyway, peppers seemed like a fantastic way to "pep" (pun intended) up my eggs in purgatory. I like to serve it over whole grain toast to keep it light and then top it with some freshly grated parmiggiano. I think you guys will love this little twist on an old classic.
Eggs in "Peppatory"
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
2 TBSP e.v. olive oil
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch dried pepperoncini
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp hot sauce (i used Frank's)
2 plum tomatoes, cubed
4 slices 12 grain bread
4 large eggs
grated parmiggiano, for garnish
Start off by toasting your 4 slices of bread and set them off to the side. You want them to be really crispy, but don't burn them!!
Next, let's prep the peppers, onions and tomatoes, and eggs because this dish moves kind of fast at first. Slice and remove seeds from the bell peppers, slice an onion thinly and cube up some ripe plum tomatoes. You don't have to seed the tomatoes, we definitely want that juiciness. Crack each egg into individual cups and set aside until we are ready for them.
Heat olive oil in a medium sized non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add your peppers and onions and sautee until they break down a bit. Add the salt, thyme, black pepper and pepperoncini. When peppers are softened and the onion is translucent, add your tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium low.
Add the butter and hot sauce and work gently into the pepper mixture.
Turn your heat to low and using a spatula, flatten the pepper mixture down into the pan so that the pan is no longer visible. You are creating a platform on which to "poach" your eggs. Once you have created your tight platform, place each egg on top of the mixture. Cover tightly with a lid for about 3 minutes, or until whites are completely cooked through. (if you don't have a lid for your skillet, use a piece of foil and cover tightly).
When whites are fully cooked, turn off the heat, sprinkle with some freshly grated parmiggiano, a little dash of salt and pepper, and serve over the crispy toast. This is definitely a knife and fork moment.
Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef. She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place. Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world. She now shares her recipes with all of you! Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”.