|Spicy eggs on polenta aka Huevos Diablo (or Diavolo)|
I've been a tad busy behind the scenes here at Karina's Kitchen. A little cooking, yes. Now that I can stand for longer and longer periods of time and not topple over. And no, I haven't been drinking. Well, just a little red wine with dinner, of course.
No, I'm afraid it's not an intoxication issue at all, it's the whole getting-used-to being vertical thing. It's a wee bit strange and vertigo inducing. It seems I have to re-orient my depth perception and excavate my bi-ped spatial navigation skills (which were never as we now know particularly well honed). I must relearn how to aim and propel this stiff and complaining body (spare parts included) semi-crutchless around my casita-bound world. For the first time in ages.
You think that's easy?
Actually, it's all good. Even the failed baking attempts are good. Like the vegan pear cobbler that wouldn't bake in the middle and got only gummier the longer I baked the damn thing (what is it with high altitude and egg-less baking?). Actually, I blame gluten-free and egg-less baking. It's no walk in the park. It looked pretty, but tasted god-awful. So I'm sparing you.
Instead I'm reprising an older recipe I once ate with gusto (and can no longer consume due to an egg allergy; but you can, I hope!).
I love you that much.
Make this tasty egg dish for brunch or breakfast for dinner on some rainy spring night.
Eggs Diablo on Polenta
Bake the eggs as you stir the polenta and your brunch- or dinner- will be done in no time. I used stone ground cornmeal for the polenta, so it took longer to cook than a pre-cooked "instant" version. The creamy corny texture was worth the effort. Make sure the cornmeal you use is gluten-free.
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Polenta
4 1/2 cups light GF vegetable broth
1 cup grated Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese (use vegan cheese to keep it dairy-free)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 cups spicy salsa
2 cups GF red pasta sauce
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles- hot or mild, to taste
A good dash of balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper chili flakes, to taste
A good dash of cumin or chipotle powder, if desired
Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, to taste
8 large free-range organic eggs
Queso fresco, goat or feta cheese, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, bring the broth to a high simmer and pour the cornmeal into the simmering broth in an even, steady stream, whisking as you go. Keep stirring. This take a while. Hand the whisking job over to a willing and able assistant as you prepare the eggs. [Promise them chocolate, if you have to.]
Combine the salsa and red sauce, chiles and vinegar for the Diablo Sauce. Add in the garlic and spices. Pour into a deepish baking pan- I used a 10x13-inch pan. Place the pan in the oven for ten minutes to heat the sauce. In the meantime, give your assistant a break on whisking the polenta, or busy yourself with selecting appropriate Huevos Diablo music. Cesaria Evora works.
When you are about half way through the polenta process (around the 10 to 15 minute mark) pull the pan from the oven and crack the eggs- one at a time, preferably- into the simmering sauce. Place the pan back into the hot oven.
The Diablo sauce will poach the eggs. When cooking only four eggs, I will cook the eggs and sauce in a deep skillet (covered) on the stove, instead; I chose to bake them on this occasion because I was poaching 8 eggs at once.
When the polenta has thickened and is pulling away from the sides of the pot a bit, add in the shredded cheese and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the pot from the heat.
Note: If all goes well, the eggs and polenta will be done at the same time. My polenta took a little longer than I anticipated, so my poached eggs turned out a little more solid than I like. I should have pulled the pan from the oven and kept the eggs on the stove top until the polenta was ready.
Spoon a circle of polenta on each of four warmed serving plates. Spoon some Diablo Sauce over each mound of polenta. Top with two poached eggs. If there is any remaining sauce, spoon a little extra on each plate.
Top with fresh chopped cilantro if you like.
Crumble a little queso fresco, goat cheese, or feta on each serving, if desired.