One night while in New York City Luke decided to be proactive about locating the next days breakfast. We have a habit of saying things like “We’ll just head to (file in the name of a particular area here) and see what we find,” or “I’m sure there are tons of restaurants all over that neighborhood/area/city, We’ll probably have more choices than we know what to do with.”
I love the way we travel together. I really, really do. We come up with a few things we really want to do while we are visiting and leave things sort of unplanned. We do a lot of walking around immersing ourselves in the neighborhoods we visit. We find that this leads to find beautiful things and fun adventures. Like the time in Brussels when we randomly walked down a trash filled alley to find a beautiful park with sculptures and green grass on the other side.
We don’t want to just visit the tourist locations in any given city and call it a day. We also don’t want to eat at a place we could eat at anywhere. Hardrock Cafe? Um, no thanks. Chili’s? We don’t even cross those door in our home town let alone while traveling.
We like local restaurants. We want to eat the way locals eat and see the things locals might see. This coupled with our usual walk and find things laid back vacation vibe we usually think we will stumble upon a restaurant no problem. Like awesome local places are everywhere. They are, but really they aren’t. Not every neighborhood has a restaurant and even if they do, how do you ensure you are going to walk down the precise roads in order to stumble upon this neighborhood gem?
It reminds me of the time that we set out from out hotel in moderately dressy clothes while visiting San Francisco assuming fate would just lead us to the local neighborhood restaurant of our dreams. An hour and a half later we found ourselves sitting down to dinner at the restaurant in the hotel across the street from our hotel, but not until after we had walked all over San Fran’s famous hills.
So we decided we spend the next day walking around Soho. Luke, took it upon himself to make sure we would find food in a timely manner. He googled something to the effect of “SoHo breakfast”. Or something. He then decided on a cafe with an intensely SoHo name. He saved the address in his phone and the next morning, after making our way through the subway, we entered a cafe that not only possessed an intensely SoHo name, but also an intensely SoHo interior.
White walls, floors and furniture. Mirrors and chrome accents. Chandeliers and uncomfortable chairs. Not to mention the very high priced cups of regular coffee.
This place did not feel like any breakfast place I’d been too. But that is the beauty of traveling and eating in local places. It’s all about the experience. Since we are both adventurous eaters we love looking at a menu and seeing things we couldn’t get at home. For me food is about 50% of why I travel.
I am so glad we didn’t run away screaming when we saw the cost of a cup of coffee. I am so, so glad. Because in that tiny posh cafe in Soho I fell in love with eggs. I’ve always been an egg lover. We eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week. But the eggs we had that morning served to change my relationship with eggs. I’ve baked eggs of all sorts but I had never thought of baking eggs over easy.
The week after we got home from New York City I set to work tinkering in the kitchen trying to put ingredients together to make a little bit of our vacation at home. Eggs over easy, baked in the oven, laced with sausage and tomato sauce.
My friends I believe I have done it. Is it the same as what we ordered that faithful August morning? No. Actually I feel I have surpassed what Luke and I scarfed down that morning while practically moaning in the restaurant. Now we moan as we eat our eggs at our dinning room table. Mmmm. Oh, man this is so goooood. Oooh, how I love these eggs. You get the point.
Okay friends this dish is the real deal.
Easy. Easy. Easy.
And most importantly, oh so tasty.
This dish has the richness of eggs yolks, with the zip of Italian sausage and the freshness of a good marinara. When the final product debut’s at the table we all dig into what is essentially a very saucy and flavorful scramble.
This dish is easily adjusted for a couple or a crowd. I have visions of serving this to a group of friends for brunch. All you need is enough individual sized oven-safe baking dishes for your guests.
We are also able to adjust each dish to suit our needs. In Maddy’s words we end up with Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear Italian Baked Eggs. Because of his large and in charge appetite Luke’s dish gets three eggs, My dish gets 2 eggs and Maddy’s gets 1 egg. The recipe below calls for 2 eggs per serving but personal experience shows that this is more of a guide than a rule. Remember the more eggs in the dish the longer it will take to cook.
Italian Baked Eggs Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
8 large eggs
1 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup cooked Italian sausage
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan
Parsley to garnish
4 small baking dishes, about 2 cups or 1 pint size.
Heat oven to 325 degrees farinhiet.
Pour 1/4 cup marinara sauce in each baking dish. Stir in 1/8 cup cooked sausage. Crack two eggs over the marinara and sausage mixture. Try to crack the eggs so that the yolks are as close to the center as possible, this helps keep the yolks from cooking too much. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon grated parmesan over the top and place in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the egg whites become opaque.
Remove eggs from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve with lots of thick slices of toasted crusty bread. Breads like Foccacia, Sun-Dried Tomato Bread and Whole Wheat French Bread are great.
We like to stir up our baked eggs and use the toasted bread to scoop up the baked eggs and soak up the sauciness. My mouth is watering. I just might need some Italian Baked Eggs in my belly and stat!