Food and family. My fondest food memories are from childhood and my travels. The smells, tastes, and experiences still live vividly in my mind, as we sat in my grandmother’s kitchen in Ohio and tore open a sack of White Castle, or licked the bowl clean when my mom baked a cake for our birthday. As a child my family congregated around the dinner table every night and on the weekends it was breakfast that was the centerpiece of our table. The mornings we had omelets were my favorite. The simplicity of an omelet and the fluffy, buttery, eggs with cheese and spicy salsa are the ultimate in comfort food. My brother and sister, my parents, we always found the kitchen table to be our meeting ground, our forum, our time to connect and make each other laugh. Mom’s lasagna, meatloaf, omelets, or waffles were all dishes that, along with our conversations and daily routine, made our house feel like home.
Recreating this early morning food memory as a mother now is something that I treasure. As simple as the omelet is, this baked egg dish is just as easy and one that works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s spicy, acidic, creamy, and decadent, but most of all it has soul. There are no rules to this dish — vegetables that are in season or found locally can be substituted or added for more dimension. A lovely family in Portland, Oregon, Sarah, Dirk and their little daughter produce a “haute” sauce that is ridiculously addicting and I’ve now incorporated it into this signature dish. Combining their love and passion into a favorite family dish to me is the best way to enhance an already delicious recipe. We often eat these baked eggs straight out of the skillet or it can be served to your family and friends simply in a bowl with a simple salad or grilled bread.
Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
4 large eggs