It’s 6am on a Sunday and I have to go to work. It’s dark and it’s cold. It would be eerily silent if it weren’t for the episode of Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers I have on in the background that I recorded off Sky. Hungry Hubby is fast asleep and is likely to remain as so well into mid morning, when he’ll be getting up to get ready for a day of watching the football. By this time, I’ll have been running ragged for several hours at work looking after my head and neck surgery patients. Although there will be moments of happiness when I make a patient smile as best they can, be it through some medical intervention or something more holistic it’s an emotionally taxing job and real, hard graft. Despite the rewards, I long to be home preparing brunch for my sleepy hubby, filling our home with the scent of a rich, warmly spiced tomato sauce and garlicky potato cubes roasting in the oven.

So I give you my Spiced Baked Eggs – our most favourite of all home made weekend brunches when we’re not eating out for breakfast. It’s something I created one day just going with the flow and have recreated and evolved over and over into the recipe before you this morning. Much of my savoury cooking is like this – I just cook on instinct, not following a recipe. Although I now know baked eggs in a tomato sauce exist in many cultures it seems here is my version.

It’s a rich dish but it’s a heart warming one too – one also welcomed midweek for dinner when we arrive home cold, starving with nowt in the fridge. 

Uncharacteristically, I’m leaving you with this short post in the earnest hope that whilst I dash off to work, someone is enticed to try this dish for their loved one, this dark but becoming sunnier Sunday morning.

Spiced Baked Eggs
Serves 2
  1. 1 large baking potato, cubed
  2. 1 red pepper, chopped
  3. 1 onion (red or white) chopped
  4. 1 tin tomatoes (around 400g)
  5. Optional - squirt of ketchup or tomato purée
  6. 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp garlic oil
  7. 1 tsp ground cumin
  8. 1 tsp sumac
  9. 1 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
  10. 4 eggs
  11. Maldon salt & cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 200˚C.
  2. Toss your potatoes with the 1 tbsp garlic oil, season well and pop in the oven (I dice the potato before I do anything else so it's in the oven for about 30 mins whilst I prep and cook the rest).
  3. Check half way through cooking and toss the spuds to get them crisp on all sides.
  4. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frying pan with a lid if you have one - if not, get a baking tray out to use as a lid later.
  5. Chop your onion as rough or as fine as you like - add to the oil and soften, not brown.
  6. Sprinkle on the powdered spices and stir for a minute as they cook.
  7. Add in your chopped red (well, any colour but the too bitter green!) pepper.
  8. If using, stir in a heaping tbsp's worth of ketchup or tomato purée.
  9. Tip in the tinned tomatoes and follow with upto half a can of water if you think it looks too dry (sometimes it does for me, sometimes it doesn't - you want to end up with a thick sauce in the end...).
  10. Pop the lid over for 10 mins to soften the pepper.
  11. Remove lid, stir well and turn heat down to low-medium , make 4 "wells" in the sauce with the back of a ladle or spoon and crack your eggs right on top.
  12. Sprinkle with seasoning and pop your lid back on - I cook my eggs for about 7 mins until the white is set but the yolk still a teeny bit soft in the middle - adjust by a minute either side to suit your own preferences.
  13. To serve pop half the potatoes on each shallow bowl then spoon the eggs carefully next to them with plenty of the richly spiced tomato sauce - dig in and mop up with some delicious bread!
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