I’m on a bit of a comfort food mission at the moment. Think it’s the change of seasons and hopefully the change of pace which will go with it. Slower more leisurely cooking, richer flavours, spices and roasts. I love roasts…mmm! Okay, now I’m getting carried away as I’m not blogging about roasts today, but I can’t help fantasising about the roasts I will be preparing and naturally blogging about soon…
Back on track now, the dish I am blogging about today is for me to the mid week meal what the roast is to a Sunday. In our home it’s called Eggs Provencal and is a recipe my Mom got from an Elizabeth David cook book on traditional Italian cookery. She added mashed potato to the recipe and the rest is history! I’ve been hooked my whole life.
It is a perfectly balances meal with all the elements of veg, starch and protein as well as tangy, creamy and sticky textures and flavours. It’s what my Mom cooks for me when she knows I need nurturing. It’s what I cook for myself when I need a midweek comfort food fix without the guilt of pizza.
And for those of you who think eggs are should strictly be reserved for breakfast dishes or baking need to realise that this is a very Anglo-Saxon perspective. Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian cooking uses eggs as the protein part of their main meals far more often than they would serve eggs at breakfast. So take it from me, this recipe is a winner!
Eggs Provencal a la Mama
For the mash
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
75g of butter
½ - 1 cup of milk
1 tsp of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato concasse
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp of oil
6 large tomatoes, finely chopped
½ Tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Fresh or dried herbs (e.g. basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
4 jumbo free range eggs, poached
Boil the potatoes in salted water, until just done. Check this by spearing the potato with a knife. Drain the potatoes, add the butter and mash with a potato masher until fluffy and no lumps. Add the milk, salt and pepper and mash until smooth and creamy. You can decide what consistency you like your mash to be and add more or less milk.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium high heat. Fry the onion and garlic until it turns glassy. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until it forms a nice saucy texture, the cooking time will vary here according to the water content of your tomatoes. Add the sugar, spices and herbs and simmer for a minute or two until the flavours have combined.
I have added two helpful links for poaching eggs below:
I however don’t add vinegar as I don’t like the way it makes the eggs taste but this can lead to the eggs being a bit ‘all over the place’. Try the vinegar method first and you can experiment once you are more familiar with the technique.
Layer the mash, concasse and eggs in a serving dish or plate individually and top with grated parmesan.