I’ll be the first to admit that this dish won’t be receiving any beauty awards, but it definitely wins accolades for taste. It is seriously good. If you’ve never had eggs in purgatory, it is an Italian dish of eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. This Mexican version has the eggs cooked in a green base of tomatillos, jalapeño, scallions and cilantro. You broil the dish until the egg whites are done but the yolks are still nice and runny. The crumbles of Cotija cheese get nicely browned which adds to the flavor (kind of like that deliciously, spotty-brown pizza cheese right out of the pizza oven). I thought I had tortillas, but alas I did not, so David and I ate this all by itself. I topped the eggs with some diced avocado and it was so delicious the tortillas were not missed, but I could see how they would have been a nice companion. We loved this dish so much we are making it twice this week, for dinner and for breakfast on Saturday.
adapted from: Food + Wine Annual Cookbook 2013
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded (for little or no heat, substitute a poblano)
3/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
1 or 2 scallions, coarsely chopped, plus slices scallions or chives for garnish
6 tablespoons of vegetable broth
3 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 large eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija (or feta) plus more for garnish
chopped or sliced avocado for garnish
warm tortillas for serving
Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat source. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos with the jalapeño, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, and broth and puree until smooth.
In a large, shallow, flame proof casserole or skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over high heat until the bacon is browned, about 4 minutes (at this point you can remove some bacon to top the finished dish later, or just leave it all in the skillet). Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat until the sauce is thickened and dull green in color, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, and using a spoon, create 4 depressions in the sauce. Carefully crack the eggs into the depressions. Sprinkle the eggs and tomatillo sauce with the crumbled Cotija.
Broil the dish until the egg whites are set but the egg yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Garnish with more cojita if desired, as well as a sprinkling of salt, the avocado and sliced chives. Serve right away with warm tortillas, if desired.