Gail Simmons’ new cookbook, Bringing It Home, is filled with tips she learned from judging Top Chef for over a decade. These Bloody Mary Eggs were born out of a challenge with best-selling cookbook author, celebrity chef, and Red Rooster owner Marcus Samuelsson to create a dish that could soothe both the belly and head after a big night out. “I took cues from favorites like eggs in purgatory and shakshuka, both of which feature eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce,” explains Simmons. “The dish not only won the challenge, but Marcus was so impressed with it that he put it on the his brunch menu at Red Rooster.” Simmons recommends using fresh horseradish whenever possible, as it has more potent health and flavor benefits (if you must go for jarred, choose a refrigerated over shelf-stable variety).
Bloody Mary Eggs
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained well
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced, plus celery leaves picked from the inner heart of the bunch for serving
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Celery or kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) vodka
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon prepared or freshly grated horseradish, divided
- ½ cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 8 large eggs
- 4 slices rustic country bread, toasted and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil
Note: Any leftover sauce can be kept, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Spoon it over toast or crackers for a snack, or thin it out with a little water and use it as a base for simmering mussels or braising fish.
- In a medium bowl, use clean hands to break up the tomatoes into small pieces. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery ribs, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon celery salt, then add the vodka. Cook until the liquid is evaporated by half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, hot sauce, a generous pinch of black pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the horseradish. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 20 to 22 minutes. Stir in the olives and remaining 1 teaspoon horseradish, then remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning and hot sauce to taste.
- Meanwhile, fill a large wide saucepan halfway with water and add the vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. One at a time, crack 4 eggs into a small bowl and carefully add each to the simmering water. Poach, gently spooning simmering water over the top of each egg, until the whites are set but the yolks are still slightly runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the poached eggs, one at a time, from the water, and drain on paper towels. Season with celery salt and black pepper. Repeat with the remaining 4 eggs.
- Divide the tomato sauce into four shallow serving bowls. Place a toast slice in the center of each bowl and top with two poached eggs. Garnish with celery leaves and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
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