Sunday, November 9, 2014

Texan Eggs Cocotte & All Day IPA



If you read last week's post you might remember that I cooked up a mighty batch of chili.  Rich, smokey, bean-less Texas chili, laden with a whole mess of peppers and spiked with chorizo and bacon.  We had our friend Paul over and he and I proceeded to eat like we'd never seen food before.  Still, even post voracity, there was still a ton of chili left over.  Like half the pot.  I sent Paul home with a to-go bag that he, quite brilliantly, had the good sense to cook with eggs the next morning.  It inspired me - the thought of chili for breakfast - and I set to making my own chili eggs. 

My version is something in between shakshouka (a Middle Eastern specialty of eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce), ouefs en cocotte á la créme (French for eggs baked in cream and also French for amazing) and Chilaquiles (the Mexican classic which, if you've never had before, you absolutely should - here's a great and traditional recipe).  So this dish is a little bit of a culture cluster but it's also a really solid breakfast. 


Admittedly, yes ... this a leftovers post.  But if you followed my recipe last week, YOU probably also have a ton left over.  And you should be excited about those leftovers!  Chili can actually be better the next day because all the flavors have had a chance to meld even more completely overnight in the fridge.  That was certainly the case with this batch.  The red seemed redder, the smoke, smokier and the ingredients as a whole all together smoother.  

  
While I stayed true to a cocotte/shakshouka method of cooking (in that the eggs are slowly baked within the chili), I kept the flavors purely Southwest.  We had a bunch of leftover chilies and I trudged to the store - stupidly in only a sweatshirt which did nothing to protect me from the 40 mile per hour wind gusts Chicago was enjoying that day - for cojita cheese, cilantro and corn tortillas.  


I also grabbed a six pack of Founders Brewing Company's All Day IPA.  Founders Brewery is a terrific establishment in Grand Rapids, MI that is about to undergo a huge expansion which aims to see a whopping 300,000 barrels shipped by 2015.  This is good news for fans of Founders nationwide as expansion almost always means more availability but can also lead to a wider distribution net.  Here's hoping!  All Day IPA is balanced and refreshing and like the Indian Brown Ale, assertive enough to hold its own against the chili.  By the time Sarah rolled out of bed, I had cracked the first bottle and was well into baking the eggs.  There was some whining about a leftover chili breakfast (still full from chili the night before, she claimed) but after she had a little coffee and I set the steaming cast iron pan of chili and baked eggs before her, all was well.  

A parting tip and a word about cast iron:  If you have a cast iron skillet or pot, use it!  A good part of this dish's success relies on the chili's ability to get really hot and stay really hot as the eggs cook slowly in it.  Cast iron conducts heat consistently and it's also tough as hell.  Don't listen to those who say it's high maintenance.  It's not.  There's a reason it was the chosen cookware of cowboys and pioneers - it's durable and cooks things incredibly well.  If you don't have cast iron, use a good dutch oven or a pan that retains heat well.

Enjoy!  


Texan Eggs Cocotte

1qt.  Leftover chili
1 C. Water
4 Eggs
1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped
2 Fresnos Chiles, sliced thin
4 oz. Cotilla Cheese, crumbled
1 package corn tortillas

- Preheat the oven to 450
- Place chili and water in a cast iron skillet.  On the stovetop, heat on high for five minutes, bringing to a boil while stirring often
- Remove from heat and immediately but gently crack the eggs into the hot chili and bake in the oven for 7 minutes.  (*note: in most ovens 7 minutes creates an egg with solid whites but liquid yolks.  If you prefer your eggs cooked more, increase oven time by 1-2 minutes.  Check often as ovens can be touchy and eggs can be fickle)
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, and chiles
- Serve immediately with warm tortillas



Pairing Notes
All Day IPA
4.7% ABV    




This beer pours a bright golden straw color with a creamy white head.  Even from afar, the pleasant aroma of citrus and floral notes from the hops is evident   These hops are bold in their aroma but subtle in their taste and this, along with the low ABV makes this IPA a very drinkable "session" beer.   The mild balance from a lower malt usage also adds to the drinkability simultaneously allowing the hops to take center stage.



Selecting a breakfast or brunch beer isn't too difficult.   Choose a beer that is light, subtle, and has bright hoppy flavors (I like to say it awakens the palate the same way the tang of orange juice does).   The All Day IPA does just this.  Its crispness also acts to refresh the palate after the richness of the egg and chili.  The tomato acidity in the chile is accentuated by the sweetness of the mild malts while the hops play off of the fresh cilantro and salty cheese.




17 comments :

  1. Love baked eggs.. so I can imagine how good your texan version tasted. Definitely a recipe I need to make!

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    1. Baked eggs are the best, aren't they? One of the best things about this recipe is that the eggs sort of soak up all the chili goodness and flavor. If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes!

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  2. this is such an awesome way to use up leftover chili... texan shakshuka, definitely on my to try list :)

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    1. Thanks Shelley! A little bit of a culture vortex as I said but - hey - chili and eggs work! Enjoy!

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  3. This looks so good right now! I need this in my life! Yum!

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  4. OMG. I want this in my mouth. Right now!

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  5. I like everything contains. is true temptation. looks awesome.

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  6. This looks incredible! I love savory breakfast/brunch dishes! I'm so glad I checked out your blog - my husband grew up in Germany, so we're always on the lookout for great beer pairings! I'll definitely be stopping back in!

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    1. Oh Germany - home to such wonderful beer and beer traditions! I'm glad you commented as we definitely have some German beer AND food posts in the works. We're moving to Copenhagen in a month and I plan to make a pilgrimage to Germany asap with the aim of collecting inspiration (and beer!). Stay tuned!

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  7. This looks amazing!!! I had Bobby scroll through so we can make!!

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    1. Rachel! Awesome! Let us know how it "pans" out (and forgive the pun :-) Bobby's certainly got the chef's touch so I bet it will excellent!

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  8. This looks awesome and I love leftovers! I also love IPAs, so this is perfect! I just got a new cast iron skillet a few weeks ago and I'm so happy with it! This chili will help to season it up nicely :)

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    1. Thanks Isadora! Congrarulations on your new cast iron - an essential of every kitchen, IMO. Enjoy it (and the IPA :-)!

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  9. Well, firstly, the lighting in your photos is just wonderful ... unfortunately there is so little light around here (in the UK!) that this is but a dream for me at the moment. Is it nearly spring yet?
    Secondly, what a great idea to mix shakshuka and chili and oeufs en cocotte ... and add the cheese and eggs and tortillas. Sounds heavenly. Could I eat this for breakfast? Oh yes, I certainly could!

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