Eggs Creole & Grits

Eggs Creole & Grits

Serves 4. Recipe is by Patrick Ashton, of New Orleans.

Creole Sauce (see recipe)

4 servings of stone-ground grits, prepared per package instructions

8 vol-au-vent or Pepperidge Farm puff-pastry shells, prepared per package instructions and kept warm

½ cup white vinegar

¼ cup salt

8 eggs

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

1. Prepare Creole Sauce, grits and puff-pastry shells.

2. Fill a deep saucepan with cold water, vinegar and salt for poaching eggs. Bring to a simmer on the stove-top.

4. Crack eggs in small cups. Stir simmering water to a gentle whirlpool. Add eggs gently in water as quickly as possible. Increase heat to boil the water. Cook eggs for 3 minutes, then remove and drain.

5. Remove tops from puff-pastry and discard. Place two pastry on each plate, filling each pastry with a poached egg. Top eggs with Creole sauce and serve grits on the side. Garnish with chopped parsley and chopped green onions.

Creole Sauce

2 tbls. bacon drippings or olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

Salt, to taste

2 tbls. all-purpose flour

2 tbls. Creole Seasoning (see recipe)

1 bay leaf

2 tbls. tomato paste

2 toes garlic, finely chopped

2 cups fresh or canned whole tomatoes, crushed

2 cups beef stock

2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce

½ cup green onions, finely chopped

1. Heat oil or drippings in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and continue to sauté another 5 or 10 minutes.

2. Stir in flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring to make a light roux.

3. Add Creole seasoning, bay leaf, tomato paste, garlic, tomatoes and stock. Cook over moderate heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Add the Worcestershire and green onions. Season as necessary.

5. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Note: If using canned stock, be careful of added salt. Canned stocks can be very salty. Use a good Creole seasoning if available, preferably your own blend or a commercial seasoning without salt.

Creole Seasoning

½ cup kosher salt, optional, see below

½ cup garlic powder

¾ cup ground black pepper

¼ cup cayenne pepper

1/4 cup dried thyme

¾ cup dried oregano

1⅓cup paprika

¼ cup onion powder

½ cup dried basil

Blend all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Store in a sealed container. I like to leave out the salt. That way I can control the salt level when cooking