Eggs in Purgatory Italian Style

Original Date: February 26 2020 Revised July 10 2021

If you love eggs nestled in some spicy, saucy goodness with Italian flavors, then this dish is for you. Don’t let the word spicy scare you, You can make this as hot or mild as you like. If my hubby were making this, I’d really feel like I was in purgatory because he loves food pretty spicy. I however, like it a little medium. This is simple to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

I usually make this when we want a breakfast type meal for dinner. We usually have quite a bit of that robust, insanely delicious sauce left after we’ve eaten all of the eggs so this makes a great breakfast treat the next morning. I just rewarm the sauce, fry a couple of sunny side up eggs and slide them on top. Pair it with a side of bacon and some crusty bread to soak up all of that lovely sauce.

Here’s what you will need:

* 2 Tbs olive oil or more for sautéing

*28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (for this I do try to get a good quality brand since this is the main ingredient that you’ll taste)

*14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained

*1 onion, chopped

* 3 cloves of garlic

*1 1/2 tsp dried oregano or more to taste

*2 tsp. dried basil, or more to taste

*1/2 tsp, dried Thyme

*1 1/2 tsp paprika

*1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes ( I like to start out with 1/2 tsp and add more if I want later)

*1 tsp. salt

*1/4 cup grated parmesan

*parsley for garnish

Add oil to a large skillet and heat on medium high. When oil begins to shimmer add the onions.

Turn the heat down to medium and sauté until onions become tender.

Add oregano, basil, Thyme, paprika and red pepper flakes.

Stir and continue cooking for about a minute more.

Pour in the crushed and diced tomatoes.

Using a micro plane or a fine grater, grate the garlic into the sauce.

You can mince the garlic instead of grating it. I like this method for this recipe because for me it’s easier and I know there will not be any big hunks of garlic. If you do choose to use a micro plane, be careful not to cut your fingertips. I’m sure I have garlic permanently embedded in my fingers from all the times I have done this.

Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Using a spoon, make indentations in the sauce. Place the eggs in the indentions, making sure to leave enough space in between each egg so they do not run together.

Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until whites are set but yolks are runny. Take the skillet off of the heat and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Don’t forget the crusty bread.

Creamy Cheesy Beef Skillet Pasta

This dish is total comfort food. I made this after a really long, stressful day at work and it is definitely a winner. The beefy tomato sauce and pasta make this a really hearty meal, while cream cheese gives it a nice creamy flavor. Then there is the cheese…. I mean, you can never have too much cheese. I had some nice Gruyere and aged cheddar that I grated and threw in some Monterrey jack, it really made this cheese loving girl happy. What’s even better is that it’s all cooked in one pan….yes even the pasta. Can I talk about the pasta for a minute? I found this Conchiglie pasta at one of my Fresh Market stores.

I had never even heard if this one before, but I thought it would hold up great in a beefy tomato sauce. They look like a cross between shells and elbow pasta.

What’s even better, is that all of that beefy sauce and cheese fill up the center of the pasta, then when you bite into it….it is heaven. This dish is definitely for a cheat day, but it’s worth it.

Here’s what you need:

*1 LB ground beef

*1 small onion, chopped

*3 garlic cloves, minced

*olive oil

*14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained

*28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

*2 tsp. dried Basil, or more to taste

*2 tsp. dried oregano, or more to taste

*2 tsp. dried marjoram, or more to taste

*1 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp salt, or more to taste

*2/3 cup of chicken stock

*2 1/2 cups Conchiglie pasta or elbow pasta, uncooked

*4 oz. cream cheese

*2/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

*1/2 cup shredded aged Cheddar cheese

*1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Heat a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the pan starts getting hot, add the onions and the garlic.

Sauté until the onions just start to get tender, about 2 minutes. If the onions and garlic start to turn brown, reduce the heat to medium. Add the ground beef to the pan and turn the heat back up to medium high heat if you had to lower it.

Break up the beef while stirring the onions and garlic to combine. Cook until the beef is brown, about 5 to 8 minutes stirring frequently; drain if needed.

Add in the diced and crushed tomatoes.

Stir to combine the tomatoes with the onion beef mixture. Next, stir in all of the spices and herbs.

Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes; taste and add any more herbs or spices.

Dump in the pasta and the chicken stock.

Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is al dente.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes.

Add the cream cheese to the beef and pasta mixture.

Gently stir until the cream cheese starts to melt, then add in the shredded cheeses.

Stir carefully to melt and combine the cheese with the beef pasta mixture. Do not over mix or the pasta will start to break apart.

When the cheese is melted and heated thru, serve with some nice crusty bread.

Chicken with Herbs, Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese

I made a version of this dish several years ago when I discovered my love of prosciutto and fontina cheese. Since then I’ve tweaked it a bit….well ok a lot. My original version I stuffed the cheese inside the chicken, which was good, but most of the cheese ran out. This time I melted the cheese on top of the prosciutto. I really liked it better this way, not to mention it’s way easier. This chicken packs a lot of flavor. It’s seared with herbs, wrapped in prosciutto and topped with fontina cheese then cooked in a white wine lemon sauce. This dish is great when you want to serve a little something special or you just want something a little different than your everyday chicken dinner.

Here’s what you need:

This Makes 3 Servings

*3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

*1 1/2 tsp. dried sage +1/2 tsp

*1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

*1 tsp. dried Thyme

*2 TBS butter divided

*2 TBS olive oil

*Thin sliced prosciutto; 1 or 2 slices per chicken

*Fontina cheese, sliced

*1/2 cup white wine or you can use chicken stock

*1/3 cup chicken stock

*the juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Preheat oven to 400°

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

Mix together 1 1/2 tsp sage, oregano and thyme. Season the chicken on both sides with the herb mixture.

and yes, that is one extreme close up of the chicken. I don’t know if I was really hungry or just really getting into the beauty of that chicken.

Take one slice of the prosciutto and wrap it around the chicken.

It’s ok if the prosciutto does not completely cover the back, it will stay once seared.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and add 1 TBS of butter and the olive oil. When the oil and butter mixture is very hot, add the chicken. I start with the side where the prosciutto may not fully cover the chicken into the pan first.

Cook for about 3 minutes and then turn them over. If the oil and butter mixture seems to get too hot, turn the heat down to medium. Turn the chicken over and cook another 3 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

To the pan add the remaining butter, white wine, chicken stock, lemon and 1/2 tsp. sage. If the heat was at medium, turn it back up to medium high heat until the sauce starts to lightly bubble. Stir with a spoon or whisk making sure to scrape up all of those delicious bits stuck to the skillet that the chicken left behind.

Cook until sauce is slightly reduced and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the skillet and place into the oven. Cook about 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165.

Top the chicken with the fontina cheese.

Place under the broiler until cheese is melted.

Take out of the skillet and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken.

Enjoy!

Chicken Paprikash

This is a dish that I learned to cook way back when I started cooking. I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years, but it’s still that same comforting dish that reminds me of the days when I would cook dinner for my mom and dad. They would come home from work and dad or mom would help out in the kitchen if I needed some finishing touches on the meal. We would all sit at the table together and just enjoy the moment of simply being together at the end of the day.

This is not authentic, but it still has that same rich flavorful sauce. I usually use boneless chicken breasts, but this time I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. I also added bacon, which is not in a traditional Chicken Paprikash, but I wanted that smokiness that you can get from the bacon….. not to mention….well…I love bacon in just about anything. This is great served with rice on the side to soak up all of that delicious sauce, or even pasta.

Here’s what you need:

*Boneless, skinless chicken thighs

*4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

*3 TBS flour divided (2 TBS to coat the chicken and 1 TBS for the sauce)

1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

*2 TBS butter

*1 small onion, chopped

*1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

*1 TBS olive oil or canola oil if needed

*2 large garlic cloves, minced

*2 TBS paprika; I recommend using a good quality, nothing expensive, but the better the quality, the better the flavor

*1 3/4 cups chicken broth; I used Better Than Bullion

*1/3 cup sour cream or more to taste

*Parsley to garnish; I used dried because it was what I had on hand, but you can use fresh

30 minutes before cooking, take chicken out of the refrigerator and dry with paper towels; set aside.

Heat a large pan on medium high heat and add the bacon pieces.

Stir frequently until bacon browns. If the bacon starts to cook too quickly, turn the heat down to medium. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and onto a small paper towel lined bowl to drain; set aside.

Pour off the bacon fat from the pan except for 1 TBS; add butter to the pan and turn heat up to medium high once again.

In a large zip top bag, combine 2 TBS of flour and the salt. Add the chicken and shake to coat all sides. Take out the chicken one piece at a time, shaking off any excess flour and place into the pan, repeat with the remaining chicken that is in the bag.

Cook for about 3 minutes or until chicken turns a deep golden color, turn over and cook the other side until it browns.

You only want to sear the meat, not cook it. It will continue cooking in the sauce.

Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic to the pan. If there is not enough oil in the pan to brown them, add in the olive or canola oil.

Turn the heat down to medium if the pan appears too hot. Frequently stir the vegetables until they are soft, about 3 minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the bacon back to the pan and cook a few seconds more.

Add the paprika and the remaining flour, stir to combine for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Paprika can burn easily so be sure to keep stirring.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth.

Stir until the broth and the paprika flour mixture is well combined and the sauce slightly starts to thicken.

Place the chicken into the sauce.

Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked thru and the sauce has slightly thickened even more, about 20 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

Add the chicken back into the sauce and garnish with parsley.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Enjoy!

Skillet Bacon and Egg Breakfast Hash

This skillet breakfast hash was the result of waking up one morning craving something hearty, but also having to make do with ingredients that I had on hand in the fridge. This breakfast hash has flavorful diced potatoes, crispy bacon, a sunny side up egg and melted cheese. What’s even better is that it’s all cooked in one pan. Less clean up is always better right? As you can see, it serves one because, well, again it was ingredients that I had one hand. Good thing hubby wasn’t craving breakfast that morning. This can easily be doubled. Serve with toast or homemade Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits on the side to make this one hearty breakfast.

Here’s what you need:

This is for one serving, but can be doubled for more.

*2 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

*1 cup frozen diced potatoes

*canola oil if needed

*1/4 tsp. sweet paprika, or more to taste

*1/4 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*salt to taste

*cracked pepper, to taste

*1 egg

*red chili flakes, to taste

*1/4 cup or more shredded cheese; I used a cheddar colby jack blend

Preheat oven to 400°

Heat a small cast iron skillet to medium high heat; add bacon. Cook bacon until pieces are crispy, stirring occasionally.

With a slotted spoon, take bacon out of the pan, leave a few TBS of the rendered fat. Add the frozen potatoes to the pan.

Cook the potatoes until they start to turn a golden color, stir occasionally about 7 to 8 minutes. If needed add a little canola oil. Stir in the paprika, onion powder, salt and cracked pepper.

Add in the bacon and continue to cook until the potatoes are golden and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside..

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and crack in the egg. Sprinkle chili flakes on top of the egg.

Distribute the cheese over the potatoes and bacon.

Place skillet in the oven and cook until the egg whites become firm but the yolk is still runny and the cheese melts,

Spoon on to a plate and enjoy!