Please bear with me as I try a little experiment here. I need to see if I can make this post happen in as little time as it took me to make these incredibly easy baked tomatoes and eggs and get them on the table. So what you say? From start to finish these brunch worthy creations took no more than 45 minutes. Who can’t do a post in 45 whole minutes? Well, considering that 30 minutes of this time was spent updating my Mac OS to Mavericks and folding laundry I dont think that time should count.
So let’s see if I can get this here post done in 15 minutes from camera to publish shall we? Ready, go!
These baked lovelies were inspired by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, known collectively to the food and photo world as “The White On Rice Couple”. The recipe is from their newly released book “ Bountiful ” which is a collection of over a hundred simple and seasonal dishes (and cocktails!) inspired by the fruit and vegetable bounty contained in their very own garden. As the powerhouse food blogger slash professional photographer couple behind their popular food, gardening and lifestyle blog, I must say they are pretty darn inspirational themselves.
I speak from experience here for you see, Todd and Diane taught me to see the light. Literally. This past January I attended one of their photography workshops and while I may have walked in complaining about how bad the natural light was at my home, I walked away with a whole new appreciation and ability for utilizing existing light in food photography. Everything changed after that.
I refer to them as “The Couple” in my head and whenever I see them although that is probably a bit forward of me come to think about it. Taking liberties with someone’s name after all is a familiarity mostly reserved for the more intimate of friends isn’t it? I suppose then I do it because Todd and Diane are without doubt the type of people any sane person would want to be intimate besties with.
- They have an often edgy but always warm sense of humor and they love laughing – even at themselves. They work together all day, every day so you can imagine that this is a good quality for them to have. Whats more, it is clear to all around them, even those that only know them via the internet, that they inspire each other as much as they aim to inspire us.
- They love dogs, margaritas, and potato chips. Think about it, would you even want a friend who didn’t love any single one of these things?
- They are incredibly generous people. There are simply no proprietary ‘state secrets’ when it comes The Couple. If you have a blogging, cooking or photography question or a question on any other skill they excel at. Ask them and they will tell you. Period. I once asked Todd a question about how he made such great looking ice for cocktail shots and within two hours I received an email full of links to tutorials and all manner of contraptions that the pros use. He even referred me to a place that will sell you fake ice! Remind me to ask them for a million dollars next time I see them.
- They have tons of gorgeous fruit trees in their backyard and everyone knows that friends with gorgeous, bountiful fruit trees generally share bountiful amounts of fruit to their friends. Generously. (See #3)
- They throw lovely get-togethers at their home and invite their gorgeous friends over and cook them amazingly gorgeous things. I really can’t get over the beautiful photographs The Couple include in Bountiful showcasing they’re easy going entertaining style. I know I’ve been using the word “inspiring” a lot here but even putting aside the great recipes for a moment, The Couple’s book here will have you calling up your friends to invite them over this weekend.
- Did I say they love margaritas ?
OK. I’m closing in on my 15 minutes so I had better get going and finish this up. Check back later and I I’ll see if I can’t get a few more baked tomatoes and eggs photos added and maybe some links to some of the great recipes and photos from the book that they have already shared online. In the meantime, Julie at The Little Kitchen has a post up now with some great step by step photos to share and if you hurry you can enter to win a copy of the book she is giving away there.
Also, In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I should tell you (especially after heaping such praise on both The Couple and their book) that I DID NOT get a free copy of it. Repeat, I DID NOT. This might also surprise you but I’m not going to giveaway a copy either. Nope. I bought mine and I’m not giving it away. Get your own dammit. I suppose if you are the patient sort you can try hanging out at the many sites around sponsoring drawings for a free copy — I think that this is one book you should just suck it up and buy.
Whether you are a gardener, blogger, cook, or entertainer looking for inspiration ,or maybe you just want to be around some inspiring people, this book is for you.
Baked Tomatoes and Eggs
This recipe, like so many in the book features no more than four or five ingredients. It is just so The Couple to take a few marvelous things and deliver up a casually elegant, right-on-the-money dish like this one. If these eggs don’t say Sunday then I don’t know what does. And seeing as it was a Sunday and I had a few extra minutes of time, I felt inspired enough by The Couple to add my own inspired touch and added a bit of the shallots after a quick sauté and a splash of vermouth with a dash of sour cream. It took just a an extra 5 minutes…
Even so, I’m quite sure The Couple would approve of my inspiration.
This is what you will need:
- 4 medium to large tomatoes, tops removed and cores cut out
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced.Break apart "rounds".
- 2 tablespoons vermouth
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 4 eggs, medium or large size, depending on size of tomatoes (see above), at room temperature
- ¼ cup mixture of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and sage
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
This is how you make it:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mat
- . Pull off 2 inches of aluminum foil and wrap it around and crumple it to make a small ring that you can set a tomato one to prop it up on the pan. Once you have it working make 3 more! I left the place where the foil connects to form the ring a bit loose to make it easier to remove when they are done.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add no more than 1T of olive oil and saute the shallots until just soft but not brown. Add vermouth and cook down for 1-2 minute or until nearly gone. Remove shallots to a small dish and add sour cream and stir well.
- Divide the shallot mixture among the 4 tomatoes by putting 1/4 of the mixture inside. Brush the top edges and outsides of the tomatoes with olive oil and set them up on your ring stands.
- Crack one egg into each tomato. Do this slowly and if the tomato is too small for the full egg just hold back on some of the whites.
- Sprinkle parsley and Parmesan on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the tomatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to the desired texture. Pierce the egg with a fork or toothpick to test its consistency.
- Sprinkle with the a small amount of chopped sage. Serve warm.
If you have tomatoes you want to use but they aren't large enough to easily hold one egg you can scramble your eggs and fill each tomato up with the mixture before cooking.