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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Eggs in sauce make breakfast, dinner

Thursday, July 06, 2000

Tested by Betsy Kline

Larry Peel of Finleyville is a daring soul in the kitchen. On his second whirl with Countdown to Dinner (earlier this year he shared his recipe for Ocean Perch With Saltines and Milk), he's sent us this intriguing breakfast and/or dinnertime dish for eggs in spaghetti sauce that evolved from a cookbook version of Huevos Rancheros.

This is how he explains the recipe's evolution:

"The idea came from 'In the Kitchen with America's Favorite Brand Name Recipes' under the name 'Huevos Rancheros.' The recipe used a dozen ingredients and took about an hour to prepare. We [he and wife Nancy] made it and it was delicious"

But once all those ingredients boiled down, it was just spaghetti sauce, he figured, "So why go to all the trouble?"

"I love eggs and one Saturday, wanting eggs, tired of frying and scrambling, and not willing to wait very long, I found a small amount of leftover spaghetti sauce and used it instead. Later, I played with it and came up with several variations."

There's almost always a pot of spaghetti sauce in the fridge at the Peel household, so Larry, who works at Sabre, a software firm, had many opportunities to refine his recipe for Eggs and Red Sauce.

Depending on what sort of jarred sauce you use, you may need more or less water to thin it. But the result is always a beautifully poached egg.

It comes together quickly, so have all your ingredients ready to roll and the table set before you start. We loved his tortilla variation with assorted condiments. It would also do nicely for breakfast, with the egg and sauce ladled over a toasted English muffin.

Eggs and Red Sauce

3 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water (more or less depending on thickness of sauce)
6 eggs
6 flour tortillas
Condiments (optional): grated cheese, chopped black olives, chopped tomatoes, chopped or shredded lettuce, onion slices, or green pepper slices

Heat spaghetti sauce and water in a large skillet until bubbling. Break eggs, one at a time, into a cup or small dish and slide gently into sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat until eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

Wrap one egg in a tortilla with sauce or top an English muffin with egg and sauce and add condiments as desired.

Note: Any kind of tomato sauce can be used instead of spaghetti sauce. Larry's favorite is to use the sauce from cooking hot sausages (with the extra onions and peppers). It's usually cooked down and he adds a full cup of water. The sausage flavor really spices up the eggs.

The condiments he uses are grated Cheddar cheese and black olives. He also makes this dish as a one-person meal using less sauce, a smaller skillet, and 2 or 3 eggs.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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