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George Mendes brightens up baked eggs, soup with peas

George Mendes turns breakfast up a notch with his take on baked eggs. The Top Chef Master adds peas and bacon for a brighter flavor (and color!).

Eggs baked with peas and bacon
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch batons
    • 1/2 white Spanish onion, finely diced
    • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1 fresh California bay leaf, torn every 1/2 inch
    • 1 pinch crushed red chile flakes
    • 3 tablespoons strained tomatoes
    • 2 cups frozen petit peas
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
    • Fresh lemon juice

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Heat a 4-quart cocotte over medium heat. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a dish.Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf and chile flakes to the cocotte and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook, stirring and scraping down the sides of the pan, for 4 minutes. The tomatoes should be sizzling steadily. Stir in the reserved bacon and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the peas and season to taste with salt.Make 4 little nests for the eggs in the mixture, spacing them a few inches apart. Carefully break an egg into each nest, making sure each egg is nestled in the stew and flush with the top.Transfer to the oven and bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes.Top with the parsley and season to taste with the lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Minted pea soup
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion, small, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 2 1/4 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
    • 1/4 cup mint leaves, washed
    • 5 cups vegetable stock or water
    • Sea salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup bacon lardons (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place a 2-quart stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the sliced onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt.  Let cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes.Add the peas along with the mint leaves. Let the peas cook until soft and bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Remove ¼ cup peas and reserve for garnish.Add the vegetable stock or water and bring to simmer. Immediately transfer to a blender. Process at medium speed for 30 seconds then at high speed for 1 minute.  Pour the soup through a fine mesh sieve and adjust seasoning to taste. Distribute the peas over 4 bowls (as well as the bacon if desired) then ladle the soup and serve warm.

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