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Video: Spring comfort foods: Eggs baked with peas, bacon

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    >> this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> in today's kitchen we're cooking up some seasonal one-pot dishes that are easy to make on a busy night.

    >> chef george mendez is the owner of aldayea restaurant here in new york and is so sweet to bring in all this stuff on short notice.

    >> peas and bacon. in this pot here we're going to start with olive oil , some minced onion, garlic. and slab bacon.

    >> what is the difference?

    >> in the store you buy bacon that's already sliced. this is a slab.

    >> you get a lot of fat with that.

    >> lardon.

    >> like my thigh.

    >> this gets sweated first, the bacon fat comes out. we take it out of the pan and here's your onions that are cooked with the garlic. we're going to add the garlic now and you're going to start stirring, all right?

    >> we need a spoon.

    >> and can you add the tomato.

    >> i'm going to add the tomato while you do that cooking.

    >> it's important to sweat that nice and slow.

    >> what's that mean, sweat?

    >> cook it over low heat, not that much color.

    >> and a pinch of chili flakes.

    >> and what's in there, bay leaf ?

    >> that's a bay leaf . it's important that you tear it.

    >> to all the aroma comes out. really important.

    >> and this is what it looks like?

    >> that's fast forward.

    >> to this point, correct.

    >> now we're going to simmer that baby?

    >> we'll simmer that for about a minuten and this is what you end up with here.

    >> hoda, you can add the sweet peas .

    >> something is pead in our dish.

    >> why do if to do everything?

    >> because i do this all day long, you don't.

    >> say, that's done.

    >> all right.

    >> so now --

    >> now we go ahead and make four little --

    >> you want the peas cooked or not cooked?

    >> briefly cooked, yes.

    >> now you make little nests like so.

    >> oh!

    >> and you break an egg into each one.

    >> remind those eggies where they came from.

    >> break some eggs in there.

    >> kind of cruel, actually.

    >> no shell in there.

    >> you're dealing with a trained professional here.

    >> here we go.

    >> so there we go.

    >> from there, we put it into an oven at 350 degrees for eight minutes.

    >> and okay --

    >> this is what comes out.

    >> we need to break the yolk?

    >> you finish it with fresh chopped parsley.

    >> you want to break the yolk?

    >> why?

    >> that's the creamy texture.

    >> and mix it all up.

    >> i see you, sara.

    >> and mix it all up?

    >> mix it all up and spoon --

    >> that looks great.

    >> okay. take it easy. let's eat now.

    >> mmm! that's great.

    >> what's the soup?

    >> that is a spring pea soup with mint. it's got bacon and more peas in there as well.

    >> dairy or nondairy?

    >> 100% dairy free, only olive oil .

    >> similar to the restaurant.

    >> thank you, george.

    >>> coming up tool, from the new drama "rectify" abigail spencer .

TODAY recipes
updated 4/16/2013 11:14:28 AM ET 2013-04-16T15:14:28

Recipe: Eggs baked with peas and bacon

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Minted pea soup

  • 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)

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.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

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