Organic Fried Egg Over Grits with Green Heirloom Tomato Gravy
As the weather grows colder, I crave comfort food, and this dish ticks all the boxes. Hearty without being too rich, eggs with grits and green tomato gravy makes a great brunch or dinner meal— depending on the number of eggs used per serving (use one egg for a light meal and two for a main).
Green tomato gravy is an iconic Southern dish ladled over biscuits, shrimp, eggs, grits, boiled white rice, and meatloaf. Both savory and tangy at the same time, this thick sauce is gluten–free, making it a great choice for those that can’t eat a roux-based gravy. In the winter, I use low-acid, heirloom green tomatoes, which have a flavor profile that closely resembles summer’s green tomatoes, but with less of an acidic edge. To balance out the heirloom tomatoes' inherent sweetness, I add a bit of fresh lemon juice and a vinegar-based red-hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Crystal, to the mix. Do not let the amount of garlic scare you, the inherent sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes, sauteed onions and cooking process, all work together in this dish to exquisitely temper it.
Organic Fried Egg over Grits with Green Heirloom Tomato Gravy
Serves 2 as a main; 4 as a light meal
For the grits:
Makes 3-4 servings
3 cups filtered water
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn grits (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
In a medium pot, add water, salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in grits and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until grits are creamy and soft. Remove bay leaf, take grits off heat and cover with pot lid.
For the green heirloom tomato gravy:
Makes 4 cups
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped into ½-inch pieces, about 2 cups
¼ cup peeled garlic cloves, about 22 cloves
2 medium organic heirloom green tomatoes, cut into large chunks, about 4 cups
Juice of 1 large lemon, about 2 tablespoons
2 cups chicken bone broth (I recommend homemade or Butchers brand)
1-2 tablespoon Creole seasoning (I recommend Paul Prudhomme’s brand)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup chicken bone broth
1 tablespoon rendered chicken or pork fat
2-3 teaspoons hot sauce, I recommend Tabasco or Crystal (vinegar-based red-hot sauce) or Siracha as a garnish drizzle
3 tablespoons minced cilantro or flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
In a medium, enameled, cast-iron Dutch oven, melt butter on medium heat till sizzles—do not let butter brown. Add onion and sauté till soft and translucent—about 5 minutes. Add garlic and green tomatoes and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add chicken bone broth, Creole seasoning and a vinegar-based hot sauce, and sauté till tomatoes are soft and gravy has reduced by half—about 15-20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée into a sauce.
Add cornstarch slurry and sauté on medium heat till gravy thickens, about 5 minutes. Add rendered chicken fat or pork fat, and stir till incorporated into gravy. Remove from heat and cover.
For the eggs:
4 organic eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Add butter to a medium nonstick pan and heat on medium heat till butter melts and starts to sizzle. Add eggs and cook till eggs are set with crisp brown edges and runny yolk. Remove from heat.
Place ½ cup cooked grits on a plate. Using the backside of a large serving spoon, spread creamy grits around plate. Top with one or two fried eggs. Ladle Green Heirloom Tomato Gravy over grits and eggs, drizzle hot sauce of choice on top, then garnish with fresh minced cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, and serve immediately.