I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with cast iron. I love all of my enameled Le Creuset pieces but the regular cast iron drives me crazy. It’s an amazing conductor of heat. It makes the best crust you’ll ever have on a steak and is also perfect for skillet cakes and baked egg dishes. But it can be SUCH a pain to clean. I know proper seasoning makes all the difference, but I bet everyone who uses cast iron has at least one story of endless scouring.
Mine happened just the other day when I pulled these mini-skillets out of storage. There was rust on the sides! NOOOOOOOOOO. What a pain it was to clean. No matter how much coarse salt I used, the rust just wouldn’t go away completely. I tried salt, heating the pans until they were smoking and then scouring, more salt… finally it seemed as though I had a clean skillet, ready to be re-seasoned and used. Until I go and mess everything up again.
But these baked eggs with chorizo kind of made the whole ordeal worth it. I bought some fantastic sausage from the local butcher at Wagshal’s. I don’t eat a lot of meat but when I do I try to get the good stuff. I have no time for cheap sausage in my life. I kept adding ingredients as I went along. The few remaining grape tomatoes from my garden… some Sriracha to tickle my palate. Baby arugula for a splash of green and a bit more spice.
Tell me, readers, what are your tricks for dealing with pesky cast iron?
- 2 chorizo links, preferably fresh
- 15-ounce can plain tomato sauce
- Sriracha (or your hot sauce of choice)
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
- baby arugula
- 2 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- If using fresh chorizo, slowly render the fat in a skillet over low heat. Gradually begin turning up the heat, allowing all sides of the chorizo to cook and eventually brown. Periodically deglaze the pan with water and scrape up the brown bits. This will prevent the bottom of the pan from burning and it will incorporate the yummy caramelized bits back onto the sausage. This should take approximately 20 minutes, give or take.
- Allow the sausage to cool for a bit and then slice each link into 10-12 pieces.
- Briefly saute the chopped onions in the leftover chorizo fat (you can also use olive oil if pre-cooked chorizo was used).
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Ladle ¼ cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of mini cast iron skillets or ramekins.
- Drizzle some Sriracha on top of the tomato sauce (the amount will depend on your preference for heat. I used about 2 tablespoons per pan.)
- Line the chorizo slices in the bottom of each skillet and top with another dollop of tomato sauce (approximately 2 tablespoons per pan, doesn't need to be exact.
- Divide the onions in half and evenly spread over the chorizo.
- Layer on the cherry tomatoes followed by the arugula.
- Break the eggs into separate ramekins, leaving the yolk intact, and then carefully pour the into each skillet.
- Bake until the egg whites are just set, 10-15 minutes (they will continue to cook outside of the oven).
- Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper on top before serving