In Tom Valenti's headnote to this recipe in his brand new, really smart and inspiring You Don't Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook, he says that his version of Eggs in Hell was inspired by a recipe he read in the legendary California chef Jeremiah Tower's first cookbook. Valenti calls for reduced-sugar ketchup for obvious reasons, but if you are not a diabetic, feel free to substitute regular ketchup (I like Heinz).

Sunday Brunch: Eggs in Hell

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: This Week in Recipes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small plum tomato, cut into small dice with seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sugar tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 ounce crumbled goat cheese, Jack, or queso blanco (about 1/4 cup crumbled)


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. 2

    Heat the olive oil in a small heavy-bottomed, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato and salt and cook, for 2 minutes.

  3. 3

    Stir in the cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, ketchup, black pepper, cilantro, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

  4. 4

    Divide the mixture among 4 small baking dishes or ramekins and crack an egg over each serving. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 12 to 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use tongs or oven mitts to carefully transfer 1 ramekin to each of 4 plates. Scatter some chives and cheese over each dish and serve hot.


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