Recently I’ve fallen in love with poached eggs. When made well, the whites are tender and creamy. The yolk should be runny and slowly ooze its golden goodness into, and onto, whatever it’s paired with when pierced. The combination of delicate albumen and rich vitellus, make for wonderful textural and flavor contrasts, and are but one reason why eggs are a cherished food the world over.
More and more I’m of the mindset that poached is a better way to eat an egg. As such, I’ve been seeking out dishes that incorporate poached eggs. The North African dish of Shakshuka—eggs poached in a spicy tomato based sauce—has become one of my favorites.
I’m also a big fan of the Italian corn porridge better known as polenta, similar to the southern staple grits, it’s hearty, homey, and comforting. When made by expert hands, it’s swoon-worthy.
Morgan & Company has combined shakshuka and polenta into a filling and flavorful dish. It’s an Italian-African mashup if you will, and on a recent trip to Glens Falls, I stopped in to try it.
I arrived at 10:15 on a Saturday morning, just 15 minutes after opening. The restaurant is a beautiful space. Warm wood tones abound, the dark walls brightened by large and colorful local art scattered throughout. It’s an old, historic home, that’s been lovingly restored.
I sat at the bar and perused the selection of eight mostly local drafts. Founders Breakfast Stout seemed an appropriate brew to quaff with my brunch and it did not disappoint. The shakshuka arrived as a generous portion, with 3 poached eggs and a good amount each of tomato sauce and polenta, along with three triangles of well-charred pita bread, all in a large stainless steel bowl. It’s a great value at just $13. I was pleased I decided to forgo the optional merquez sausage, as it would have taken the portion from filling to roll-me-out-the-door stuffed.
The tomato sauce is mildly spicy with big chunks of bell pepper and diced carrot. There were also hunks of tomato, and my dish had a whole Roma tomato swimming in the sauce. The polenta was as it should be, creamy with the right amount of salt. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the yolks runny and bright yellow. The char on the chewy pita added some needed bitterness.
Polenta pairs wonderfully with tomato based sauces and it works well here too. Parenthetically, if you’re bored with everyday pasta dishes such as spaghetti with meatballs, for example, serve the sauce and meatballs over polenta in place of the pasta for something a little different and more interesting. Polenta works just as well with many other pasta sauces too.
I very much enjoyed Morgan & Company’s rendition of shakshuka. The whole dish comes together to create a delicious symphony of many different flavors and textures and is a wonderful compliment to a cool March morning.