When someone cuts into the yolk of this poached egg, it's just stunningly beautiful. The egg is perfect, the sauce is just full of wonderful, Spanish flavors, and the grits? Oh, the grits are just right.
For the grits: In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock, grits, sea salt, and butter and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and cook the grits, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until tender.
For the tomato concasse: To peel the tomato, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Prep the tomatoes by making an X at one end and trimming the other. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for 10-60 seconds, depending on ripeness, then immediately place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Peel the tomato skin away; then slice around the seeds and dice to make a traditional concasse.
Make the piperade: In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and shallots. Slowly cook over medium-low heat, making sure not to allow any color to develop, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, peppers, a pinch of sea salt, the bay leaves, and Espelette pepper. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes or until the consistency is much like a thick soup. While the piperade is cooking, finish the grits with heavy cream, stir, and then cover with a butter wrapper to prevent a film from forming on top. Set aside. Finish the piperade with a pinch of salt, Espelette pepper, and sherry vinegar. Cover and set aside to keep warm. (Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.)
Poach the eggs: Pour 2 quarts of cold water into your poaching pot and bring to a simmer, until the temperature on a thermometer reads around 180 degrees F. Add distilled white vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water. Find 4 ramekins or teacups in your cupboard. Crack 1 egg into each ramekin. Swirl the water a few times with a large spoon. While the water is still swirling around, gently pour an egg into the water. Start the timer. We are going for 4 minutes for a soft yolk, but if you like firm yolks, go longer. When it’s done, spoon the egg onto paper towels to drain; then season with a pinch of salt. Note: Poaching can be done with up to 4 eggs at a time.
Plate the dish: Spoon grits onto plate and nestle a spoonful of piperade off to the side. Gently place the poached egg on top of the piperade. Finish with a sprinkle of Espelette pepper over the egg. Serve immediately.