Once again the world traveller Maggie makes me jealous with both her travels and her food. Here she is….
This spring, my work took me to Spain . This was my first visit to this country and I was quite looking forward to trying new foods and of course, wines. I was not disappointed on either front. The Spanish know how to cook, eat, and enjoy life.
We went to a number of wonderful restaurants, some more than 300 years old. However, the best meal we had was served at a ranch out in the country. Heuvos Rotos- Broken Eggs. Simply potatoes, ham and eggs. Really, you say? All of Spain and I choose a peasant dish? Yep.
We had enjoyed Iberico Ham throughout the week, as a starter with cheese and bread at almost every meal. This ham, while similar to Serrano and Capicola, is from a special breed of black pig – Iberian-that after a life of free-range eating in Oak groves, in the few weeks prior to slaughter are fed only acorns or olives. The meat is dark yet mild, and full of flavor. So darn good. Sadly, it is not readily available outside Spain. So, if you try this in the states you’ll have to try a similar cut. Still good, but not quite the same.
I so enjoyed this meal in Spain that I dared not try my own. Then, my dear friend Felix hand delivered a small vacuum sealed package of Iberico Ham a couple of weeks ago. So, I had to try it. A Google search resulted in a multitude of recipes that were each different- including a lot more ingredients than in the dish I had, and some even used scrambled eggs… wuh? So, I decided to just go with my gut and make it up.
While not as perfect as the dish we had on a cold, rainy spring night in Spain, at a ranch where they raised the Iberian pigs, Andalusian horses, and in a lodge that was basically a bull-fighting museum (Prize bull heads on the walls gazed upon us we ate), my version was pretty good. Try it. And if you go to Spain and they have this dish on the menu- order it!
What you need:
5-6 small potatoes- boiled whole in skins
5 Tbs olive oil
50 grams (about 5 slices) of the best European cured ham you can find- Iberico, Serrano, Capicola
What you do:
Boil potatoes whole, in skins, and cool completely. I did this the night before, and tossed them in the frig whole. When you are ready to prepare the dish, peel the potatoes. In a large skillet- (cast iron would be awesome) heat the olive oil, then slice the potatoes directly into the pan. Nice, thick slices, about ¼ inch or a little more. You want nice hearty pieces. Cook the potatoes until heated through and the edges begin to brown and crisp. Transfer to a deep pie plate or baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika to taste, then arrange the ham slices on top, and place in a preheated, very hot oven- 450 degrees.
Now cook the eggs in a separate pan, sunny side up, so that the whites are cooked through and the yolks are hot, but still runny. When the eggs are done, remove the potatoes and ham from the oven. Place the eggs on top of the ham, and add a bit more salt and pepper if you wish.