We went on a little holiday to Spain, in Granada which is part of the Andalucia region. Nice break from the Parisian winter – mild weather, friendly people, an awesomely fun language, beautiful wine and delicious food. The food culture is really generous too. Granada’s apparently the last place in Spain that still serves up a tapa to accompany every drink you order.Given that, it’s easy to find yourself of a morning needing a big solid breakfast.
Enter Los Huevos Estrelladas.
Fried eggs, chips, jamón, peppers. Dead simple, but on a fuzzy and slow-moving morning, just what the doctor ordered.
I’m not making chips at home though. I prefer to do nice rustic crushed potatoes. They can be just as artery-clogging, but with less preparation or cleanup.
Here’s my take on the dish.
You might want to get a pot of water boiling while you read the rest.
1-2 potatoes for each person plus one for the pot.
Enough eggs for all
1-2 slices of jamón serrano per person, or prosciutto if it’s cheaper & easier to get hold of. It’s going in the pan so it doesn’t need to be super primo.
Padrón peppers if you can find them. Otherwise go for whatever thin-walled capsicum-type peppers you’re into.
Ok, is that water boiling? Drop your potatoes in whole, and boil ’em up.
While that’s happening, you’ll need to get your jamón and peppers going. I lay the jamón flat into a cold pan and turn the heat on. Once it’s crisped up, take it out and drain it on paper towels while you cook the peppers in the now-hot pan. The fat from the meat should do the job fine to grease up the pan. Cook ’em until they’ve softened and sweetened up, then set them aside as well.
Ready to violate some potatoes? Remember, it’s not a mash, it’s just a crush. Think rustic – they’re supposed to be uneven size, tied together with the mashy bits, but generally just beaten up a bit.
Once they’re cooked, you can drain them and start crushing them with a wooden spoon or a masher. Add your butter now until it’s pretty well represented. You could also chop some garlic and fry that in the butter in the pot before you start brutalising the potatoes. I also sprinkle in a little paprika at this point.
Adding milk now will pick up the butter and tie the broken bits of potato together.
While you’re finishing the potatoes, crack your eggs into your frypan, and get them going. You’re going to serve up in the pan, so try to pour them in around the perimeter. When they’re done (I’m not going to tell you how to fry eggs because I’ll get it wrong!) you can scoop and pile the still-hot potatoes into the middle of the pan, break up the crispy jamón, and sprinkle it with the peppers over the top of the potatoes and between the eggs.
Serve it up in the pan at the table, and feel better about the world.