Thursday, May 21, 2009

Huevos Flamenco - Spanish Style Eggs

I love this egg dish. It's so easy but seriously looks and more importantly tastes like you made some superhuman effort. I remember watching Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger just rave about this on TV but when I saw the actual preparation I instantly bookmarked it. Several years later and I've adapted it for my cooking style. I don't bother peeling and dicing tomatoes. Depending on what I have on hand I'll use 8 oz of tomato sauce, 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste or a 14 oz can of dice tomatoes with juice. If I use fresh tomatoes I dice them with the peel on.

The gist of it is a very savory sofrito of garlic, onions, and peppers spiked with ham, simmered with tomatoes until thick and then you cook the eggs in that vat of glory. Yesterday I made it for lunch as it's my go to splurge whenever I notice I have a lone pepper and onion hanging around. Surprisingly the boys love it too even with all of the sofrito ingredients.

Spanish Style Eggs
adapted from Huevos a La Flamenco by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste (can sub 8oz tomato sauce or 14 oz diced tomatoes in juice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ham, chopped into small cubes or shreds
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
4-6 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In an oven safe shallow but wide pan add the olive oil, peppers, onion and season with salt & pepper. Turn heat to medium high and saute until veggies are soft.

Once the veggies are soft add the ham and tomato paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes to allow the tomato paste to caramelize a bit and the ham to begin to render.

Once the tomato paste begins to turn a deeper orangish color, add the white wine and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it boil for about 2 minutes.

Add the water and the bay leaf and bring to a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Allow to simmer and reduce.

Once the sofrito has reduced so that the liquid is level with the veggies, remove the bay leaf and adjust the salt.

Along one edge of the pan, make an indentation with your spoon and crack an egg in it. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper if you wish.

Place in preheated oven and cook 18-20 minutes depending on how set you like your eggs. Around here quivering whites are a no no.

Scoop out each egg with a healthy (ha!) dose of sofrito and serve with crusty bread.

Let me introduce you to my perfect bite. A big torn hunk of bread, a piece of egg and plenty of sofrito. Absolute heaven.

If you hate opening up a can of tomato paste only to take out a spoonful of it, just do what my mom does and plop the rest of the paste in large tablespoons on a plate. Freeze, then pop them off and into a sealed freezer container. Ready for the next time, no waste and no having to pay obscene prices for a toothpaste tube of tomato paste.

If you're like my mother's daughter and forget the plops of tomato paste in the freezer and doom them to freezer burn just plop the tomato paste in spoonfuls on a long sheet of plastic wrap then twist the whole shebang like you would a long link of sausages and freeze. Cut off one link for each spoonful you need.


carrie said...

seriously! total duh moment here . . . i love the idea of freezing the paste!

Marielle said...

Nice to exchange tips with a wonderful friend.