Wednesday night’s dinner was a particular favourite, Huevos a la Flamenca, a lovely recipe from a great Spanish cook book. The book is called The Food of Spain, published by Murdoch Books. It’s one of a series and I have two others; The Food of France and The Food of Morocco. Alberto has bought all of them for me as various Christmas and birthday presents and they’re a really good series of books. I joke that you can easily tell the difference between the three cuisines – every Spanish recipe has two different types of meat in, every French recipe has cream and booze in, and every Moroccan recipe has meat and fruit in! It’s a sweeping generalisation of course but there’s some truth in it. There are loads of good recipes in the book but this one is a definite favourite. It’s relatively quick and easy to do and, despite the aforementioned two meats, is also packed with veg and fairly healthy. Alberto was working until midnight on Wednesday so it was good to make something that he could easily heat through when he got home.
Serves 4 (although I scale it down a little to serve two as a full meal.)
400g of potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 brown onion, chopped
100g of thinly sliced Serrano ham, torn into strips
150g of asparagus thin spears, trimmed
100g of peas
100g of baby green beans, sliced
500g of ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped. (I don’t usually bother to peel them)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 eggs (or one per person)
100g of chorizo, thinly sliced on the diagonal. (I usually use a little more – generally a whole chorizo sausage, (usually about 150g) skinned and sliced. The veg is great but the chorizo is easily the best bit of the meal!)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the potato cubes over a medium heat until golden.
Remove and set aside.
Reduce the heat and fry the pepper and red onion. Tear two of the ham slices into strips and add to the pan. Cook until the onion is soft.
Preheat the oven to 180.
Reserve 4 asparagus spears but add the rest to the pan along with the beans, peas, tomatoes, tomato puree.
Stir in 125ml of water, season with salt and pepper and return the potatoes to the pan.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I have to say, I usually use a large saucepan rather than a frying pan – it’s just easier when stirring to combine the ingredients, especially with the long spears of asparagus and long beans – you don’t want this to end up all over the hob!)
Grease a large ovenproof dish. (I have a square ceramic one that is ideal for this recipe and just the right size to feed two.)
Transfer the veg to the dish. By this point the heat should have turned the water, puree and tomatoes into a nice, thick sauce.
Using the back of a spoon make evenly spaced, deepish, indentations, one for each egg, and break an egg into each.
Place the four remaining pieces of asparagus on top of the veg and then cover the whole of the dish (except for the eggs) with chorizo and any remaining Serrano ham. (This is the best bit – when you bake the dish in the oven the chorizo goes crispy on the top but stays soft and juicy on the underside. Delicious!)
Sprinkle parsley over the top and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the egg whites are set.
Really lovely – the flavours of the veg really come through and combine nicely with the crispy/soft meatiness of the chorizo. And the eggs are lovely too.
(If you’re wondering why only half of this is topped with chorizo in this photo it’s because Alberto will be eating hours after me. Rather than cook the chorizo twice, and thus dry it out, I cook the dish with chorizo just on my half, then, after I’ve eaten I cover Alberto’s half with chorizo and parsley so that when he gets home all he has to do is crack an egg on it and bake it! Practical huh?)