I am drawn to recipe books. I loiter by friends’ bookshelves frantically scribbling about food combinations, techniques and oven temperatures. 200 degrees for half an hour? Really? I don’t agree! But its noted on a scrap of paper and shoved in a pocket to try later.
Watching my father sidle over to my bookshelves when he visits reminds me where this habit comes from. His beer is put down, a book is carefully selected, his glasses adjusted and in he dives. There is no pen or paper: he likes to ruminate; to contemplate; to mull over his choices. Before he catches his flight he gathers the chosen, makes his notes and takes them home. No food tasting for me.
Last winter, during one of the heavy snowstorms, dad came to stay. Knowing he would head for my recipe books, I asked him if he would like to cook one evening. He did, and this was one of his dishes. Temperatures and snow were falling but the smell of chorizo, onions and paprika transported our kitchen to Spain.
Dad adapted his recipe from A Passion for Tapas. He added chorizo. I’ve adapted it again by adding broad beans and potatoes. This is a regular Saturday lunch for us and changes according to the seasons and our fridge. If you have tinned tomatoes, paprika, eggs and onions you can create your own taste of Spain.
Dad’s other dish that night was smoked salmon on home made blinis. We’re more traditional and usually serve our huevos a la flamenca with crusty bread and a cold beer!
- 250g chorizo for cooking, sliced
- 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika (see below)
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 250g potatoes, cut into 1cm dice
- 170g sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)
- 170g broad beans (fresh or frozen)
- 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 eggs
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C
- Fry chorizo in a large pan until crispy (I never add oil to chorizo but my pans are marvellously non stick)
- Remove and set to one side, leaving the fat that's come out from the chorizo in your pan
- Add diced onions, garlic and paprika and cook until onion is soft
- Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the eggs) and mix well
- Bring to a simmer, then cook over a low heat until the potatoes are tender (ten to fifteen minutes) - stir occasionally to prevent sticking, if it gets a bit dry add a couple of tablespoons of hot water or stock
- Return the chorizo to the pan and warm through
- Season with salt and pepper
- Divide the mixture between six small ovenproof dishes
- Make a small indentation in each dish with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into them
- Bake in the oven until the egg whites have just set (about twelve to fifteen minutes)