In the not-so-distant past, eggs were given a bad reputation due to their high cholesterol content. More recently, however, nutritional science has determined that the type of cholesterol is also important, and though eggs contain some LDL (bad) cholesterol, they also contain HDL (good cholesterol), which is linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Eggs are also packed with important nutrients like choline, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, and vitamin K, as well as lutein, which is important for ocular health, and lots of protein.
This week’s recipe takes us to Spain to sample huevos a la flamenco. The recipe was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience”
Spanish Baked Eggs (Huevos a la Flamenca)
The Time-Life International Cookbook, The Editors of Time-Life Books (1977)
- 2 medium-sized fresh tomatoes or ¾ cup chopped, drained, canned tomatoes (if canned whole peeled tomatoes are used, the Muir Glen brand is favored by America’s Test Kitchen)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 small sweet red or green pepper, peeled, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
- ½ cup finely diced serrano ham or 2 ounces prosciutto
- 1 chorizo (Spanish) sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds or 3 ounces other garlic-seasoned smoked pork sausage (Spanish chorizo is a dried cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and smoked paprika and wrapped in a casing. In contrast, Mexican chorizo is typically uncooked pork sausage flavored with chile pepper and paprika that may or may not come in a casing)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup water
- Baked Eggs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup hot cooked fresh or frozen peas
- 6 hot cooked asparagus tips, 3 to 4 inches long
- 6 to 8 strips of drained canned pimento (another option is to roast a fresh red bell pepper until charred; this can be done over a gas flame or under the broiler. After roasting, place the pepper in a bag to steam, then peel when cool. Cut out the stem and white membranes or ribs, and discard seeds)
- 3 Tbsp pale dry sherry
- Parsley sprigs
- If using fresh tomatoes, drop into a pan of boiling water and let them boil briskly for 10 seconds. Place in a bowl of cold water and slip off the skins. Cut out the stems then slice the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds and juices. Chop the tomatoes as fine as possible. Canned tomatoes need only be thoroughly drained and chopped.
- In a heavy 10–12-inch skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the onions, garlic and chopped pepper, and, stirring frequently, cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the ham/prosciutto and sausage, then add the tomatoes, chopped parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water, and bring to a boil. Cook briskly, uncovered, until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape lightly in a spoon. Set aside.
- Baked Eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a 9×9×2-inch baking dish with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Discard the bay leaf and spread the sofrito evenly in the dish. One at a time, break the eggs into the dish, arranging them in a circle on top of the sofrito. Heap the peas in 3 or 4 mounds on the sofrito and arrange the asparagus in parallel rows, draping the pimiento decoratively over them. Sprinkle the eggs and vegetables with sherry, cover the dish, and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until an opaque film has formed over the egg yolks and the whites are firm. (Alternatively, the eggs can be added to the sofrito and other ingredients in the skillet, covered, and simmered for 4–5 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.) Serve at once, garnished with parsley.