The family felt that this had an ‘All day breakfast’ feel to it and it certainly would not be out of place as a ‘brunch’ meal as well as being a tasty and not to heavy main meal. It was listed in the book as a substantial snack, but I served it as a light supper dish on a hot day. I did not want to add chips, perhaps the natural choice, so we had boiled minted new potatoes which I would recommend or you could add crusty bread if you wish. The original recipe used cayenne pepper but I used smoked paprika – it seemed the right choice to go with a Spanish themed recipe – and dusted a little over the finished dish with some additional parsley. I also used a larger amount of sweetcorn, by mistake – I had added a whole tin before I realised the quantity was wrong. I have given the larger quantity as we liked it! If you want less corn then add half a tin. The remainder will freeze well for another occasion. I also feel that the combination of ingredients would be the basis for a good Spanish Omelette. You could make most of this in advance adding the eggs when needed as the whole dish will reheat in the oven. As an alternative the bacon could be replaced with sausages, either ‘frankfurter’ type or pre-cooked traditional chipolatas, cut into small pieces and spicy Spanish Chorizo sausage would be a good addition, especially with the smoked paprika. Vegetarian sausages are readily available.
The original recipe for Eggs Flamenco comes from Salads & Snacks by Carol Bowen, first published in 1981 by Sundial publications as part of a extensive series of paperbacks available from Marks & Spencer. A second and similar version of the recipe , called Pan-fried Ham & Vegetables with Eggs, is found in The Spanish Kitchen by Pepita Aris. The main difference is the addition of 115g/4ozs grated cheese (Cheddar is suggested but Spanish Manchego would be much better). This is sprinkled over the top of the dish after the eggs, melting whilst they cook, or alternatively added and flash grilled once the dish has been removed from the oven.
Huevas ala Flamenca
1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g/8ozs lean bacon or ham, diced
60g/1oz chorizo, chopped or in small slices (optional – can be increased)
2 red peppers, cored, de-seeded & sliced (or 1 red & 1 other colour)
375g/12ozs halved cherry tomatoes or 6-8 medium, cut into 8 or sliced
4ozs/125g button mushrooms, sliced
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper or Smoked paprika
1tbsp freshly chopped parsley (plus a little more to garnish)
1 x 325g/12oz tin sweetcorn, drained – use less if you prefer
A little more smoked paprika & parsley to garnish
4 large eggs (ie, 1 per portion) – use ducks eggs if available
4ozs/115g grated Manchego or Cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic gently until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the bacon, chorizo and red peppers. Fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
4. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, pepper, cayenne or smoked paprika and parsley. Continue cooking for about 5 more minutes until the tomatoes go very soft.
5. Stir in the drained sweetcorn and remove from the heat.
6. Pour the mixture into a heavy based ovenproof dish. Make evenly spaced depressions in the mixture with the back of a spoon and into each break one egg per person. If using, add the cheese now so it can bubble and brown while the eggs cook, or it can be added at stage 8.
7. Place in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs have set and the yolks are as you like them – do not cook for too long if you prefer your yolk to be soft and runny.
8. If using cheese and it has not been used already, add it now and place under a preheated grill for no more than 5 minutes until bubbling. Just before serving sprinkle with the remaining chopped fresh parsley and a dusting of smoked paprika.
9. Serve hot with crusty French bread or boiled new potatoes or chips plus a simple green salad.
This is easily adapted as it would be no problem to cook a meat free version, possibly using vegetarian sausages though it would be good without any meat substitute.