One of the aspects of Spanish food culture that I love is how they eat eggs at any time of day, with no need to cloak it in the really irritating “breakfast for dinner” trope.* The tortilla is perhaps the most famous way they cook eggs–check out Le culs en rows for her rather brilliant mini-tortillas that you can make in a muffin tin, by they way–but I’m convinced that the Spanish version of any egg preparation is the best. When we do have some eggs on Saturday mornings, Michael follows the technique that José Andrés calls for in his scrambled eggs with shallots and scallions recipe and they always are really creamy and tender because he makes sure they are still a little runny when he pulls the pan off of the heat. And then there is the baked egg variation, which I first enjoyed at La Tasqueta de Caldes in Caldes d’Estrac and I’ve been trying to recreate ever since.
The trick with this dish is getting the eggs set properly, or really, with the egg whites set properly while the yolks remain relatively runny. When we tried this dish in the past, I don’t think we were letting our oven get to the right temperature, as it turns out that it takes it a good long while to get it up to 400 degrees.There really isn’t much else involved: I sweated some onions to act as a base in the cazuela, then added some chorizo (sobrasada is one of the few meats that you can’t find at Fairway, sadly, and I’m way overdue for a trip to Despaña) and cracked three eggs over everything and put it in the oven.
The next time we have friends over and we make tapas, I may have to make this part of the spread. Eggs are the perfect anytime food, and we need to stop limiting them to the mornings alone!
Baked Eggs with Chorizo (or Sobrasada)
Inspired by La Tasqueta de Caldes
- 1/2 large sweet onion (or one small whole sweet onion), diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 oz chorizo or sobrasada, either cut into chunks or crumbles
- Two eggs
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Pimentón de la Vera, for garnish (optional, clearly, as I forgot to include it this time around)
You’ll also need one small cazuela that has been well-soaked so it doesn’t crack in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and in a small saute pan heat about two tablespoons of olive oil on moderate heat, and then add the onion. Season and sweat the onion and garlic until soft, and then add to the cazuela. Sprinkle the chorizo (reserve a few pieces for the garnish, if desired), and then crack each egg into the cazuela.
Place the cazuela for about 10-14 minutes, or until the egg whites are set but the egg yolks are still runny. With this, you have to check in on the eggs as you get closer to the 10-minute mark, to avoid them getting overcooked. If you enjoy a more cooked egg, then let it sit for closer to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with a little pimentón, and serve immediately with bread if desired. (Note: I totally forgot to dust ours with some pimentón, but the chorizo had so much that it would likely be overkill anyway.)
*It’s not that I don’t enjoy breakfast foods, even maybe at dinner, but I hate that it’s a cutesy-poo thing.