“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move, as far as you can, across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone’s else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody”~Anthony Bourdain 1956-2018
Traveling both inspires me and engages me in a way that can be difficult to explain. There is a simple message conveyed while traveling, we are far more similar than different.
The Spanish love their country and culture, but more importantly, their food. It is impossible to understand Spain until you understand their food culture, which is a central part of their identity. In Spain, meals are to be enjoyed, not rushed, and are a important part of family life. The concept of “eating on the go” is unacceptable. We spent many hours experiencing food around a family table, cafe or restaurant. Hours seem to pass as we spoke about current events or family life, combined with story telling, and a joke or two, followed by laughter and grand gestures of body language. Another bottle of wine, and another round of small plates (Tapas) and we continued into the night.
There was so much beauty and history experienced during our journey to Spain. What was it about this country that stood out the most for me? It was simplicity. Don’t measure simplicity by American terms, it will limit your imagination. Spanish simplicity is having a deep rooted understanding in the real life practice that relaxing and enjoying life are worthy activities.
On this particular trip my youngest son, on break from college, and never one to pass up an opportunity to travel agreed to be my travel companion. I was feeling pretty lucky, its not often you have a captive audience with your youngest son which includes none of the normal daily distractions. We toured with our Spanish friends through southern Spain from its coastline in Cadiz, its Roman history, stunning cathedrals and architecture, The annual Patio of Flowers in Cordoba, and urban life in Seville and Madrid. There was so much beauty and history we experienced and enjoyed.
There was a small plate dish my son ordered often in cafés called Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs). It was a simple delicious family style dish prepared often in Spanish homes.
Our friend offered to demonstrate this dish for him on our last evening. Her version was even more delicious. It was just a few quality ingredients and it was damn near perfect.
I did my best to capture the recipe and the demonstration for you below.
Side note: our last journey to Spain in our host demonstrated how to correctly prepare a family style paella Adoracions Spanish Family Style Paella
Wash, peel and slice your potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold potatoes)
After generous amount of olive oil add your potatoes and onions. Breaking up your potatoes with a wooden spoon, as you stir frequently to avoid browning your potatoes and onions.
|Ooooops! One Yolk broke
Add your eggs one at a time.
Add your chopped jamón, pancetta or chorizo. Wait no more than a minute and remove from the heat.
Place on a plate. With a knife and fork break through the yolks, and potatoes, and serve.
Huevos Rotos: Spanish Broken Eggs
2 large potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold), washed, peeled, and thinly sliced
Salt to taste
Enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of a 10-inch skillet
1 medium onion, halved, then sliced thinly
2-3 large eggs
small package of chopped jamón (Spanish ham) pancetta, or chorizo
In a medium bowl, add the sliced potatoes and salt. Mix the potatoes and salt with your hands. Set aside.
In a 10-inch skillet, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the potatoes and onions together. Stir frequently to keep from browning the potatoes (approximately 20 minutes) As the potatoes become soft, break up the potatoes with a wooden spoon. When the potatoes are cooked, its important to taste the potatoes to ensure flavor, and doneness.
In separate bowls for each egg, crack the egg and set aside.
After the potatoes are cooked add eggs one at a time. Add salt to the yolks, and shake the pan. Cook until eggs are considered “over easy”.
Add meat for just a minute and remove from heat.
On a plate, or in the pan use a knife and fork to break the eggs with the yolk including the potatoes until the dish appears chopped.