Eggs in a pestle and mortar

Eggs in a pestle and mortar

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
3
Photographer
Patricia Niven

This recipe comes from my very dear friend Antonio. I have known him since I lived in Granada many years ago, when we both belonged to a group of friends who were really into food – they showed me all the best tapas places. A wonderful cook and bon viveur, he made this for me from his family recipe and I loved it. Ñora peppers are traditionally used to make chorizo, but if you can’t find them, just use any other dried pepper or a couple of dried chillies. Spaniards eat these eggs with bread and salad – green or tomato, depending on the time of year.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80ml extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 dried pepper, ideally a ñora pepper
or 1-2 dried chillies
4 eggs
20ml sherry vinegar
sea salt
toast or bread, to serve
salad, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 cloves of garlic and the dried pepper. Be careful when frying these – if the pepper or garlic burns, they become unpalatable and will ruin the whole dish, so keep moving them about in the pan until the pepper has softened and turned slightly darker, but not black, and the garlic is golden. Quickly take the pan off the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic and pepper to a large pestle and mortar (or a food processor), leaving the infused oil in the pan. Add the remaining raw clove of garlic to the mortar or food processor and crush or blitz everything to a paste.
  2. Return the frying pan with the oil to the heat and fry the eggs until the whites are properly set, then add them to the pestle and mortar, along with the sherry vinegar and half of the infused oil from the frying pan. Mash everything together: the egg yolks will sort of emulsify everything and you’ll end up with a thin paste. (You could do this in the food processor too, but only on pulse.) Check for seasoning and add more of the infused oil or vinegar if you think it needs it.
  3. Serve with toast or bread and a green salad, and prepare to be amazed that something so seemingly unconventional can taste so utterly delicious.
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