Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet Pepper Revueltos with Smoky Bread Hash

Revueltos are scrambled eggs, in Spanish. We have some gorgeous little multicolored mini peppers from last week's LPO box, grown by the Los Cabos cooperative of family farms in Mexico. This combo was inspired by a recipe from The New Spanish Table, which involved bread fried in olive oil with garlic, chorizo, paprika and grapes! We buy great fresh bread from La Quiche or Golden Crown Panaderia, but it dries out pretty quickly, so we always have lots of dry bread on hand - which is not a bad thing. I love all kinds of stale bread concoctions, from Thanksgiving stuffing to ribollita to bread pudding, so I knew I had to try it.

I have come to love scrambled eggs now that we have our own chickens - I've never really liked eggs before, and I know it's not just my imagination, because egg-lovers tell me they can taste the difference between fresh eggs and store-bought. My standard is to cook a sliced green onion in butter, beat the eggs, then cook them gently with the onion on medium-low heat. I've finally learned the technique of cooking fluffy scrambled eggs, by pulling the cooked parts at the edges into the center and turning the pan to let the runny part flow to the edges. This takes about two minutes.

This morning, I wanted to try out a different way of cooking the eggs, from The New Spanish Table, where you just scramble them in the pan. I fried the peppers with a clove of garlic and plenty of olive oil, on medium-low heat. Then I cracked my egg straight into the pan and immediately scrambled it vigorously with a wooden spatula until it was well mixed and fluffy, and turned off the heat before it started to look dry. This took about one minute, and I didn't even have to dirty a bowl for beating the egg. This may be my new standard method!

For two people:
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 large red bell pepper or 6-8 mini sweet peppers
1 clove garlic
2 cups stale or dry bread, broken into very small pieces
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika (or regular paprika)
3 eggs
Salt and pepper

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet on medium-low flame, add red peppers and garlic, and cook until tender without browning, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs olive oil in another skillet on medium-low flame, and add the bread bits, stirring to coat with oil. Sprinkle the water evenly over the bread to wet it, and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the bread is crispy and golden. Add paprika and season with salt and pepper.

Crack eggs into the skillet with the peppers, let cook 10 seconds so the whites are just turning opaque, then quickly scramble them up with your spatula, turning to mix with the peppers. Remove from the heat just as they are set but still moist. They will continue to cook with the residual heat in the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and serve over the bread.
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