What to cook for Father’s Day or indeed any lazy Sunday morning? This simple egg dish is hearty, looks clever and can be eaten at any time of day. Although you can just make and bake this all at the same time, it is easy to prep the day before so one can enjoy a lie-in while someone gets the newspapers and coffee for breakfast in bed.
The spanish element is the smoked paprika with the potatoes and beans in a flavourful tomato sauce. The eggs are gently poached and baked in the tomatoes. This recipe is lovely accompanied with good crusty bread or doughballs. Children will really enjoy making the doughballs (recipe below) but if you let them help be prepared for sticky dough hands!
To make spanish-style baked eggs for four people, saute one sliced red onion with a hefty splash of olive oil in a largish saucepan. Whilst the onion is softening gently over a medium heat finely chop a clove of garlic, peel and slice two medium potatoes into thick discs about the width of your little fingernail so they hold their shape. If you like you can slice chorizo too, but if you prefer to keep the meal suitable for vegetarians the chorizo is not essential.
When the onions soften add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika and the garlic, stir then add the sliced potatoes and chorizo (if using). Add two cans of good-quality chopped tomatoes, a can of butter beans (drain them first). Heat gently, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if the stew threatens to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Simmer for around half an hour until the tomato sauce is nice and thick. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Now is the time you can cool, cover then refrigerate overnight if you like – pop it in the fridge in the saucepan for ease, the next morning it can go straight back on the hob to warm through again before you add the eggs.
When you are ready to bake the eggs heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade then pour the stew into an oven-proof serving dish or just a small roasting tin. Make four deep wells in the tomatoes and crack four eggs into the holes.
Pop it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until the eggs are done – it’s quite forgiving dish and you don’t need to be exact as it depends on the dimensions of your tin, the warmth of the stew when you cracked the eggs into it, your oven and how well done you like your eggs. Place the hot dish onto the table, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with basil sprigs and chopped parsley and dip into it with some crusty bread – preferably toasted sourdough or home made doughballs.
For doughballs, you can again get the work done the day before and voila! produce it with a flourish, looking smug while you bring them from the oven. To make enough doughballs for four and a bit more, add two teaspoons of dried yeast and one teaspoon salt to 425g white bread flour. Stir, then add 300ml tepid water and a hefty dash of rapeseed or olive oil. Stir until it forms a dough then pop a bit of oil on your hand (to prevent dough sticking) squish and knead it in the bowl for a bit. Cover, then leave it on the side until it doubles in size or put it straight into the fridge and it will rise (yes even in the fridge) overnight.
When you heat the oven for the eggs place walnut-sized blobs of dough onto an oven tray (you might need two or cook in batches) greased generously with oil. Whilst the eggs bake leave these little blobs out on kitchen worktop to rise slightly – it doesn’t matter if they flatten out whilst they do so. Ten minutes before the eggs are ready to eat whack the oven up to the top heat and put these on top shelf for 10 minutes – that should be OK but break one open to check. If they are still a little doughy pop them back for two minutes. Enjoy.