As a young boy I was an incredibly fussy eater, there really wasn’t much my mother could cajole me into eating, and if I didn’t like what was on offer, I would simply not eat it and fill up on breakfast cereals.
Egg and chips however, easily solved the problem of getting me to eat a hot meal and my mother was a master at getting it just how I liked it. Perfect fries and eggs that were cooked just right with a runny yolk for dipping the fries into. Delicious!
As an adult I discovered that this humble meal, or rather a variation of it, is practically the national dish of Spain, available in every restaurant from the swankiest to the most ordinary pavement cafe, and they do it very well indeed.
There is more than one way to break an egg and everyone will have their own idea of what is the perfect egg and chips, but I am stealing some of the Spanish influence to make this greasy spoon staple a little more foody!
This feeds one nostalgic person.
Huevos Rotos con Patatas or Broken Egg and Chips
- 2 potatoes
- 2 Free Range Eggs
- Olive Oil
- A little Smoked or plain Paprika
- Some chopped fresh Parsley
- Vinegar coz I’m Irish and you can’t have chips without vinegar!
You don’t really need instructions here, as it’s just egg and chips, with some paprika and parsley, but I’ll scribble some down just in case.
I did this in a deep frying pan as it simply saves washing up. You don’t have to use olive oil but it definitely adds to the Spanishness of this.
Peel the potatoes and cut them up into chips of a size that pleases you, bearing in mind that the chunkier they are, the more time they will need to cook through. I make mine fairly skinny so they cook quickly.
You should really soak the chips for ten minutes or so in cold water to wash away some of starch, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Dry the chips with paper towels before you put them anywhere near hot oil or you could end up with a sizzling inferno on your hands.
Heat a couple of centimetres of oil in the pan until it’s hot but not smoking, you can throw one chip in to check if it is ready, it should sizzle immediately.
Carefully add the chips and fry until they are a nice golden brown. You may need to do them in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. It’s not a good idea to overcrowd the pan, it can be dangerous and the temperature of the oil could drop too much, then you will end up with soggy chips. Nobody likes soggy chips!
When they are done, remove them to some paper towels to drain and turn the temperature of the pan down to medium low.
I cracked my eggs directly into the oil the chips were cooking in, so I essentially poached the eggs in oil. It might sound disgusting and unhealthy but it was olive oil I used so I didn’t feel too bad about it, and the result was delicious. It really does not take long to cook the eggs, mere seconds really. Whatever you do don’t let the egg yolks solidify, the whole point of this is the runny yolk dripping all over your chips. Put the chips on a plate and season with salt, scoop out the eggs with a slotted spoon, let the excess oil drip off then plonk them on top of your chips. Give the eggs a good dusting of paprika and garnish with parsley. I couldn’t resist a sprinkling of vinegar because… Irish.
Break the yolks so they run down through the chips and that’s it. Enjoy a yummy plate of Irish childhood with a Spanish twist.
If it is too ridiculously plain and simple for you you could always fry some chorizo or even crisp up some serrano ham to sprinkle on top. If you want more veg you could fry some green peppers in garlic or suchlike. Do whatever you want, but I like plain old broken eggs and chips.