We bought our tickets to go home for the summer.
A sigh of relief. Now life can go on because I know for five weeks this June and July I will get to be with my people. Where my heart is half of the time.
This got me thinking… “how has living abroad changed my palate?”
Let’s start by addressing breakfast, shall we?
I didn’t grow up with savory breakfasts. Bollos (brioche buns filled with buttercream) plus a cup of hot chocolate was usually what we had before school. Eggs where reserved for a mid-morning snack. I remember going down to my grandparents’ pastry shop and seeing my grandmother fry an egg in olive oil for my grandfather who was taking his first break after starting his shift at 4am. Fried eggs with charcuterie were a big hit.
And so my morning rituals have definitely changed since living abroad. I no longer crave sweets in the morning and eggs have become my staple. I might even eat too many of them, if there is such a thing. And I don’t discriminate against different ways of cooking them – all are welcome. It is true though that I aim for the perfect technique whichever cooking method that might be. If I order a soft boiled egg, I expect the yolk to be soft and runny. A hard boiled egg should only take 10 minutes at a simmer. For scrambled eggs, the heat should be turned off as soon as eggs hit the pan. And so on and so forth. Eggs are delicate and each method should yield a specific texture.
Below is how I fry my eggs in olive oil. Serve alone, with bread, with charcuterie… whatever makes you quiver. In this case, Jamón (cured ham) with a little vinaigrette with mustard and torn chervil).
Fried eggs in olive oil (served with Jamón and mustard vinaigrette)
Simple recipes like this require only the best ingredients so use fresh eggs from your local farmer if you can. Yolks are thick and lush. And good olive oil. And yes, you can fry in olive oil!
I like my fried eggs to have a slightly crispy bottom, fully cooked white and completely runny yolk.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. You want the pan to be warm when you add the olive oil. For this, I just place my hand over the pan and feel the radiating heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and pool a little on the side if you tilt the pan (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Crack the egg into the pan (I only cook 1 or 2 eggs at a time) and immediately sprinkle the yolk with a little bit of crunchy salt. As soon as the white starts to cook on the bottom, tilt the pan to one side and with a spoon collect some oil and baste the top of the egg with it. This will help the top of the white to cook but shouldn’t cook the yolk. When the edges are slightly crispy and the white is cooked, remove the egg with a spatula. And there you have it.
Here I served it with some Jamón and a little mustard vinaigrette I made with leftover oil. Add 1 teaspoon of coarse mustard to heated oil and tear some chervil leaves (or other herbs you prefer) into it, stir and spoon a bit over the egg and the Jamón.