Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Sheri:
I was intrigued by the technique of deep-frying an egg in olive oil, so I started with the Fork-Crushed Sweet Potatoes with Sobrassada and a Fried Egg. I’ve never made or eaten anything remotely like this before, but it was surprisingly simple to put together.
The sweet potatoes are baked–either in the oven, or in salt (Mullen includes a technique for salt-baked vegetables). I just baked mine in the oven, but I’m looking forward to salt-baked vegetables at some point. The cooked potatoes are then crushed in a pan with good, flavorful oilve oil and kept warm while the eggs are cooked.
Before I fried the eggs, I was sure to have all of the other ingredients ready: slices of sobrassada, crisped up quickly in a pan (tip: the dish is easier to eat if the sobrassada is crumbled into bite-sized pieces before adding it to the final dish); diced quince, which I could eat by the forkful; and a bit of parsley on top. It’s deceptively simple.
The eggs are easy to deep-fry. Any inexpensive olive oil is fine to use. I just slipped an egg into the oil, then used two metal spoons to shape the whites into a sphere and turn the egg so that it cooked evenly. It was absolutely delicious–the crisp whites envelop the still-runny yolks.
The final dish consists of the smashed sweet potatoes, topped with the crispy sobrassada and cool quince. The deep-fried egg goes on the very top. The result is an intensely flavorful dish with a contrast of textures and flavors. It’s sweet and spicy and earthy all at the same time. It’s got crisp and smooth along with the richness of the runny yolks.
We ate this for dinner, but I think it would make a lovely brunch dish.
Fork-Crushed Sweet Potatoes with Sobrassada and a Fried Egg
Featured Recipe From: Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better
Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 tablespoons Arbequina or other good olive oil 2 sweet potatoes baked in salt, cooled and peeled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices sobrassada
- 2 tablespoons quince paste, diced
- 4 duck (or chicken) eggs, deep-fried in olive oil
- Leaves from a small handful fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven or use the salt-baked method (page 182). Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Mash the baked sweet potatoes with a fork into the olive oil to incorporate and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Heat another medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the sobrassada and fry on both sides until golden brown.
- Divide the sweet potatoes among 4 plates. Top with the sobrassada and evenly distribute the quince paste on top. Place a fried egg on top of each serving and sprinkle some chopped parsley over the plate.
A Note on Sobrassada
Sobrassada is a lightly cured pork sausage from the Balearic islands of Spain. It's typically made with finely minced pork loin, belly, and shoulder mixed with salt, pimento, and sometimes even cayenne pepper for a little heat. It's hung to cure for a few weeks, but it's not a hard sausage. It can then be spread directly on bread, or cooked. I prefer to cook it. It's a great addition to stews, and when cut into little knobs is so tasty on flatbreads and pizzas. You can find sobrassada, quince paste and boquerones in Spanish groceries or at latienda.com.
© 2012 Seamus Mullen
Reprinted with permission from Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better, by Seamus Mullen (Andrews McMeel Publishing)