Variation on a Theme
In my last post, I showed you how to make great eggs, so here is a simple variation to this. I had a few slices of extraordinarily good paleta jamón left over in the chiller. Not enough to make a decent sandwich, but definitely too previous to feed to the dog I don’t have. So I decided to make a Spanish (albeit entirely made up) version of Ham ‘n Eggs and it turned out well nice. If you’re the non-porky or pescetarian kind, you can make the dish with smoked salmon or really any kind of smoked sliced fish.
Paleta de Jamón, in this case Iberico is much cheaper, but to my mind actually better than most Jamón proper you can get here. The difference is that paleta is from the front leg and shoulder, while jamón is from the much bigger and meatier hind quarter. But as I like my cured ham to be quite dry, I find that paleta delivers. I get my jamón fix from https://www.mysybaritas.com/ which I can really recommend. It’s not my company and I don’t get kickbacks or discounts, it’s just a small privately owned supplier that I think is worth supporting.
So on to the recipe:
- 2-3 slices paleta, or 1 big slice jamón, or other cured meat (or smoked fish)
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1 Tbsp butter
- freshly ground black pepper
I don’t actually use any salt, because the paleta is quite salt and frying it concentrates that wonderful saltiness, so for me that’s enough to give my eggs the salt they need. Eddie, however wants a little additional salt on this egg yolks, so try without and add at the table, if you feel like it. Go heavy on the pepper, though. the ham loves it!
Heat the butter in your pan and as soon as it is bubbling, place the paleta slices into the butter. Reduce the heat to low and leave the paleta to start curling slightly. There is no need to turn the ham at all. While the paleta is gently bubbling, crack two eggs into a bowl. As soon as the ham smell is strong enough to bring everyone to the breakfast table, slip the two eggs into the pan.
Now you have to work a bit fast. Pour a teaspoon of water around the rim of the pan and close the lid. Leave this on the lowest heat for exactly two minutes and your eggs are done! Just pepper them and slip them onto a plate. Eat!