This traditional Southern Spanish tapas recipe features three central pillars of Andalusian cuisine: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sherry wine, and Iberian ham.
This recipe gets a boost of rich umami flavor from the earthiness of the mushrooms, onion, and garlic with a subtle touch of sweetness that balances out the saltiness of the ham and the wine.
The freshly ground peppercorn added at the beginning of the cooking process slowly releases its flavor as it gets in contact with the heat and cozies up to the fragrant olive oil.
The process for preparing this dish is simple, and the key to obtain a flavorful result is due to the richness of the ingredients. Often, this dish is served with eggs–either scrambled, fried, or poached.
Despite how delicious this dish is, it seems to be vanishing from menus at tapas bars. To find it, you have to go to very traditional, out-of-the-way Spanish restaurants–not where tourists typically gather.
Regardless of its waning popularity in modern dining establishments, this dish remains one of the staple recipes for my cooking courses from my studio in Seville. Why?
- I love to cook and eat it.
- It’s a great way to experience several of the most iconic ingredients from Andalusia.
- It provides an opportunity to learn about and taste an elusive recipe that is hard to find these days.
Let’s jump in!
- Mushrooms: 2 large button mushrooms per person (if your mushrooms are the small ones, then you may need 4 per person)
- Roughly chopped Iberian ham (50 g per person)
- 1 medium sized onion – peeled and finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic – peeled and finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 4 tablespoons of EVOO
- ½ cup pale sherry wine or dry white wine
- Sea salt – to taste
- 1 egg per person.
- 1 tbsp of EVOO.
- Boiling water.
- Over medium heat, pour olive oil into a large nonstick skillet:
- Add the minced garlic and the chopped onion.
- Add some sea salt and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onion softens.
Add the wine and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by about half.
Add the mushrooms, season with freshly ground pepper, and cook over medium heat for about five minutes.
Add the ham and cook everything together at medium heat for another two minutes.
Plate up with a poached egg on top with a runny and silky yolk!
There are many methods for poaching eggs, but this one is my favorite because it only takes three and a half minutes and produces a beautiful result.
You’ll need a pot of boiling water, a small bowl or a tea cup, a pair of scissors and a roll of plastic wrap.
Start by situating the plastic wrap in the small bowl or tea cup. Add a drizzle of EVOO to prevent the egg from sticking, then crack the egg into the plastic wrap. Create a pouch by wrapping the sides of the plastic wrap upward and tying the excess wrap in a knot or securing with a string.
Use an ice water bath to stop the cooking process once you take the poached eggs out of the hot water.
To serve, simply snip open the plastic wrap and out comes a perfectly poached egg!