Back at Busot it was my turn to cook for the Lippy Witches. I did a spread of a number of things, including a couple of the tapas dishes from MoVida Rustica that I have posted previously – Pinchos and Alcachofas con Jamon. As always, however, the most popular dish was the simplest – Huevos Cordoniz (literally, quail eggs).
When I was 17 I lived in Granada for 3 months. My friend and I found a little bar near where she lived and it became our local. Granada is one of the few places in Spain where you still get free tapas with every wine or beer and Bar Rios on Calle Socrates is one of the few bars in Granada that gives you a choice of what that will be. We went almost every night to fill up before our night out.
The menu at Bar Rios has just 8 items and is very simple – chorizo on a roll, omelette on a roll, lomo on a roll, morcilla on a roll… but the produce was good quality and all cooked and seasoned perfectly. My favourite was what they called Huevos Cordoniz, a baguette round with a slice of jamon topped with a fried quail egg. For my English palette – it was like a mini mouthful of bacon and eggs. So simple but so good. I have made it many times since and everyone always loves it.
It is quite easy to make – the only difficulty is breaking the quail eggs without breaking the yolk. The eggs have a membrane inside which is hard to break open. I have taken to tapping the egg on the side of a bowl and then using a sharp knife to cut the membrane, being careful not to stick the knife in too far and cut the yolk. I always recommend doing it into a bowl first, as you will inevitably get bits of shells in which will be easier to remove if the eggs haven’t already started cooking.
Otherwise, it is very straightforward.
This recipe is for 12 tapas since that is how many ’s eggs you get in a packet. How many this serves will depend how many other tapas dishes you are serving. I usually do 1 or 2 each if I am serving a range of tapas.
12 quail eggs
½ baguette, enough for 12 slices, 1.5cm thick
100g (approx) Jamon Serrano or Iberico
1 tbsp butter or olive oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crack the quail eggs into a bowl; tap them on the side of the bowl and use a knife to gently cut through the membrane, being careful not to cut the yolk, and peel back the shell gently. Remove any bits of shell that end up in the bowl with a teaspoon.
Slice the baguette into 12 rounds, arrange on a plate and put a slice of jamon on each.
Warm the butter or oil in a small frying pan over a low heat. Pour in the quail eggs, moving any yolks which group together apart gently with a teaspoon and cover (so the tops cook evenly with the base). They won’t take long to cook so keep an eye on them and remove when all the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Use an egg slice and/or knife to separate into 12 fried eggs and put one on top of each baguette round. Season with salt and pepper.