When Kay Plunkett-Hogge, author of A Sherry & a Little Plate of Tapas, first made this quail egg recipe, she cooked the breakfast potatoes in rendered ham fat, so extra olive oil wasn’t required. But since, alas, not all of us have ready access to a regular supply of renderable ham, so Plunkett-Hogge played around with this tapas recipe until she got something that included that hammy richness without requiring a leg of pork sitting around your fridge. The result is this downright delicious quail eggs recipe, which combines the salty richness of Ibérico ham with the heft of potatoes and the delicacy of quail eggs. Pro tip: the best tool for snipping open a quail’s egg is probably a cigar cutter. But if you don’t happen to have one of those lying around, a serrated knife will do.Huevos de Codorniz y Patatas (Quails’ Eggs and Sautéed Potatoes)Excerpted from A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas by Kay Plunkett-Hogge, © 2016 by Kay Plunkett-Hogge. Reprinted with permission from Mitchell Beazley and Hachette Book Group.
Over a low heat, cook the ham gently in a dry frying pan or skillet to release as much of its fat as possible. When it is almost crisp, remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
Turn up the heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil (or more) if you think it’s necessary. Add the potatoes and fry, turning occasionally, until they're golden brown and cooked through. Return the ham to the pan, toss together, and season with salt, paprika, and chopped fresh parsley. Turn out into a cazuela or serving bowl.
Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a plancha or another frying pan over a medium heat. Then, one at a time, fry the quails’ eggs. Simply snip off the top of the shell and pour the contents intothe hot oil—they will take about a minute each. Place the fried eggs on top of the potatoes and serve.