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Huevos a la flamenca

October 15, 2008

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Serves 4

Said to have originated in Seville, this traditional baked-egg dish is made all over Spain in dozens of variations. In the spring, tender asparagus tips ring the top of the dishes. In summer, tomatoes are fresh and the dish might be topped with green peas. This fall variation includes mushrooms. Use the edges and broken pieces of Manchego to grate, reserving freshly cut slices for eating with walnuts and honey.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 pound button mushrooms, quartered
4 ounces prosciutto, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika
Olive oil (for the dishes)
8 eggs
3 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until onion is translucent.

2. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until they release their liquid. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, capers, and paprika. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Oil 4 shallow ovenproof soup bowls or individual casserole dishes (5 to 6 inches in diameter).

5. Divide the tomato mixture evenly among bowls. Make a central depression in each one. Carefully break two eggs into each depression and top with 1/4 of the Manchego. Cover the bowls with foil.

6. Bake the dishes for 8 minutes or until the egg whites set and yolks are still slightly runny. David Lyon