Toward the end of the month, when money had dried up, my mother fed us a peasant dish of potatoes and eggs. It was a good, solid dish and with bread drizzled with olive oil it sufficed. Last night, I felt like duplicating that dish, but with my own touches.
Two large (home-grown) potatoes chopped into small cubes and thrown into a large pan that had been greased with a tablespoon-plus of coconut oil over medium heat, followed by a chunk of diced fennel including some of its "green hairs"; a large onion chopped; a sweet red pepper, chopped, two garlic cloves sliced really thin with a razor, and a handful of fresh oregano leaves from the garden. Moved it all around in the pan to join the ingredients, let cook a few minutes and then added 1/4 cup of sweet wine (I used Cribari's "madeira," which I keep around in 1.5 liter for such moments).
While the pot simmered, I grabbed a dozen large Swiss chard branches from the garden, stripped the leaves from the stems, tore the leaves into pieces and slowly dropped them into the pan, mixing them into the vegetables. Next, a large yellow tomato from the garden sliced and placed on top of everything, added a little vegetable stock, covered, turned to low flame and proceeded with the next step.
Cracked six eggs into a large bowl, added two or three healthy dashes of Tobasco and a dash of seltzer; whisked with a fork, slowly, to the count of 40, just to let the yoke and white blend but not too much blending.
Went back to the pot to lift the skin off the tomato, stirred everything and added the eggs, going around the pot so that they got into every area of it.
While it cooked on low, I grated some Grana Padano cheese, chopped some parsley and blended the two; then, I sprinkled the cheese and parsley on top of the potatoes and eggs, et al, as if I were making a pizza. At this point, the eggs were almost cooked, but not quite. Covered, counted to thirty, turned off flame, and called my wife to dinner.
To serve, I cut the "pie" into quarters, dished two quarters each onto a plate and stuck a basil branch in the middle of them.
The eggs were fluffed but with a firm bottom; the potatoes, onions, and fennel were cooked yet still chewy; the red pepper was soft; the tomato vanished into the dish and added color; the chard ran through the dish and added flavor; the cheese melted but had not turned into the glop that I dislike on most commercial pizza. There was slight heat from the Tobasco. It was like a tart or quiche without a crust.
Had the dish with Heron Hill Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2011.
My mother's potatoes and eggs was a decent dish, but this one was marvelous.