PAYS BASQUE / BASQUE COUNTRY
Not an omelette and not scrambled eggs, this dish from the Basque region is one of the great traditional treats of Europe. Famously featured in Floyd on France when the gastronome from Bristol got a cooking lesson. ‘The peppers are not cooked, the eggs are scrambled,‘ his Pays Basque host chastises him in an acerbic tone. ‘It might be good television but it is not good food.‘
800 g tomatoes, blanched, skinned, quartered 800 g green and red peppers, sliced thin 8 eggs, beaten 300 g onion, sliced thin 10 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped 60 ml olive oil 30 g piment d'Espelette / hot paprika / mild chilli, ground (150 g fresh) 5 g sea salt
Flash fry the peppers in the oil over a high heat for three minutes, cover and remove to a medium-low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, add the tomatoes. After 15 minutes add the garlic, onions and salt, cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, add the piment and reduce, about an hour depending on the liquid content of the tomatoes, until everything is stewed. Increase heat to highest setting, pour a little oil into a large heavy-based frying pan, add a quarter of the pepper-tomato mixture. Slowly pour two eggs into the pan, stirring them into the vegetables, about two minutes. Repeat with remaining ingredients.