Daube de Boeuf a la Nicoise
Jarret de Divant a la Provencal
Farine de Mais
11.75” Iron Handled Skillet
Eggs Piperade is probably the most famous of all Basque dishes. It is uncomplicated, being a stew of peppers, tomatoes, and onions – with eggs added at the end. It is delicious when cooked in a little bacon fat, but olive oil is a stellar alternative.
The peppers can be cooked with skin on for a crunchier dish or peeled (see below) or even roasted. The latter are available in jars and in some “olive bars” in supermarkets. Over time, try each and pick your favorite.
The idea here is to produce a creamy scrambled-egg effect with the pepper flavor slightly predominating. A hint of garlic and basil are good additions - or use about 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves instead of the basil. This serves 3 to 4.
4 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat or 2 tablespoons of each
1 large onion (1 lb.), coarsely chopped
4 - 5 red bell peppers, skinned or not (see note below)
4 large ripe tomatoes skinned (see note below) seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried (optional)
6 large eggs
Heat the olive oil or drippings in the Le Creuset skillet and add the onion. Sauté over low heat until the onions are just golden. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and white membrane. Slice into thin (about 1/2”) strips.
Add the peppers to the skillet and sauté until softened. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, and basil. Cook until the tomatoes break down and you have almost a puree.
Beat the eggs and pour them over the vegetables. Slowly sauté the mixture as you would for scrambled eggs. When the eggs are still moist and slightly undercooked remove the pan from the heat and serve at once. The residual heat will finish cooking the eggs.
To skin the peppers without broiling them: With a sharp vegetable peeler and using a sawing motion, you’ll find the skin will come off.
To skin the tomatoes, either plunge them for a few seconds into boiling water and using a sharp knife, the peel should easily come off. Or try the sharp vegetable peeler method in the preceding paragraph.