Huevos a la Maragata or fried eggs Maragata style is a very simple tapa that consists of fried eggs accompanied by a sauce made with part of the oil used for frying the eggs, Spanish paprika and Jerez vinegar. One of the simplest ways to eat eggs, yet one of the tastiest. It calls for a couple of pieces of good bread to dip into the egg yolk and the sauce, don’t you think?
In case you are wondering what “Maragata” means, let me tell you about it. Maragata or Maragato refers to those who come from Maragatería, a region located in the province of León (north west of Spain). Many traditional dishes in Maragatería incorporate paprika and these fried eggs Maragata style are a very good example.
In the XVI century, Maragatos were merchants and nomads and used to carry goods, mostly non-perishable food, from Galicia to Castilla. They would return to their land with food from other parts of the country such as Extremadura paprika and olive oil, two of the ingredients used in this modest tapa and in many other traditional recipes of their cuisine.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 free range eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon spoon of Spanish paprika
- ½ teaspoon of Jerez vinegar
- Pour some extra virgin olive oil onto a frying pan and heat.
- Add the garlic cloves and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pan and discard.
- Crack the eggs onto the worktop and dip into the oil. Fry at medium heat until the egg white is set. Transfer onto a serving plate.
- Pour half of the oil into a jar and bring the pan back onto the hob. Add the paprika, stir and remove from the heat straight away. Paprika is very delicate and burns easily.
- Turn the heat off straight away and add the vinegar.
- Pour onto the fried eggs , sprinkle some salt and enjoy at once.
Tips to get the most delicious huevos a la Maragata:
- Use good quality ingredients: fresh free range eggs, extra virgin olive oil and Spanish paprika. Do not settle for anything ordinary.
- For those who love a kick of spiciness in their food, use pimentón picante or spicy Spanish paprika.
- There are many ways to fry the eggs; I prefer to fry them over medium high heat so that you get a crunchy edge of the egg white, which in Spain is called puntilla, meaning lace trimming. The world is divided between those who love fried eggs with puntilla and the rest… If you dislike this crunchy edge you can fry the egg completely immersed in the olive oil over low heat, a bit like poaching it. Both methods render quite different textures, so the best way to know which side you stand on is only to try both and decide for yourself.
- Try to keep the egg yolk runny so that, when cutting through it, it mixes with the sauce and enhances it in flavour and texture.
- Warm the slotted spoon in the olive oil before using if you want to avoid the fried egg from sticking to it.
These huevos a la Maragata or fried eggs Maragata style are a very tasty way to serve a simple perparation such as fried eggs. Serve them warm and make sure there is plenty of bread on the table to go with it. The sauce is so irresistible that you will want to dip it in desperately. Forget your manners and go for it!