Introducing Spanish Scrambled Eggs

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Hardly anyone over here knows what revueltos are, but we ought to--it's another of those seemingly simple, but, I think, significant dishes from Spain that are really good, yet have gone pretty much unnoticed over here. Most Americans, I think, miss out on revueltos because recipe writers translate the name of the dish as "scrambled eggs," which isn't real likely to get much attention. Granted, it's true that you do scramble eggs to make revueltos, but they aren't scrambled eggs the way my mother used to make them.

The biggest difference is the proportions of any added ingredients to the eggs--if you're making revueltos the ratios are pretty much reversed from what we're familiar with. So, for instance, here in the States, if you add some, say wild mushrooms to your scrambled eggs, your dish is still likely 2/3 egg to 1/3 mushrooms, at most half and half. By contrast, if you make reveultos with mushrooms what you'll have is a good quantity of sautéed wild mushrooms coated with lightly cooked scrambled eggs. To put things in context, I found recipes that call for as much as a pound of wild mushrooms to six eggs!

I know eggs and blood sausage aren't going to get onto any low-cholesterol diet (it is low-carb, though!), but the flavor of the sausage blends beautifully into the eggs.

You can make revueltos with almost any "filling"--sautéed zucchini, asparagus, chorizo, seafood, or just about anything else. In Cantabria we had a great version with wild mushrooms and another with morcilla, the Spanish blood sausage. I know eggs and blood sausage aren't going to get onto any low-cholesterol diet (it is low-carb, though!), but, for some reason I can't really explain, the flavor of the sausage blends beautifully into the eggs.

I've tried it back at home with the morcilla sausage from the Deli, and the dish is still really super good. I've made revueltos a few times since I've been back--once with squash blossoms and goat cheese, once with asparagus, and once with chorizo (like the morcilla, the fat in the chorizo somehow is a perfect foil for the eggs). All were excellent, all were easy, all make me want to make them again.

One key to great-tasting revueltos is getting good eggs, which I'm happy to say what we have in abundance around here. The Deli is buying very nice organic eggs that come from cage-free chickens from Grazing Fields in Charlotte, and the RH is getting very good ones (also from cage-free hens) from the Amish farmers in Homer.

On a home-cooking level, the farmers market has got nearly a dozen different vendors with good eggs--including duck and goose eggs--to check out. I'm hardly an expert in eggs but I do know that the quality of the feed, the chicken breed, and the running range of the chickens make a huge difference. And we all know that, without any question, you really can taste the difference between great eggs and the mass-market stuff.

Additionally I encourage you to cook the eggs quite lightly so you can really taste them and enjoy the softness of their texture. You have to keep the pan from getting too hot when you add the eggs or they'll be overcooked before you can do anything to stop the process (that's the voice of painful experience.)

Bottom line is that revueltos are an easy way to make traditional, full-flavored food without having to do a lot of work. It's a great summer dish since it cooks fairly quickly and is not too heavy. A little salad or some new potatoes on the side, some toasted Bakehouse bread, and you're all set.

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Ari Weinzweig is co-founder of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also the author of Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating. More

After graduating from University of Michigan with a degree in Russian history, Ari Weinzweig went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant and soon discovered that he loved the food business. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman's Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods, and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman's is a community of businesses that employs over 500 people and includes a bakery, creamery, sit-down restaurant, training company, coffee roaster, and mail order service. Ari is the author of the best-selling Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating and the forthcoming Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon.
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