Today I am going to present you another recipe authentically vintage: the coated eggs, which unfortunately have seen better times. These eggs are known as “eggs a la Navarra, and” Carlist eggs “, and in some places they are served with tomato sauce or ratatouille, hence the name Carlist because it recalls the Carlist flag. Today they are hardly prepared and yes they are made Cooks feel obliged to complement them with a bechamel made with bell peppers, or put a slice of ham under the egg, and other niceties, for me unnecessary. If we prepare a truly velvety and tasty bechamel like that of the classic recipe for the Pardo Bazán, later collected by the brilliant Hash, They are a delicacy that does not need more accessories. People who do not know them will be amazed by the fans who are so enthusiastic about this dish, and when supporters mention them, they always remember some family history. I think it is not a bad idea to resort to an invented anecdote, which could very well be true, to express my passion for this dish.
[M.= mi madre; Y.= yo; D.= mi muchacha]
(Thursday night of Lent; the next day would be abstinence Friday and we would eat fish or cod and, to me, neither thing did much to me. That night I had suggested to my mother to make hooded eggs, at the after all, they could be eaten in Lent, and his answer was:
M .: “Not to mention, we are many and I throw the morning doing them, and also I already have the cod to soak”. (Given that, there was little to argue, and I decided to convince my dear girl, always more reasonable and accessible).
Y. “D., Come on, make me a hooded egg instead of cod, well, better two: one for lunch and one for dinner! “ (With what now I liked my mother’s cod, then I hated it!)
D .: “You are good, with the bad fleas that your mother has today! “
AND.: “Come on, don’t be bad, my mother doesn’t even find out. “
D. “What doesn’t he find out? He finds out everything and, above all, tomorrow is Friday and we have to clean thoroughly.”
AND.: “But what a hobby with so much cleaning, my father says he is loading the paintings … But if you do them in a minute, not like my mother, who is a” spider “ (characteristic term of my mother to designate a very slow person), and on top of that he says they take him all morning. ”
“Woman, then I will take the chichos (curlers) and you will see how I leave you well!”
D. “Oh, Virgin! Like the last time, you cut my hair, and your mother had to pay me for the permanent. I was like a monkey! and all to listen to you! ” (That was strictly true and the poor thing didn’t even get mad at me).
AND.: “Well, it was good for you and with the permanent you were much more beautiful. Is that nobody can do me a favor? (D. was not very graceful to say, although I found her very beautiful. Over time I understood that it was not only a matter of my partiality (which it was), but there was another reason. D. was like one of those girls that Cézanne paints who are never beautiful, but transmit, like no one else, the individuality of the human being and, sometimes, even show an inner beauty, of course, very different from the canons of classical beauty.
D .: “I can make you a breaded steak, so that later they don’t say that you will get sick of as many eggs as you eat, and they blame me. ”
AND. “If my father knew how to do them, surely he would do them to me at the moment.”
D .:“Your father? You’re going to a good place! He doesn’t even know where the eggs are. He only comes to the kitchen to catch matches, and if he doesn’t find them he says eighty times” please “to ask for a box and then, as many others. times, thanks “! What a man, is that he is unable even to ask for a glass of water, it must be because he is Andalusian! ” (For my father, dealing with people “of the working class” (I do not know if it is an outdated term) was always exquisite and very deferential; at bottom, it was part of his practicing socialism).
Exhausted all my arguments and seeing that nobody showed any empathy with my long-awaited desire, I gave up; Back then, kids didn’t have the demands of today. The next day, I came home from school cold with cold, on a “warning” day (dark and humid) and as soon as I arrived at the portal, with a terrible hunger, I smelled that wonderful cod, which my unconsciousness made me consider “smelly” . Before bringing the turnip greens in the salad that was the first course, my beloved D. appeared with the hooded egg and the fried potatoes that I loved. How could I ever forget such a gesture of affection from D.? Not in a thousand reincarnations! I call that “the strength of love.”
What did those eggs have? Was it the surprise effect of finding a hidden egg? Was the yolk spilling over that velvety and delicious béchamel? Was it perhaps that they did not prepare as often as I would like because they gave their work? (The truth is that manipulating the egg with the bechamel, and then breading and frying it without breaking the yolk, was not easy). In my house they made them with crashed eggs or boiled eggs (cut lengthwise into four pieces; but it was not the same, far from it). Maybe it was a bit of a mix of everything; and the fact that it was a very child-friendly dish, which the passage of time had idealized, to the point that they are closely linked to each particular family history; and also the gradual disappearance of this dish as it is currently considered to be very long and very difficult to find; yes if you don’t have a mother, grandmother, etc. or learn to do them), is yet another reason to increase its value. And the cycle is repeated because my children also die for them.
It is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration to say that coated eggs are part of “my affective warp.” (Forgive my pedantry, but it is a term of psychology, with which I cannot agree more, and it refers, in simple words, to a kind of “deposits” that are woven within us from an early age, and they are filled with all kinds of feelings: generosity, suspicion, affectivity, selfishness, fear, etc., and later they shape our personality and the way in which we will face life).
To finish, I have to confess that these eggs do not have a good press in this postmodern stage. First, there is a belief that béchamel is more of a sauce from post-war famine than it is from current sybaritism (which I consider to be pure “snobbery”). In the second place, its poorly refined presentation is also criticized, and somewhat homemade and catheta. As for the first allusion, I have to emphasize that we hope we have many foods like this, to solve hunger in the world and who knows if in our own homes, because as the English say “we never know what awaits us when we return from the corner”. On the unrefined appearance, these eggs seem to me to be the most appetizing, especially if you compare them with those decorations with which dishes are decorated today, which not only are not eaten but are even toxic.
For 4 people:
one egg per diner
100 g. flour
100 g. Butter
1 liter of milk
oil to spread the plate or the source where you put them
salt and nutmeg
Although these eggs have different elaborations, I follow the classic of Doña Emila Pardo Bazán (Ancient and modern Spanish cuisine, 2009), with which they were made in my home.
You follow all the steps of the elaboration of the Villeroy breasts up to number 8, where and the delicious prepared béchamel appears:
8. Fry the eggs, cascading them in a cup so that they do not break and in such a way that the yolk should be soft. You put it on a plate and make a béchamel base to put it on:
9. Now, with the help of a spoon and a knife, you are adding the béchamel on top and smoothing it, taking care to cover the edges well:
Another way to make them is to dip them directly into the pan containing the béchamel sauce and coat everything well with a trowel. This is the “immersion” method mentioned by Doña Emilia, while the first is much better for beginners because the base always ensures the bechamel base.
10. Then you let them cool and coat them with egg and breadcrumbs as if they were croquettes and fry them in plenty of very hot oil. I advise in a deep fryer because they are fried on both sides without having to turn them over.
11. There you have the hooded eggs, “carlistas” or “la navarra, never quite praised. I usually accompany them with a vegetable or a salad, a tomato sauce or a ratatouille to compensate for calories, but if you have children, do not hesitate: fries are the best.
The children of my time and then my children ate the lateral part first and we left the center for the end, which was where the egg was, whose yolk appeared as if it were a treasure, and then we made “a lot of requirements” so that never end:
BON APPÉTIT AND GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!