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Tapa of quail eggs on buckwheat tartlets

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What an over-elaborate title. It sounds like Haute Cuisine and I tell you: it isn't. I'm just updating a very, very traditional Spanish dish, huevos al plato, meaning eggs cooked on a plate. But this time, instead of using chicken eggs on a plate or earthenware cazuela, I've reduced the size of the dish to make it a tapa and used quail eggs on a tartlet. Which means they are not huevos al plato, but huevos a la tartaleta... never mind, I'm not a purist. I hope you're not either...

Huevos al plato were a very typical dish at home when I was a child. Well, at least it was very typical among the household adults, because my sister and I wouldn't consent to trying something soooo very different, almost opposite, to the fried eggs and tomato sauce we loved... Now that I've become more mature (¿?) I thought it'd be a good idea to "revisit" this almost historical dish to turn it into a miniature plate, a two-bite-sized tapa. I don't believe I'm the first to do such a thing with huevos al plato, I'm sure it's been done before. But I don't give a damn. This time I chose to make the pastry dough with buckwheat for a change, you know I love to use less-common flours.

Quail eggs on buckwheat tartlets

Pastry dough:

  • 140g all-purpose flour
  • 140g buckwheat flour
  • 125g butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100ml cold water
Huevos al plato, per tartlet:
  • 1 quail egg
  • 1 small handful peas (a 3-year-old handful...)
  • 1 small handful diced Spanish jamón or chorizo
  • 1 tsp good tomato sauce (preferably homemade, the little tomato background layer gives the tapa half its flavor)
Start by making the pastry dough. I adapted my usual pastry dough recipe by substituting half the amount buckwheat flour for half all-purpose flour. Mix the flours and the salt and add the diced cold butter. Mix the butter in the flour either by rubbing with the tip of your fingers or with a mixer, till you obtain a sandy-crumbly mixture. Then add the cold water and knead by hand or with a mixer just until the water is thoroughly incorporated and the dough forms a ball. Don't overprocess. Butter and flour the molds you're going to use (mine are around 7cm in size). Roll out the dough to an approximate thickness of 2mm, and line the molds. Be careful as this dough is not as elastic as an all-wheat dough. Once the molds are lined I usually put them in the freezer for the dough to freeze lightly (small size tartlets freeze very quickly). This prevents the dough from bubbling when blank-baked, you don't even need to prick it with a fork. This trick works for me.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Blank-bake the tartlets for 10 minutes, enough for the dough surface to seal. Take the molds out and leave them to cool a little, so that you don't burn yourself. Lay the filling by spreading a teaspoon of tomato sauce on the base, then carefully crack one egg and lastly sprinkle the previously boiled peas and the Spanish jamón or chorizo, uncooked.

Put the filled molds into the oven. The tartlets don't need much time to get cooked, but it really depends on the oven; mine took around 10 minutes. The perfect outcome is a thoroughly hard white with a liquid yolk... but it's tricky to get with such small eggs. My eggs were hard all over, grrrr. I made a second batch where I separated the yolks (tricky stuff!) and put them aside, then cook the yolk-less tartlets, only to add the yolks for a final 2 minute cooking. Well, maybe you don't care about hard yolks, but I do. I prefer them liquid, so that their juices spread when you bite and drip down your chin... ahem... yum. Despite all imperfections, D. loved the tartlets... and me too... with a tasty red wine... they make for a very traditional appetizer. (Why is it that I almost always finish my posts with a drink?)

29 comentarios:

Diana Bauman October 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

Lovely Miriam! Just one thing that's not fair at all, Spanish Jamon, you're making me so sad just thinking about it, lol!!

Tasty Trix October 21, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

So pretty!!!!

TasteHongKong October 21, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

Lovely presentation again.

Jessie October 21, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

cute tartlets with great tasting ingredients

Tasty Eats At Home October 21, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

These are gorgeous! Makes me want to get some little tart pans just for something like this. Wow. Yum.

Rachelle October 21, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

Those look almost too beautiful too eat. Almost.

Peggy Bourjaily October 21, 2009 at 10:43 PM  

Yum yum yum! I love anything with eggs and this looks like an amazing thing to try.

Polka_Roo October 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM  

This reminds me of a dish my Portuguese grandmother would make all the time by braising peas with tomatoes and chorizo. I even blogged about it several years ago ( I guess Spanish and Portuguese cuisines are very similar sometimes.

I just love how elegant it looks in tart form! I'm totally trying this out next time I need a nice appetizer for a party.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 21, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

Simply stunning! So elegant and delicate!

penny aka jeroxie October 22, 2009 at 12:40 AM  

that looks AMAZING! your tarts are perfect and this is such a cute idea. love it.

Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 1:26 AM  


Erica October 22, 2009 at 2:13 AM  

Your pictures are amazing!!!Your recipes are fantastic. I love your blog.

My Little Space October 22, 2009 at 5:27 AM  

Wow, it's an eye opening for me! My very first time to learn such kind of awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Miriam October 22, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

Diana: mmm, yes, Spanish ham... si always missed XD
Tasty Trix: thanks!
TasteHK: thanks!
Jessie: you should try them!
Tasty: yep, another kitchen gadget... ;-)
Rachelle: yeah, almost... XD
Peggy: yes, eggs are good in almost anything!
Polka: thanks!
Mardi: thanks!
Penny: it's easy for an appetizer!
Pink: thank youuu
Erica: thanks!!!!
My Little Space: so nice to hear that, thanks!

Vera October 22, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

What an awesome idea!

Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 8:31 PM  

These are the pretties tartletts ever! The photo is just gorgeous!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 23, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

Congrats on a well deserved Top 9!

lisa October 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

The buckwheat tartlet shells sound delicious, and they look lovely with the quail eggs!

Evie October 23, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

I'd love to see this served at my local tapas restaurant!

Miriam October 23, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

Vera: thanks!
5 Star Foodie: it was the first time I used those cute pie molds!
Mardi: thank youuuuu!
Lisa: thanks!
Evie: thanks for dropping by!

No-Frills Recipes October 23, 2009 at 4:13 PM  


Congrats on being Top 9 today. A very innovative recipe.

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta October 23, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

I've never seen anything like this and it looks spectacular! I really love the photo of the 4 stages of the tart-exquisite! Excellento!

my boyfriend cooks for me October 23, 2009 at 10:40 PM  

This has got to be some of the most beautiful food I have ever seen.

Junglefrog October 23, 2009 at 11:40 PM  

How beautiful this looks!! And well, that title makes everyone curious as to what it is that has such a fancy title, so that is a good thing right? :) Beautiful photography!

Amber October 24, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

Beautiful post. I bet the buckwheat added a lot of flavor to the eggs and ham... always good!

Miriam October 26, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

No-frills: thanks!
Rachel: thankssss!
MBCFM: thank you so much!
Junglefrog: you're right about the title... ;-)
Amber: thank youu!

Bread and Jam October 26, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

This caught my eye because I have been looking for more ways to incorporate buckwheat. (Love it in pancakes and breakfast foods) Would never have thought about tartlets - very clever! And a very nice pic of them.

we are never full November 1, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

i love this... absolutely love this. the peas just add a great color to this dish. i could eat this with a simple salad for a perfect lunch!

Miriam November 1, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

Bread and Jam: thanks for visiting!
Amy and Jonny: thank youuuuu!


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