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Pork and Tomato Scrambled Eggs (Paspalas)

Pork and Tomato Scrambled Eggs (Paspalas) 2.000

Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Jan 28, 2014

Greek cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi says this simple dish is served for breakfast, lunch, meze and dinner on her native island of Kea. The name of the dish comes from its key ingredient; "paspalas" refers to the chopped pork confit that is stirred into creamy eggs.

It is important that the pieces of pork have enough fat on them (a 1-to-1meat-fat ratio) so the meat cooks slowly in its own fat.

Make Ahead: The pork confit can be refrigerated in a good portion of its own rendered fat for several months. The slow-roasted tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to 5 days in advance.

Where to Buy: Maras pepper is fruity more than spicy-hot; aleppo pepper is a worthy substitute. We found Maras pepper at La Cuisine in Alexandria.


Servings:
2 - 3

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-3 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 pounds pork meat scraps (50 percent fat), cut into small pieces (see headnote)
  • Water
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Several thyme sprigs
  • 12 Roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-to-1/2-inch slices (may substitute 6 whole canned plum tomatoes plus 6 coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and garnish
  • 5 large eggs
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plain, regular Greek-style yogurt
  • Pinch Maras pepper flakes, plus more for garnish (may substitute pinch of ground aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
  • Toasted slices of whole-wheat bread, for serving
  • Feta cheese, for garnish (optional)

Directions

For the pork: Arrange the fatty pieces of pork in a large, heavy saute pan, then add just enough water to cover them halfway. Cook over medium heat; once the liquid begins to boil, season with generous pinches of salt, black pepper and cumin. Toss in a few sprigs of thyme. Cook uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes, adding water as needed so the meat stays moist.

Increase the heat to high; once all of the water has evaporated, add a few more thyme sprigs. The meat will cook in its own rendered fat until deeply browned (almost crisped in spots, but not burnt) and will be quite tender. Stir often; this could take 15 to 20 minutes.

Use right away, or transfer to glass containers and cool completely. Make sure there's a decent amount of fat on top before sealing and storing in the refrigerator. The yield is about 2 cups.

For the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange the tomato slices on the baking sheet; drizzle with a little oil. Slow-roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until softened and slightly darkened in color. Peel off and discard the loosened skins.

For the paspalas: Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the peeled, softened tomato slices; cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup of the pork confit (with whatever fat may be clinging to the meat); cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until it's sizzling.

Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl; add a pinch of salt and the yogurt, stirring to incorporate.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; pour the egg mixture into the saute pan. Sprinkle with the Maras pepper and stir slowly with a wooden spoon just long enough to create a creamy, pale-orange blend. The eggs should not look set; by the time you divide them among individual plates and garnish them with a drizzle of oil, Maras pepper and fresh thyme leaves, they will be just set.

Serve right away, on or with toasted slices of whole wheat bread. Garnish with crumbles of feta cheese, if desired.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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