Piperade a la RedQuarters

Piperade is a recipe that is attributed to the Basques, or at least comes from that corner of Spain and France. The version I grew up with . . . came through Louisiana, perhaps, or from Florida, maybe. I recall it as one of those dishes that MomRed used to stretch the budget, sort of like beans-n-bacon-n-cheese, succotash, and scrambled eggs with chili.

The official version seems to start with “first, roast tomatoes.” That never happened at RedQuarters, because, well, that’s not what you did at home in the 1960s-70s in the US (unless an accident happened in the oven . . .) Canned diced tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, scrambled eggs with ham, that’s what I recall. So it is a very, very distant Americanized cousin of a Basque dish that used post-1492 ingredients.

one can diced tomatoes, partly drained

four-eight eggs, scrambled (depends on how hungry people are and how much ham you have)

1/2 diced onion

a plop of garlic (1 Tablespoon, but I like a lot of garlic. Can be omitted)

one small bell pepper, diced

Paprika or other warm, peppery spice to taste

4-5 ounces cooked ham, diced or minced (can substitute inexpensive ham, or even leftover lunch-meat ham)

Heat oil or butter in a heavy skillet. Add onion and garlic, sautee until onion is translucent. Add bell pepper and heat through. Add tomatoes and paprika, reduce heat and cover. While sauce is cooking, melt butter in a skillet and cook scrambled eggs to desired done-ness. Add ham to eggs just before the eggs are done. Bring sauce back to a high simmer or low boil and add eggs and ham. Serve hot. It shouldn’t be too runny, unless you want to serve it over toast.

I would probably add more spices and so on now. It’s hot, filling, tangy, and can be adjusted to local taste.


3 thoughts on “Piperade a la RedQuarters

  1. This is similar to a dish my grandmother made called Eggs in Spanish Sauce. Haven’t thought of it in a long time, but will try it this weekend.

  2. Yep, I ‘knew’ those as Spanish eggs growing up. My grandmother on my maternal side fixed them many a Sunday.

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