Huevos con Papas y Col Rizada

Eggs with Potatoes & KaleI don’t really have any reason to believe that this dish is of Hispanic origin; I just like the way the Spanish name sounds when you say it out loud. Especially if you know how to speak the language with a decent accent, something I’m unable to do. It’s extremely simple to make and quite tasty; an excellent breakfast or dinner. I suppose you could have it for lunch, too, if you really wanted, but most of the time it seems like lunches aren’t cooked on the stove. Probably because most of the time they’re eaten out of paper bags and contain phrases like “salad” and “sandwich” because we tend to eat them on the go; but that’s neither here nor there.

eggs with potatoes and kale

Eggs with potatoes and kale, pictured here with tortilla chips
and roasted tomatillo salsa

I remember the first time I heard of kale. I was watching re-runs of Cheers one evening while I was still in high school. Woody was spokesperson for a health drink he’d never tasted. When he finally did, he spat it out and screamed, “What’s in this stuff?”, looked at the ingredients and spluttered, “Kale! I don’t even know what kale is!”

It wasn’t for another eight or ten years that I actually tasted the stuff. It turns out that kale is a nutritious and tasty leafy green. It might not be something you’re accustomed to having in your produce drawer, but you should become familiar with it because it’s so good! Most of the time it’s braised or steamed; but I like this preparation because it incorporates the heartiness of the kale into the meal as a whole.

This dish is a great way to practice your knife skills, too—it will give you a chance to practice dicing potatoes, carrots, and onions; peeling garlic; and introduce you to a great way to slice leaves of anything: the chiffonade cut!

To make these healthful eggs and potatoes, you’ll need:

* 2-3 small-diced potatoes (depending on the size)
* 1 small-diced carrot (cut smaller if you can)
* 1 cup small-diced onion (1 small)
* 4-6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
* 6 eggs, slightly beaten with a pinch of salt and some pepper
* 10-12 leaves’ worth of kale, stripped from stem
* oil (to coat potatoes)
* salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, ginger

Directions for cutting the rest of the vegetables can be found by following the links above. To cut the kale, first strip it from the stem. The easiest way to do this is to hold onto the stem with one hand; with the other, gently grasp both sides of the leaf (left and right) at the base with your thumb and forefinger. Pull up and along the stem with that hand while leaving the one holding the stem stationary; the leaf should strip right off from the stem.

There will still be some veins left in the leaf, and you don’t want anyone to get stuck with the entirety of one of these veins, which can be a bit tough to chew. So, roll the leaf up the long way, as if you were rolling it parallel to the (now absent) stem. Then, using your knife, cut thin ribbons from these rolls. This is called a chiffonade, and it will work for any leaf.

Put a heavy, cast-iron skillet on the stove over a moderate flame to get hot. If it starts to smoke, it’s too hot.

Toss the diced potatoes in a bowl with enough oil to coat them, then sprinkle with some salt and spices. Toss, and sprinkle, toss and sprinkle again. Potatoes tend to be fairly bland on their own, and the seasoning added to the potatoes carries through to the rest of the dish, so it’s good to toss them generously with some seasoning—though not so much that they’re totally coated.

When the skillet is hot, add enough potatoes into it that they cover the bottom in one layer but not so much that they’re stacked atop each other. Let the potatoes brown a bit before you start adding the other vegetables. Turn them and toss them so that they head toward a uniform golden brown color, and make sure that nothing scorches or turns black.

As the potatoes start to brown, add the carrots into the pan; they’ll need to cook for almost as long as the potatoes. Continue to stir occasionally so the contents of the pan don’t burn.

Next, add the onion to the mix. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything around and scrape the little bits of fond off of the bottom of the pan. When the onion is mostly cooked, add the garlic and the kale. Continue to stir.

When the kale is bright green, add the eggs to the pan. Stir constantly until the eggs are scrambled into the dish. Serve immediately. These quantities should serve 2 hungry people for dinner or perhaps four people for breakfast, depending on their appetites. If you want to make the dish for more people than that, use multiple pans or cook the potatoes in batches. If you try to cook too many potatoes in the pan at once, they will steam from their own moisture instead of cooking up brown and crispy; you’ll end up with a result that resembles mashed potatoes.

5 Responses to “Huevos con Papas y Col Rizada”

  1. justin Says:

    this looks and sounds delicious, and i don’t even know what kale tastes like!

  2. Clara Lee Says:

    What would your reaction have been if I had insisted you try it as a pre-teen or teen?

    I like kale and other greens. They weren’t as readily available in either the farmer’s market or supermarket 10 years ago as they are today.

    Keep the recipes coming for kale, chard, and other greens.


  3. Corduroy Orange » Blog Archive » Knife Skills Table of Contents Says:

    [...] A Great Way to Use the Potatoes: Here’s a great recipe for using up the piles of potatoes you’ll be cutting. [...]

  4. Corduroy Orange » Blog Archive » Cooking in China Says:

    [...] Even if that suggestion is a bit off-mark because you have no luck finding the baking powder, you still should have all of the ingredients to make Huevos con Papas. This is a hearty breakfast, home fries and scrambled eggs all together in one dish (thereby requiring only one pan to make it). In my recipe, I recommend using kale and a cast iron skillet. Even if you can’t find kale, you have a variety of other greens that you can substitute. Likewise, you can easily make this dish in a pan that’s not cast iron, though the potatoes might not caramelize quite as well. Home fries by themselves are always a tasty dish (and work as a dinner side dish as well as they do as a breakfast!). To make them, just omit the eggs. [...]

  5. amy Says:

    I just made this-it’s delicious! I used spinach instead of kale (b/c that’s what my CSA gave me) and topped it with rooster sauce.

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