In 2003, Ryan Poli went to Spain to learn avant-garde techniques. He left with an obsession of the humblest sort: huevos estrellados.
While working in Madrid, Poli frequented Casa Lucio, a historic restaurant famous for its huevos estrellados, a simple dish of fried potatoes, fried eggs and Ibérico ham. "I thought it was the best thing I had eaten in my life," he says.
He fell for it again while doing research (in Spain) for his new restaurant, Tavernita, and you'll find the dish on the menu when the restaurant opens at the end of this month.
It's made of the simplest stock: eggs, olive oil, salt and, in Poli's version, chorizo. The magic lies in the run of the yolk, the crisp of the white, the olive-oil-fried potatoes and the slick of chorizo-scented oil.
There are tricks to making it at home, which we strongly suggest you do (click here for a step-by-step slide show and recipe). Be sure to use soft-cured chorizo, and fry the eggs in a generous bath of oil and leave the yolks fully runny.
Break up the eggs and toss with the potatoes to see why, as Poli says, "sometimes the simplest things impress us the most."