Chef Obsession: Huevos Estrellados

Ryan Poli is loco for this simple Spanish dish

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."

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    "If there's one dish that we're going to do and leave authentic, this is it," says chef Ryan Poli about this simple Spanish dish of potatoes, chorizo and eggs. Find it on the Tavernita menu when the restaurant opens later this month. (Click here to see the recipe.)

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    Potatoes are boiled, chilled, fried in olive oil, chilled, and fried again until lightly browned and crisp outside, and soft inside. 

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    Chorizo is sauteéd in olive oil until it just begins to brown. Use semi-soft links of chorizo, says Poli, as the harder kind becomes too dry and chewy. If using jamon Ibérico, skip the sautéing and simply toss the thinly sliced ham with the fried potatoes. 

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    The chorizo is tossed with the potatoes to form the base of the dish. 

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    The trick with the egg, says Poli, is to fry it in a substantial amount of oil so that the white puffs and crisps. 

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    Poli drains the oil from the pan and breaks the yolk before topping the potato mixture.

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    At Tavernita, the dish will come topped with two fried eggs. Diners will break the yolks and toss with the potatoes and chorizo. (Click here to see the recipe.)

  • Ryan Poli's Huevos Estrellados

    Ryan Poli in the Tavernita test kitchen. 

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