- 6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and rinsed
- 2 large red chillis (mild-medium heat), finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for frying
- 8 slices, good quality Parma ham
- 4 large, free-range, organic eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut potatoes into quarters length-ways, then cut into large, equal-sized chunks. Half-fill a large pot with salted water and cook potatoes over high heat until just soft in the centre. Drain and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add olive oil, sliced chilli, paprika, thyme leaves, a pinch salt and lots of black pepper. Mix together.
- Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add potatoes in two batches and fry until lightly golden and crispy on the outside. Repeat with the remaining potatoes then add all potatoes back into the pan and coat liberally in the paprika/oil mixture. Fry for an extra minute or two then turn off heat. Set aside.
- Place Parma ham on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil and cook for 5 minutes under a hot grill until crispy.
- Generously grease the insides for 4 individual heat-proof tapas bowls with olive oil. Line the edges of the tapas bowls with 2 slices each of grilled ham. Equally divide the potatoes between the bowls making sure to place them around the edges leaving a void in the centre of each dish to hold the egg.
- Crack an egg into the centre of each dish then place onto a trivet which in turn is placed over a gas burner/electric plate set on medium-high. Fry until egg white is cooked through – be really careful as the dishes will be utterly volcanic in temperature, so do really take care with your hands and serve dishes on a heat-proof board or plate.
- Serve piping hot (which won’t be hard as they stay hot for ages), seasoned with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, with fresh bread to soak up the egg yolk.
Note – this dish can be made without the ham and eggs, simply just fry the potatoes a little longer in the pan once you add the paprika and oil mix and then serve them warm in a big serving bowl for guests to help themselves.