This is the only thing I've cooked since Thursday (not including Ben's birthday cake, but more on that later). It's been a busy couple of days around here! Surprise out-of-town birthday guests, a dinner for 24 people, the advent (at last!) of spring so glorious that I felt like a puppy when we went outside, just itching to rub my body up against the sunshine.
But back to the eggs. I can't find the actual recipe (from the NY Times Magazine a few years ago, when Amanda also wrote about Fluffy Orange Shortcake, remember?) for these that I clipped and then stashed away somewhere. It's driving me a little nuts. But I sort of remember the general gist of it and I keep telling myself you won't mind if I wing it for you. You won't, will you? It tasted awfully good when I winged it (wung it?) on Thursday, so here goes nothing.
You take some of your dried Spanish chorizo lying in your fridge. (Doesn't everyone have a link of Palacios chorizo hanging out in there? If not, you should. Don't make the mistake I made once of letting my chorizo sit in the cupboard for a week or two or three only to find it then entirely covered in an even white layer of fuzzy mold. Right as I was about to start cooking.) You slice 9 or 10 small discs of the stuff. You put these in a pan (nonstick or stainless steel, whatever your poison), turn the heat on low and let the fragrant, orange fat render out for a bit. In the meantime, you very lightly beat together two or three eggs (depending on your age, height and sex, I suppose). Let there still be some nicely separated globs of yolk and white. When there looks to be enough fat in the pan, pour in the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, turn the eggs and the chorizo together a few times. Let the curds develop on the larger side, then turn off the heat when the eggs still look moist. The whole process shouldn't take more than a minute or two.
The scrambled eggs will be plump and streaked with orange. The dark red chorizo discs will peek out from the billowy folds of egg. You'll pile the lot on a plate (for me, it goes without saying that this is a single-girl's or guy's dinner, but I'm sure there are many of you out there with partners who would happily eat this for dinner, too), settle down on the couch with a glass of wine (or a heel of crusty bread), and dig into the creamy, salty, porky eggs that have soft pockets and crispy edges and satisfy your hunger entirely.
And that birthday cake? Comes courtesy of Martha Stewart, and fulfills many people's expectations of the quintessential chocolate birthday cake (three layers, glossy frosting, crazy chocolate flavor). The first time I made this, I brought it to Central Park for my friend Emily's birthday. The Met was performing in the park and the place was crammed with people. Near where my friends and I had set up camp, a few couples sat and entertained a toddler. After I pulled out the candle-bedecked cake, we realized that the little toddler had waddled over to us and was standing behind our circle, transfixed by the towering cake. Mesmerized. Couldn't take her eyes off the thing. We asked her parents if we could give her a piece of the cake, and they said it was fine as long as they got to have some as well.
Before long, the cake was being eaten by a far larger crowd than I had originally expected. My head got fat with everyone's compliments while opera singers warbled in the background and New York felt like a little village filled with happy people. It was Emily's birthday, but I felt like I had won the lottery.