On our drive to Cornwall we made a welcome pit-stop for lunch at the Exeter Food Festival (www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk). Lots of money changed hands for a load of really interesting and beautiful produce. One supplier that caught my eye was Native Breeds (www.nativebreeds.co.uk) who were selling a range of artisan cured meats and sausages. Their chorizo was fantastic in Hobbs house bread, grilled by the sandwich masters 'Chandos Deli' (www.chandosdeli.com). But it was the black pudding that got my creative juices flowing, and in particular their spiced morcilla. Full of smoked paprika and just like a good chorizo, the black sausage oozes aromatic smoky red oil when cooked - pretty damn sexy for a full bore black pudding addict like me. I am sure there is some garlic, cinnamon and clove in the mix as well - it is bloody delicious and as good as my previous favourite from Trealy Farm (http://trealyfarm.com).
This recipe is really easy and is supremely adaptable. Try fried mushrooms and tarragon, chorizo, blue cheese, salami, wild garlic etc, etc, etc. However this dish is so simple that only top class ingredients will do, don't even think of using cheap imitations - go seek them out. For two:
Free range (preferably organic) duck eggs - 2 large
Organic double cream - 100ml
Quality black pudding - 150g
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Quality smoked paprika - a few pinches
Really good bread and butter for toast - I like Netherend Farm salted butter from Waitrose.
Heat your oven to 200c and put a thick baking tray in the oven to heat up. Pick out a couple of ramekins or bowls that will hold a broken egg, and still be more than half empty. Skin and roughly break up the black pudding and fry gently in a little butter with a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper. Fill each ramekins with half the black pudding and sprinkle with a little seasoning and paprika. Make a well in the middle and break an egg into each ramekin, top with half the cream, a little more paprika and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
Bake for approx 6 to 10 mins until the whites are just cooked but the yolks warm but liquid. Serve with hot buttered sourdough toast.