Thursday, February 09, 2006

Prego no Prato

This recipe came to me by way of my friend Amy Corinne. That's right, she is not only a whiz with technology, she passes along wonderful recipes to her friends. This one is actually from her boyfriend's family, and hopefully I am not stepping on any toes by reproducing it. I don't want to anger the Portuguese grandmother behind this, but it's too good to not take the risk.

The Babel Fish translator tells me that prego no prato means (roughly) "nail in the plate". While I'm not so sure what that means, I can tell you that it is basically steak and eggs, with the addition of a wonderfully simple marinade. On the advisement of another friend I added onions to the recipe, which turn to a lovely sweet caramalized topping. Your wallet will also be happy to hear that this dish works well with tougher, cheaper cuts of meat (but it's also great with a nice steak, don't get me wrong). Start this the night before you plan to eat it.

Prego no Prato
serves two

In my opinion this dish is best served with potatoes fried up with some red pepper and a handful or two of spinach. I'll include the recipe for this below.

dry white wine (if you can find Portuguese Vinho Verde, try it out)
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
top round steak, about .5 inch thick, roughly 1 pound (you can also use flank steak, London broil, or a strip steak)
olive oil
2 eggs
half a medium onion, sliced thinly

In a large ziploc bag, toss in the steak, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and pour in enough wine to almost cover. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

The next evening, heat a couple of splashes of olive oil in a heavy, straight sided skillet (I prefer to not use a non-stick so I get a nice crust on the steak) over medium high heat. Add the onions, sautee for 1-2 minutes, then move them to the sides of the pan to make room for the steak (keep the marinade). Add the steak and sear for one minute per side. Lower the heat to medium and add some of the reserved marinade. Cook the steak for about 2 minutes per side (this cooks it medium). Remove steak to a warm platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Give the onions a good stir, they should be getting golden brown by now. Move them back to the sides of the pan and crack your eggs in the pan (you may need to add a little more oil to prevent sticking) Fry until golden on both sides, taking care to not break the yolks.

Plate the steaks and place a fried egg on each one. Top with the caramalized onions and serve with the fried potatoes listed below. Dig in to the best breakfast for dinner you've ever had!

Fried Potatoes with Red Pepper and Spinach
serves 2

This is a great use for leftover baked potatoes. Why bake the potatoes first? It's the best way to get those delicious crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside breakfast potatoes we know and love.

2-3 medium potatoes
half of a coarsely chopped red bell pepper (or more, it's up to you)
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach or arugula
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Scrub the potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, or until soft--this can be done the day before. Wait until they cool, then peel the skin off. Let cool completely (or chill in the refrigerator), then slice into 1-inch cubes.

Heat a few splashes of oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. You want enough oil to get the potatoes crisp, but not so much that they are swimming in it. Add the potatoes and toss them gently in the oil until they begin to brown on all sides.

Add some salt and pepper, then toss in the red pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the greens, tossing them in the potatoes and peppers. The heat will wilt them within a minute, then serve alongside your steak. Enjoy!


amy corinne said...

I think prego no prato translates to "junior plate."

Marianne said...

Do you know any other history behind it? "Junior Plate" makes about as much sense as "Nail in the Plate", but I'm happy to have a more correct translation. Thank you!

amy corinne said...

I'll ask Danny. I think it's smaller than the regular steak & egg dish, which has like a big ol' strip steak or something.

Mr. PorkChop said...

Prego no Prato means "nail in the plate". The reason for this name was because a small meat mallet with nails was typically used to "nail" the garlic into the steak. In Portugal when you go into a Restaurant an ask for a "Prego" you get a Garlic Steak Sandwiche, and when you ask for a "Prego no Prato" you get Steak and Eggs.

Adam said...

Im from Australia, but my ex girlfriend was from portugal.. i actually stayed over there for 5 months. I think i ate at least one of these a The traditional way they make it is with the marinated steak (usualy wine, vinegar, garlic, onion,salt and pepper) potatoes, and a fried egg and ham on top of the steak)

Its called a "Prego Em Prato" which means "nail in a plate"

A simple yet beautiful meal.. its all in the marinade!