Tag Archives: potatoes

tortilla espanola

 

tortilla 5

when i was 10 years old my mom asked us, her 3 children, if we would like to go to europe. for a year. like to live there. yes, please! and so we did. true story. we bought a VW van in amsterdam (refer back to the whole cosmic part of my moniker), had it decked out to live in and were on our way to camp europe. when you think about it most of europe is located on a latitude that falls on the cool side when it comes to camping, with the exception of summer.  we ended up  spending most of our time in sunny southern spain. eating this.

most of you probably don’t have memories of pleading with your mother to head up to the bar for a drinky-poo. but we did. it was the only way to get a slice of tortilla espanola (free with a glass of wine!). this was our introduction to tapas back in 1975. mom did her best, but she wasn’t (and still isn’t) much of a drinker. so we just had to learn how to make it ourselves. my sister and i still make these on a regular basis. this was probably one of the first things i ever learned how to cook completely on my own, tollhouse cookies and biscuits from a can, aside.

eggs

look at these beautiful eggs from vital farms. they are from araucana hens, i believe. they are the ones that produce the blue-green eggs.

tortilla 3

mmm…lemony, super yellow yolks. commercial eggs ain’t got nothin’ on these.

tortilla 4

you can play with the ingredients a bit. i chopped up some salami i had on hand. like an omelette, you can add just a few handfuls of veggies or meat to liven things up. traditionally in spain, these are sweet red pepper, chorizo, maybe a few sliced mushrooms. but the egg and potato really should remain in leading roles. this is a peasant dish, after all.

tortilla final

tortilla espanola (serves 6-8 as an appetizer)

this is a very fluid recipe, meaning that the amounts may be slightly different for you, depending on the size of your potatoes, eggs, even your pan. the mixture should look roughly like the picture of raw eggs and potatoes in the bowl above before you put in in the pan for the final step. don’t let the amount of oil used in the recipe scare you away. the potatoes should gently fry, but also boil in the oil, then most it is drained off.

4-5 medium sized potatoes  sliced to 1/8″ thickness, then cut slices in half or quarters (i prefer yukon golds, russets will also work)

1 small spanish onion, sliced thinly

5-6 farm fresh eggs

3/4 cup olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

heat olive oil in non-stick 7-8″ skillet over medium heat. add sliced potatoes and a generous pinch of salt and cook until potatoes are tender and appear blistered. you are not trying to brown them, but it’s okay if the edges are slightly browned. remove with slotted spoon and place in a colander. whisk eggs in a large bowl and add salt and freshly ground pepper. add  potatoes (and any other veggies or bits of meat you are using) and combine mixture. pour off all but 1 tbsp of olive oil from pan into a measuring cup and reserve. heat oil in pan over medium high heat, then add potato/egg mixture. allow to set for a minute or so, then slide pan around a few times while cooking to be sure it doesn’t stick. i will sometimes tilt the pan to allow egg to run underneath tortilla if i feel it is very soupy. cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then place an inverted plate on top of pan. quickly invert pan so tortilla is on plate, uncooked side down. then slide tortilla back into pan and add an additional tbsp of reserved olive oil. turn heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until bottom is slightly browned and tortilla is cooked through. you will have to trust your instincts on this as you will not be able to see inside the tortilla. if i have my doubts, at the end of the cooking time, i place an inverted plate or lid on the pan, turn off the flame and allow it to steam for a few minutes. flip tortilla on a plate, allow to rest for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

this is best served warm or at room temperature. around our house, we eat this over the course of  a day or so. it is also great as a light dinner with a green salad and a glass of white rioja. just store in the fridge and remove at least 20-30 minutes before serving.

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Filed under appetizer, main dish

papas pastores

papas in bowl

in honor of a diana kennedy event i’m going to tonight, i give you papas pastores, or shepard’s potatoes, one of her recipes that i’ve been making for years. and boy, are they good. addictive, really, so go ahead and make extra ‘cos you’ll sure wish you had. these are eaten primarily as a snack in mexico, but i serve ’em with grilled steak. it is an outrageously fantastic pairing due to the freshness of the lime in the potatoes. this recipe comes from her cookbook ‘My Mexico’, which came out about 10 years ago.  i was introduced to her by my old friend jack who gave me an original print of her first book ‘The Cuisines of Mexico’, which came out in 1972. it is autographed for someone named scott. maybe i’ll take it tonight and have her cross out scott and write in steph instead! (hey, same amount of letters…).

papas-frying

for those that are not familiar with her work, diana kennedy is said to be the julia child of mexico. she also has some friends (ever heard of fonda san miguel?)and a residence in austin, so we are graced with her presence quite frequently. she is a purist, by all accounts (say ‘no more chips ‘n’ salsa’ like joan crawford says ‘no more wire hangers’), and sometimes i feel guilty when i can’t find fresh epizote or powdered tequesquite and i have to make do. i really do prefer to cook and bake without the aid of esoteric ingredients, but sometimes it’s worth it to go the extra mile when it comes to authenticity. because of her, i now know what to do with all those wrinkled peppers, spices, and other weird lookin’ sundries at my hispanic grocer.

papas-ingredients

papas pastores (serves 4 as a side dish, 6-8 as a snack)

adapted from diana kennedy

1 pound very small new potatoes*

2 tbsp olive oil

salt to taste

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion

1 garlic clove

3 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seed and ribs removed if you prefer less picante)

1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 cup water

*if potatoes are on the large size, just cut them in haves or quarters–these were grown by my good friends at copper dog farms. a bio of them is coming soon!

heat oil over medium high heat in a large heavy pan. add potatoes and sprinkle with salt, shaking pan from time to time until potatoes skins begin to wrinkle and brown. add onion, garlic, and chiles, saute 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. add cilantro and lime juice and continue sauteing for 1 minute longer. add water and cover the pan. cook over low heat until potatoes are tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated.

post script photo:

me & d

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Filed under appetizer, mexican, side dish