Friday, October 16, 2009

Free Range Friday

When I lived in Spain for awhile, I fell totally in love with the whole tapas concept. I had the range of these free little plate offerings from a bar that served Jordan almonds to one that served the most delicious pink shrimp and prosciutto and flash fried sardines - one excellent tapas with every glass of wine. I could have stayed forever. While never served free, one thing I wouldn't have ordered but had ordered for me in a wonderful tapas restaurant called Cal Pep in Barcelona was a simple dish called Tortillas de Patatas that I really liked.

This stock photo is how it *should* look! ------>
Basically an egg and potato omelet, it is simple easy and I managed to lose a lot in the presentation this afternoon because 1) I hurried and 2) I really don't like frying things and it is not my forte.. Somehow the chefs at Cal Pep, working right in front of the bar in the open kitchen, managed to make it look really simple, and very attractive. I'll have to work on that...But the wonderful thing about this dish is that even if it doesn't look as pretty it tastes just the same!

Here's the recipe I used, by Dean Derhak from his recipe web site. This is the most accurate and simple of recipes. Some add red peppers. Some add cheese. Some add meats. Do what you like! But this one is the real deal, even though I used a red Spanish onion instead of a white because that's what I had!

Tortillas de Patatas

1 cup olive oil
four large potatos (peel and cut into small pieces about 2mm thick)
salt to taste
one large onion, thinly sliced
four large eggs.

Some people add thin slices of red pepper together with the onion.

Heat the oil in a 9-inch skillet, add potato pieces, one slice at a time so that they don't stick. Alternate layers of potato and onion. COOK slowly, medium flame. DO NOT FRY!! Turn occasionally until potatoes are tender, but NOT brown. They must be loose, not "in a cake".

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a fork. Salt to taste. Drain potatoes. Add potatoes to beaten eggs, pressing them so that eggs cover them completely. Let sit for 15 minutes. Heat 2 tbsps of the oil in large skillet. Add potato-egg mixture, spreading quickly. Lower the heat to medium-high. Shake pan to prevent sticking (crucial step!!) When potatoes start to brown, put a plate on top skillet and flip to cook other side, adding another tbsp of oil. Brown on the other side. Can flip three or four times for better cooking.

I cut up two potatoes but ended up using only one

I put the potatoes in cold water while working on the rest

Pat the potatoes dry before putting them in the oil

The oil should be very hot - the potatoes will boil/fry quickly

All but a couple of tablespoons of the oil are drained off

then layer the potatoes & onions, pouring the eggs over all

There is an actual lid made to flip the tortilla, of course I don't have that so I used a lid for the worked, even if I waited just a little too long!

I picked out the burned bits, it wasn't as bad as it looks! But the other side looked a lot better, especially after a dusting of parsley and some delicious seasoning I was given and had to put on it! And it was good, thanks Ann!

Wa la!

Buen provecho!

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