Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 21st - Tortilla de Patatas - Spanish Potato Omlette slightly Canadianised

I remember the first time I heard of the dish before I moved to Spain.  A friend at work was talking about his favourite meal that his mom made, Tortilla. I thought nothing of it until he started to describe it with eggs and potatoes.

It is a Spanish staple and not only for breakfast.  Actually, you would see it more often as an appetiser or Tapa.  It is often the first or only dish a Spanish guy will learn to make on his own. Seriously. Or at least that was the case with all the guys in my Grad school.  :^D  I remember one night my buddies H & DF cooked for a bunch of our friends since they were normally doing most of the cooking.  DH from Canarias, was very very particular on how a proper Tortilla was made:  No pepper, do not brown the onions thinly sliced potatoes cook well on both sides.  My friends would often cheat a bit and nuke the potatoes to par cook them.

I like to avoid nuke-abuse whenever possible. As well, I think you lose alot of flavour by not browning the onions slightly and underbrown the egg.  I have made some minor adaptations but try to over complicate it like D and O think I do with my experimenting.  One thing I have not figure out how to do is to have a nice FIRM Tortilla de Patatas without over cooking egg like the store bought kind that come vacuum packed in all grocery shops in Spain. I'll figure it out eventually.

Canadianised Tortilla de Patatas

2 medium Potatoes, something waxy and not floury
4 large Eggs
1 small White Onion
1 clove Garlic (calm down, I like Garlic)
1 t Paprika for Garnish
1-2 T fresh Parsley
Sea salt to taste

Mise en Place all the ingredients.  Peel, slice and dice the Potato.  You could leave just a slices but I want to be able to toss them in the pan.  Slice the onions in to thing slices.  Mince the Garlic.  Gently beat the eggs. 

You will need a medium sautee pan, sloped sides.  Use non-stick if you are worried.  Have a plate slightly larger than the pan at hand.

Heat a 1/2-1 T Olive Oil in the pan on Medium-High.  Sautee the potatoes for 5-7 minutes until mostly cooked.  Let aside on the plate.

Heat 1/2-1 T Olive Oil in the pan on Medium-Low heat.  Sautee the Onion for 2-3 minutes. If you want to be more authentic, stop when the onions are softened.  I like to see a bit of brown on the edges.  Add the Potatoes back for another 1-2 minutes to blend the flavours.  Add the garlic, toss for a minute.  Spread out the ingredients so they are evenly spread out.  If the bottom of the pan appears dry, add another 1/2 T Olive Oil to the pan.

Pour over the Eggs.  Move them around a bit to help the cooking. Low and slow.  3 minutes or so.  When you can shimmy the Tortilla around the pan; or lift and see the Eggs are just cooked to slightly brown,  loosen with a spatula to ensure it is all free of the pan.  Slide out on to the handy plate.  Do it quick.  It is less likely to break.

The uncooked side is face up on the plate now.  Then hold the plate with one hand underneath like you're a snooty waiter.  Hold the pan upside down in the other.  Cover the Tortilla with the pan.  In one fast motion flip the pan and plate over back into the pan.  Cook 2 - 3 minutes, depending how well you like the middle down.

Slice and serve with a dash of Paprika and Parsley.  We had this with some small Tomatoes with Salt and Pepper and some sauteed Chanterelles you could use Organic Oyster as well if Chanterelles are not on sale or too pungent for you.  MMMMM

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