…and it’s Fight Back Friday!
Some of the best meals I’ve eaten I’ve had when I was in Spain.
My first trip there in 2002 John and I were completely wowed by the full flavor, the richness, the integrity of nearly every bite we took – of everything! How, we wondered, could the tomatoes taste so tomatoey? Or the melons more meloney? The layers of simple dishes were so robust! Vegetables seemed – I don’t know – less bitter? It took us a while – but eventually we were sitting and enjoying a meal one day when it dawned on us.
They harvest stuff when it’s ripe.
They’re using local produce – it hasn’t been picked green, trucked hundreds or thousands of miles, gassed to promote the appearance of a ripe product, or any of that kind of nonsense.
The difference was staggering.
And pretty much – from then forward we were hooked on sustainable, organic, local.
Here’s the thing – once you are exposed to “the good stuff” you never want to go back.
So why should you?
We decided we didn’t have to.
I don’t remember which trip to Spain it was that I fell in love with the Tortilla de Patata – but it changed my life, too. You can get Tortilla – as the locals call it – pretty much everywhere. Some of it’s okay. Some of it’s downright kinda grody. But others – oh my – you can hear the hallelujah chorus kicking into high gear as you take the first luscious bite. And I should warn you – you’ll find it by different names in different regions of Spain – and it WILL be different in form and function in different regions, as well. The one I love is from the Alicante province – up in the hills where they speak Valenciano. This, my friends, is the way Tortilla was meant to be!
|1 pound||Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced|
|1 medium||Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onion, thinly sliced (into rings or julienned)|
|1 cup||Heavy whipping cream|
|2 teaspoons||Kosher salt|
Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Brown sliced potatoes until golden on both sides. Set aside onto a paper towel lined plate.
- After potatoes have all been sautéed, add thinly sliced onion to the pan, adding more olive oil if needed. Sauté onions until just browned and caramelized. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
- In a generously sized glass pie plate (depth is important here – go for the deep dish model!) layer potatoes and onions.
- In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk or hand mixer with whisk attachment, mix eggs, whipping cream, and kosher salt together, making sure to mix ingredients completely.
- Pour egg mixture slowly into the pie plate – you can use a large spoon to divert the flow so as not to disturb your layering.
- Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet in the oven. Here’s the tricky part – it will take about 30 minutes to cook. Check for doneness by shaking the pie plate slightly to see if egg has set completely. If it’s not set – give it another 5 minutes. A sharp knife will come out of the center of the tortilla clean if it’s set completely.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before serving.
When I have this is Spain, my favorite places to order it serve with thinly sliced wedges of cheese – Manchego, Mahon, or my very favorite – Trouchoú. And of course, pretty much every Spanish meal comes with a lovely little crusty roll and olive oil to dip your bread in. J I, of course, ask for the fabulous local butter!
It is traditional to find Tortilla de Patata listed on menus in the region of Spain that I travel to most often – either with or without onions – there’s no assumption you’ll prefer it one way or the other. If you prefer no onions – just skip that part!