Monday, May 01, 2006

Cath: Spanish Tortilla

So, I've procrastinated long enough posting this...mainly because I got totally obsesso and ended up making the tortilla three times this week! It always tasted good but the first two I did in a cast iron skillet and and they ended up sticking and looking terrible. Last night's version I did in a nonstick--so much for whatever horrible carcinogens supposedly leach out of did make it so much easier! As I became more familiar with the recipe, I decided to use two really big one in the beginning to cook the onion and potato and then the 9 or 10-inch nonstick to actually make the omelette. The first time I tried to do everything in that one cast iron and it was a mess--the potatoes on the bottom burned and the ones on top wouldn't cook. It was definitely easier once I had a bigger pan and things could cook more evenly and I had room to stir from time to time (using a heat-resistant rubber spatula so I didn't tear up the potatoes too much). Anyhoo. Here's a pic of my prettiest tortilla...Kate, I stole your idea and put parsley in the middle!

My only real compaint with this recipe is I wish it specified a weight for the potatoes instead of just a number. I'm sure once you get the hang of it you just know what the appropriate amount looks like but for novice tortilla makers it would be nice! I used medium Yukons and Rob thought maybe it was a little too potato-y. There were definitely bites that were all slippery potato slices and very little egg binding them. I read on one of those links that it's supposed to be more about the potato than the egg but I'd maybe use one less potato next time...or just smaller ones...

As for night I made the shrimp from that recipe I posted. Really good but I'd recommend getting them cleaned beforehand if you want it to be a quick dish! Then one night (yes, poor Rob...he's begging me at this point..."no more tortilla!") I stayed super-simple and did asparagus roasted with Parmesan. Then last night I tried one of those chicken recipes from The Spanish make a rub with saffron, paprika, garlic, sea salt and olive oil and then stuff orange quarters in the cavity. Yummy but I'd tweak that one too...instead of combining the olive oil with the spices beforehand I'd cover the chicken with olive oil and then rub the spices in. As it's written most of the spices slide off. Then I made a salad with baby arugula, toasted almonds, slivered dates and shaved Manchego. Dressing was sherry vinegar and olive oil. So tapas-y in spirit but not really tapas...but good!


Blogger Jer said...

You are so good and patient to try so many different times! I think your photos are beautiful and that your tortillas look absolutely lovely. I am sure they were equally as delicious. I also used Yukon Gold and found them to be a bit too soft/mushy. I won't make mashed potatoes without them, but maybe next time, for this dish, I will try russets which maybe will hold their shape/texture better. I think new potatoes will be too watery. Does anyone know what potato variety is most commonly found in Spain?

01 May, 2006 20:32  
Blogger Cath said...

Good question! I have no idea! Kate, would your friend know?

01 May, 2006 23:04  
Blogger Kate said...

Your food looks lovely.
I love the sound of that salad, very Spanish. And really that salad is probably all you need to complete a meal with the tortilla. I may have to steal that .
I will ask Tonya about the potatoes. I used Nicola which are a common potato over here but grown in the warmer areas like Cyprus (and Spain actually). They have a waxy texture that works pefectly in something like the Tortilla but they are not new.

02 May, 2006 02:03  
Blogger Elaine said...

I just used red potatoes. They seemed to work fine. I also LOVE your salad. Definitely going to finish my manchego cheese on a salad like yours. You are definitely the Queen of perfecting dishes. So good that you guys have the will to do breads, sponge cake and now tortilla espanola day after day to perfect the recipe. I'm assuming you 2 won't be having tortilla espanola for quite a while.

02 May, 2006 09:09  
Blogger Cath said...

Sad to say it but I think it's called OCD. Nice that it's considered a good thing in the cooking world! Still haven't quite cracked the sponge cake--will post when I do. As for the tortilla, nooo...don't think we'll be having it again soon! But I do think it would be a great summer staple. I like it best the next day straight out of the fridge!

02 May, 2006 09:29  
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