Tortilla de Patatas


2020
It’s 4 months into the new year, and some of us already wish it would be over.
I hope we make it out alive. Eight months to go.

None of us imagined this would happen. A few months ago, the world was unstoppable, and even 40 days ago, life still continued even with the rise of the pandemic previously known as epidemic. Most of us are now either isolated, quarantined, working from home, out of jobs, or whatever situation this virus and its repercussions put us in.

It hasn’t been easy the past few months in Lebanon especially. With the financial crisis beginning to loom since last summer, (not caused by the Revolution of October 17, as politicians, analysts, and the media are brainwashing people to believe) and the government that is failing to take responsibility for the mess they are involved in, it has been very stressful to cope. Focus shifted from being creative and productive to ending the day safely and looking for ways to secure an income to pay dues. I am not here to go into details or talk about this now.

Let’s try and focus on things that take our mind off for a little while.

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I made this recipe the other day on instagram as part of a takeover. It was a recipe tutorial and a demo on how I take the finished dish and style a setup for the camera followed by a quick preview on the editing process until the finished image was posted. Although I am active on my instagram stories, but having an expectation to meet is kind of draining, but I went with it.

So if you’re in for a text recipe, scroll down.
Otherwise, here is a video of the stories published that day and a walkthrough for the recipe.

I learned this recipe back in 2017 when I was the chef at a restaurant in Mar Mikhael in Beirut. One of the owners used to live in Madrid and was insisting on bringing the tapas and pintxos and all-day Spanish tortilla. I learned how to make it and according to him, it was better than many places he’s had it before, even in Spain.

Last year, I had the chance to go to Barcelona and try the food there. I finally understood the culture of tapas and pintxos and how it works. I tried the tortilla on my first morning there served with slice of toasted bread topped with crushed fresh tomatoes and garlic. Simple pleasures. Workers come out to a street-side cafe for their morning cup of coffee and a slice before going to work.

I decided to bring a piece of this home. And to your home, if you make it.

Barcelona tortiila de patatas - cookin5m2.jpg

Picture it, Barcelona autumn of 2019 (yes, The Golden Girls reference), after an early walk on the beach to watch the sunrise, you’re at the outdoor seating area of a cafe enjoying this soft eggs and potatoes dish with a great cup of coffee and the cool morning breeze.
This is a routine I could get used to.

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Tortilla de PatatasTINY tortilla de patatas - cookin5m2 -.jpg

Makes 6 to 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 8 eggs (throw in one more if the
  • eggs are small)
  • 1 large onion
  • 500ml olive oil
  • 1 leek, or 4 green onions
    fresh or dry herbs, I used 3 tbsp zaatar mix
  • 1 tsp salt, add more to taste
  • 100g chorizo, finely chopped (optional)

 

  • 8 slices of good crusty bread, I used sourdough
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt

Procedure

  • Slice the onion into thin strips
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm rough squares of 2mm thickness. This will ensure faster and more even cooking
  • Slice the leeks (or green onions and any fresh herbs if using) thinly and set aside
  • In a medium sized high edged pan, pour 2 cups or 500ml olive oil, Start the heat and fry the onions until slightly caramelized without getting a lot of color
  • Add the potatoes and stir around until almost all the potatoes are submerged in hot oil. Stir a few times, taking into consideration not breaking the soft potatoes, to make sure all the potatoes are cooked
  • This may sound like a lot of oil, but most of it is drained off. Once the potatoes are soft and cooked, drain the oil, either in a strainer, or by tipping it off if your pan has a spout like mine
  • In a large bowl break the eggs and whisk. Add the salt, potatoes, leek or green onions, and any herbs you’re adding
  • In the same pan, making sure it’s still greasy from the oil, pour the potatoes and egg mixture and flatten the top into an even flat layer as much as possible
  • Cook on medium heat for around 10 min. Occasionally run a rubber spatula around the tortilla to prevent it from sticking to the side and bottom
  • Once the bottom has set, either slice the tortilla out into a tray or big flat plate, or place the tray over the pan and flip
  • Return the tortilla back in to the pan cooked side up, and cook for 5 minutes
  • Remove from the pan and slice into 6 or 8 pieces and serve with Pan con tomate

 

  • For the Pan con tomate, toast the bread in a hot pan or griddle
  • Cut off a little bit of the tomato skin to get to the flesh and grate the tomato to get the pulp. Otherwise, process it in a chopper
  • Grate the garlic and mix with the tomatoes
  • Drizzle the bread with olive oil and top with a generous spread of the tomato garlic pulp and drizzle salt on top and serve immediately

 

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