Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spanish Potato Tortilla

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Smitten Kitchen. 
Potato Tortilla [Tortilla de Patatas]
Adapted* from The New Spanish Table
Serves 6 to 8 as a tapa, 4 as a light main dish.
3 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and quartered lengthwise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
6 large, very fresh eggs, preferably organic
2 tablespoons chicken stock or broth
1. Using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, slice the potato quarters thinly crosswise, 
then pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Alternately, you can use a mandoline set to 1/8-inch thick. 
The original recipe then says to rub the potato slices with salt, but for the life of me I could not
 fathom why I should bother with such a tedious step (I had hundreds of small slices), and simply 
seasoned the potatoes after I cooked them.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the potatoes in even layers. Cook, stirring occasionally, 
to prevent the potatoes from sticking and browning, until they are half-cooked, about 7 minutes. 
Stir in the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook the potatoes until all of them are soft, 
about 15 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and onion to a 
colander set over a bowl and let them drain thoroughly. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the 
cooking oil and strain the rest for another use. Season the potatoes with salt.

3. Place the eggs, chicken stock, and a couple of pinches of salt in a large mixing bowl 
and beat until just scrambled. Gently stir in the potato mixture. Mash and stir the 
egg mixture gently with a fork to crush the potatoes just a little and mix them up 
well with the eggs. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

4. Heat 5 teaspoons of the reserved olive oil in a heavy 8-inch skillet, preferably 
nonstick, over medium-high heat until it is just beginning to smoke. Pour the 
egg mixture into the skillet and flatten the potatoes with a spatula until the top is 
fairly even. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, moving and shaking the skillet, 
running a thin spatula around the edge and sliding it into the middle so that some 
of the egg runs under for about one minute, then let it cook undisturbed until the top is 
a little wet but not liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Run the thin spatula under the tortilla to 
make sure that no part of the bottom is stuck to the skillet. Top the skillet with a 
rimless plate slightly larger than the skillet and, using oven mitts, quickly invert 
the tortilla onto the plate. If the skillet looks dry, add a little more olive oil. 
Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Shake the skillet to 
straighten the tortilla and push the edges in with the spatula. Reduce the heat to very low 
and cook the tortilla until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 3 to 4 minutes. 
Invert the tortilla again, as before, to cook on the first side for another minute.

5. Invert the tortilla onto a serving plate and pat the top with a paper towel to get 
rid of excess oil. Let it cool a little, then cut the tortilla into wedges and serve warm 
or at room temperature. To serve as a tapa, cut the tortilla into squares and serve with toothpicks.

* Even though I am indeed in love with this cookbook, I had to make a few adjustments to the recipe in places where it confounded me: I clarified the thickness of the potato slices, limited the egg-pushing step to one minute (it led to the slightly busted appearance of mine, and made little sense) and cooled the potatoes a bit more than suggested, for fear of cooking the eggs in the bowl, not the pan.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Brussel Sprout Breakfast Hash - It's a smash.

Recipe found at http://www.howsweeteats.com

Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash






4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
10-12 brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced
3-4 large eggs
salt + pepper to taste


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Slightly reduce the heat under the skillet and add onion and sweet potato, tossing to coat. Cook until sweet potato has softened, about 6-8 minutes, then stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add sliced brussels sprouts and stir to combine, cooking them until soft and caramely, another 5 minutes or so. In the meantime, poach or fry eggs, cooking until desired doneness. Serve immediately with buttered toast!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Herbed Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs

Recipe found at http://www.101cookbooks.com 

Feel free to play around with the herbs you use. Mainly, just keep in mind that you
want tons of herbs and free onions in the cream cheese. Think herbs with cream cheese
rather than cream cheese with herbs.
8 oz / 225 g cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons chopped herbs - equal parts thyme, tarragon, oregano
6 green onions, with greens, chopped
1/3 cup (big handful) chopped chives
fine grain sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 eggs, well whisked
plenty of toast, for serving
 Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl, add the herbs and mash 
with a fork until the herbs are evenly distributed. Add the green onions, 
most of the chives, a generous pinch of salt, and mash until those are 
incorporated as well. Set aside. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-heat. 
Add the eggs and let them set a bit. Use a spatula to fold them over 
themselves, let them set a bit again, and repeat until they are nearly 
cooked to your liking. Remove from heat, add 2 dollops of the 
cream cheese (roughly a tablespoon each) to the skillet, count to ten, 
then stir a bit more to work the cream cheese into the eggs. 
Serve sprinkled with the remaining chives, salt and pepper to taste, 
and toast on the side. Serves 2, feel free to scale up with 
more eggs if you have more people to feed.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min

Baked Eggs in Potato Nests

Plan on 1 large or 2 small potatoes per serving
1.  The day before you plan to serve the stuffed potatoes, preheat the oven to400˚F.  Wash, dry, and lightly rub the baking potatoes with oil.  Pierce the potatoes, and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a sharp knife.  Remove from oven and cool briefly.  When cool enough to handle, slice about 1/4-inch off the top of the potato.  Scoop out the flesh of the potato to within 1/4-inch of the shell.  Refrigerate potato shells until ready to finish.
2.  You can be very creative with the potato filling and the amount of filling you will need depends on the size of your potatoes.  I made 3 large potatoes and filled them with spinach, smoked salmon, Parmesan cheese, and an egg.  I began by warming a drizzle of olive oil in my pan.  To that, I added a large handful of fresh spinach which I sautéed until just wilted.  I added about 1/3 cup chopped, smoked salmon to the spinach and divided the mixture between the potato shells.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, then add a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese to the salmon-spinach mix.
3.  Crack 1 or 2 eggs (dependent on the size of the potatoes) over the filling and sprinkle eggs with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Place the filled potatoes in a lightly oiled, ovenproof skillet or baking pan.  Bake in the middle of a preheated375˚F oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until the yolks are just set, or done to your liking.
4.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mexican Shakshuka

Recipe courtesy of the Savory Table

To make the basic recipe all you really need are the tomatoes, egg, salt and pepper, but I have dolled mine up with cheese and chopped green onion.  Of course this is a deviation from theclassic recipe, but that's how I roll.

1 cup diced tomatoes with green chilies (I use Kroger brand diced salsa style fire roasted tomatoes in tomato puree and they were perfect.  If you don't have those available look for a brand of canned tomatoes with green chilies that is packed in tomato puree.  I think Rotel is a bit watery for this recipe.)
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (you can also use cojita, queso fresco, feta or any other favorite cheese you choose)
Chopped green onion or chopped cilantro to garnish 
Warm corn tortillas (optional)

Place tomatoes in a heat proof pan (I use a 6" cast iron skillet for my single serving) over medium heat.  Heat until tomatoes start to simmer.  Heat and stir until the tomatoes are piping hot all the way through.

For a medium doneness, gently crack an egg (you can also squeeze 2 eggs into this small pan for heartier appetites) into the center of the simmering tomatoes.  Cover with a lid and cook for approximately 3 - 4 minutes (my egg was cold from the fridge so it took closer to 3-1/2) or until whites are mostly set around a bright yellow yolk.  While shakshuka is simmering, preheat broiler.

After 3 - 4 minutes sprinkle eggs with grated cheese and place under the preheated broiler.  While watching carefully, broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, approximately 1 minute. 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped green onions or coarsely chopped cilantro.  Serve immediately with warm corn tortillas.