I love this book, Spain and The World Table from the Culinary Institute of America. It isn't a book for the novice cook. I doubt I'll cook from it very much - like using 18 egg yolks for Crema Catalana. And there are things in I don't approve of - like Sushi Paella or Red Wine Sushi Rice. And there are things in there I love - like Paella Valencia or Mission Fig Flan. And recipes using salt cod - if I can find salt cod in Australia.
Every spare moment this week I've found myself curling up on the couch a cup of coffee in one hand the book in the other. From the gorgeous looking Shrimp in Garlic on the cover to the final recipe on the last page for Crema Catalana, I imagine I'm back in Spain.
During our 6 weeks in Spain in 2004 we ate a lot of Tortilla Espanola and Creme Catalana. Every bar offered tortilla and every menu del dia featured flan . So I'm a pretty good judge of Tortilla Espanola. I make it often, sometimes following a recipe, sometimes winging it with whatever is in the fridge and how much time I have. With this one I followed the recipe but substituted some ingredients with what I had available.
Here is the original recipe.
900G (2 lbs) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 3/4 teasp salt, divided use
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablesp extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/3 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup diced choriizo sausage
1 cup diced Serrano ha
10 large eggs
Toss together the sliced potatoes and 1 teasp salt in a medium bowl.
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large heavy non stick or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the potatoes.
Cook stirring occasionally, until the potatoes start to soften but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the onions, peppers, sausage, and ham.
Continue to cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender, the chorizo cooked through, and the ingredients well blended, another 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a colander placed over a large bowl and drain.
Clean the pan.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the potato mixture.
Season with 3/4 teasp salt.
Return the pan to medium heat and add 2 tablesp of olive oil.
When the oil is very hot, add the egg mixture to the pan.
Tilt the pan so that the eggs run over the bottom of the pan in an even layer, then turn the heat to low.
Cook, shaking the pan from time to time until the omelet has set, about 8 minutes.
Cover the pan with an omelet turner or flat bottomed pot lid. Then carefully slide the inverted omelet back into the pan.
Return to the heat and cook the other side until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Slide the omelet out onto a plate.
Allow to cool to room temperature, cut into 8 wedges to serve.
I did things a little different with the ingredients I had on hand. I used red onions; green peppers only, no red; salami in place of the chorizo and Serrano ham. Real Serrano ham is so expensive here I'd never put it in a tortilla. I'd rather just eat it on its own. I didn't bother with turning the omelet over, instead I placed it under the grill to set the top.
It was excellent. Everyone loved it.
For a more academic review of the book visit this blog.
I received Spain And The World Table as gift from DK Publishing.