Wednesday, January 25, 2012
An unexpected pleasure
Yesterday my Dad was going to be in the area so I suggested he pop in when he was done. This ended up being 11h30 - so naturally I needed to prepare us a quick lunch. There really wasn't much in the pantry (which is when I get the most creative), but there were spuds, eggs and a jar of olives... for some this may seem like a strange combo to get excited about, but if you were raised by my Dad - you would have eaten many MANY Spanish tortillas. When my Dad was young he spent many memorable holidays in Spain. Tortillas and gazpacho were two dishes he learned there which he has all but perfected!
Now cooking the perfect Spanish tortilla (potato and egg tart like thing... not to be mistaken for the Mexican wrap) takes slow cooking and patience to get it perfect. This was not on the cards yesterday. So I had to improvise a bit. My dad always adds green olives and often chorizo to his tortillas which give it fabulous flavour.
So my express version ended up being more like a scramble or a breakfast hash - but man, did it taste good!
I microwaved two medium sized potatoes for about 8 minutes. While they were cooking, I prepared a small bowl of ice water to cool them down in when they were ready (so they would keep there shape better while frying). I de-pitted about 15 olives (should be green, but I didn't have enough so I threw in a few black ones too). I then started heating my pot to medium high heat with a generous amount of olive oil.
Once my spuds were cooked and mostly cooled, I chopped them up into bite sized pieces and started frying them in the oil. While frying them I broke three eggs into a bowl, added about 2 Tbsp of olive brine and then about 3 more Tbsp of water, some salt to taste and gently combined that with a fork.
To the frying potatoes I added a bit of salt and loads of black pepper. Once I felt the potatoes had crisped a little, I turned the heat right down, added the olives, crumbled a round of feta, poured over the egg mixture and closed the lid of the pot, leaving it to settle. I went to pick some chives and basil, made coffee and the got plates and cutlery out.
After opening the lid, I gently turned the contents to get the last wet bits of the egg to firm up, garnished with herbs and served it. My dad did tease me a bit about the appearance, but had to concede that it tasted damned good.