Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tortilla Espanola

So I had big plans this weekend to dig into 1080 Recipes, which is THE bible of authentic Spanish cooking. It didn't happen. But, we still ate an authentic Spanish dinner, so that has to count for something, right?

Mmmm...classic tortilla espanola. Here's what you do. Take a tater. Peel that tater on up. Then, you have to cut the tater into small pieces, but not in nice even dices, but like little discs that are sort of thin like. But not too thin. I hold onto the potato and take a paring knife and just slice little pieces off one at a time. It's sort of a pain, but really, you become one with the potato. No you don't, it's mostly a pain. Then, fry those ta-toes up in a TON of olive oil. You can save the oil and use it again the next time you fry up patatas.

Don't burn the potatoes, just fry them so they are happily bubbling in that oil until they are soft. This is why you don't want them TOO thin or they'll turn into potato chips. Once they are all soft and mushy and scrumptiously oily, drain your potatoes.

Scramble 4 or 5 eggs. Make sure you salt the eggs. Don't be stingy with the salt. Then, pour the eggs over your potatoes which you've got sitting in a large dish or bowl, and mush the concoction together. Then, pour the whole shebang BACK into a smallish pan which you have either sprayed with Pam, or coated with a bit more olive oil. Keep the heat relatively low, because the tortilla is thick, and the outside of the eggs will cook much quicker and you don't want to burn them.

Gently pull the sides of the egg away from the pan with a butter knife and let the raw runny stuff in the middle drain down to the sides to cook, forming a new outer edge.

Now comes the hard part. Get a nice big plate and put it over the top of the pan. You are going to flip the tortilla. Don't be afraid, the tortilla can sense your fear. Confidently and strongly hold the plate against the pan, and in one swell foop flip that mother over. Then, sliiiide the whole messy concoction back into the pan. Poke the tortilla with a fork. No, I don't know why, just do it.

Eventually, it will be done. Take it out of the pan, and let it cool to room temp, or you can eat it cold after you refrigerate it for awhile. Or, you can eat it hot out of the pan, but I don't think it tastes as good hot.

Buena suerte!

(P.S. I think it's clear I would be a terrible cookbook writer)

Happy Birthday Bob!

So one of my favorite people in the world is my friend Bob Harvey. Bob has been a long time volunteer at the radio station, and last Saturday he celebrated his 90th birthday. His fantastic daughter Ann was nice enough to invite Shane and me to come to the big celebration that was thrown in his honor.

Bob doesn't really "volunteer" anymore, but he comes to plenty of concerts and happy hours to hang out with the staff and other volunteers. He is quite beloved at the radio station, so we were very happy to celebrate with him.

The thing that's so great and inspiring about Bob, is that he's not OLD. I mean, yes, he's 90 and you have to speak a bit louder than normal and he doesn't drive anymore, but he's the coolest 90-year-old you'll ever meet. He STILL has a personal trainer that he works out with, specifically so he can keep on skiing. Yes, he still skis. He has an easy chuckle, and a great sense of humor. He is so very UN-stodgy, he has the most positive and easy-going attitude, plus, he calls me "doll".

And he would TOTALLY win the David Letterman "What's the Deal with Old Guys and Big Glasses?" contest. But then again...I might be starting my way down that path too...