Potato Tortilla with Artichokes and Red Peppers
The New Spanish Table
It’s been way too long since I made my last tortilla and if you’re looking for the classic version, start there. This version was devised by a friend of the author’s to use up leftover boiled potatoes. Although not traditional — with that long sauté in olive oil and including red peppers and artichokes — it is no less delicious.
Serves 6 to 8 as a tapa, 2 as a light main dish.
About 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 medium-size onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large boiled Yukon Gold potato, quartered and thinly sliced (a leftover potato works great here)
3 marinated artichoke hearts (from a can or jar), rinsed, patted dry, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced piquillo peppers or roasted red bell peppers
4 large, very fresh eggs, preferably organic
2 tablespoons chick stock or broth
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until limp but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the artichokes and peppers and cook, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl and let cool completely.
2. Place the eggs, chicken stock, and a few small pinches of salt in a medium-sized bowl and beat until just scrambled. Add the potato mixture and mix until well combined. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Chard and White Bean Stew
Adapted a bit generously from Dan Barber
I started with a recipe from Dan Barber for a kale and white bean stew, even though I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I have yet to get over my dislike of kale, despite a brief period of acceptance when I learned how to make it into chips. I used chard instead, but you could use any green you’ve got, even spinach. (Though if you are unfamiliar with chard but like spinach, trust me, you’ll love chard.) I also only used 2/3 of the greens suggested, because I really want this to be a white bean, not greens, stew. Then, I swapped some of the vegetable broth for pureed tomatoes, because that’s what I think a bean stew needs. I dialed back the broth a bit, because I don’t like soupy stews… Oh, and I added some weights and then (typical!) forgot I was weighing ingredients so only some are listed. Sorry about that.
Finally, I cooked the wine down more than suggested because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t accidentally going to booze up the kid so that he might accidentally get a good night’s sleep. Because that would be terrible, you know?
1 pound Swiss chard (can also swap kale, spinach or another green), ribs and stems removed and cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup (5 1/4 ounces) chopped carrots
1 cup (5 ounces) chopped celery
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) chopped shallots, about 4 medium
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 15-ounce cans (or about 3 3/4 cups) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (or more to taste) vegetable broth
1 cup pureed tomatoes (from a can/carton/your jarred summer supply)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Toasted bread slices, poached eggs (tutorial), chopped herbs such as tarragon, parsley or chives or grated Parmesan or Romano to serve (optional)
Bring medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook chard (or any heavier green; no need to precook baby spinach) for one minute, then drain and squeeze out as much extra water as possible. Coarsely chop chard.
Wipe out medium pot to dry it, and heat olive oil over medium. Add carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. Barber warns not to brown them but I didn’t mind a light golden color on them. Add wine (scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot) and cook it until it reduced by three-fourths. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as is drizzled with sherry vinegar. Or you can ladle the stew over thick piece of toasted country bread or baguette that has been rubbed lightly with half a clove of garlic, top that with a poached egg and a few drops of sherry vinegar and/or some grated cheese.
Arroz Con Pollo (Cuban Chicken with Rice)
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
The only think I’d change next time is to add much more kick to this recipe. I’d swap the regular paprika with the spicy stuff, and add quite a bit more. In addition, I might finely dice some green pepper on top, instead of the pimentos or red pepper strips. I think it might be a prettier, more texture-contrasted garnish. Oh, and I would skimp and only make a half-recipe, as I was actually sad when we ran out of this.
3 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
4 chicken breast halves with bone, halved crosswise
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
3 ounces Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), skin discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, preferably the hot stuff, plus more to taste
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1 lb. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 12-ounce. bottle beer (not dark)
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups long-grain white rice (14 ounces)
1/4 cup drained rinsed bottled pimiento or roasted red pepper strips
Marinate chicken: Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in vinegar and oregano.
Remove skin and excess fat from chicken, then toss chicken with marinade until coated and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 hour.
Cook chicken and rice: – Cook chorizo in olive oil in a 6- to 7-quart heavy pot (12 inches wide) over medium-high heat, stirring, until some fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add chicken with marinade to chorizo mixture and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, beer, broth, and rice and bring to a boil, making sure rice is submerged. [Deb note: I actually had a really hard time keeping the rice underneaththe chicken so that it would cook evenly. I’d suggest that you use tongs to temporarily remove the chicken from the pot, mix the rice in with the other ingredients in the pot, and then replace the chicken, pressing it into the broth a bit before going onto the next step. I will definitely do this next time.]
Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover mixture directly with a round of parchment or wax paper and cover pot with a tight fitting lid. Cook, stirring once or twice, until rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Discard parchment paper and bay leaves, then scatter pimiento strips over rice.
Do ahead: Chicken can be marinated up to 2 hours in advance.
One year ago: Mushroom Strudel
Two years ago: Homemade Oreos
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
Adapted from Bon Appetit
As it turns out, goat cheese makes a really great quick, creamy pasta sauce. And whether you blanche your pasta with asparagus or you swap in fava beans or string beans or seriously, you name it, this comes together so quickly that I forgave it for not winning any beauty contests.
1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon plus more for garnish
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta and asparagus to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed. Season genersously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra kick. (We did.)