When I saw on the website that this weeks task was a Potato Tortilla, I immediately shared this info with Eli. One of his most requested dish is this exact dish, yet the one that I make is inspired by a trip to Spain.
In 1990, Miquel and I spent a little over 3 weeks traveling through Spain. Once we landed in Madrid, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. Upon arriving in Spain, I was a vegetarian. Although I was loving the city, the culture, the people, and the architecture, I could not find much to eat. In the windows of every tapas bar, store front window, and market I marveled at the pigs heads hanging in the window, various body parts of my friend the cow, and other non-vegetarian culinary fare.
After a few days in Madrid, we headed south-east to a Parador in Toledo. Upon arriving, we took a swim, we napped, and then got ready for dinner. I put on a simple sun dress and then we walked down to the dining room. I read and re-read the menu searching for something that didn’t contain an animal in it. It was near impossible. Had we been in Rome, I could have devoured bowls and bowls of pasta, but we weren’t anywhere near Rome and I had to eat. I was famished.
Without thinking about it, I ordered the lamb stew! The lamb stew!!! It arrived and dug in with both fists. I ate it as if it was my last meal and devoured every last morsel of it. And I did it happily. We continued to travel South, landing in Cadiz and then Seville. I want to die in Seville. Seville is the perfect city. I loved every square inch of it; the cobbled stone streets, the narrow pathways, the food. I ate huge steaks, Sicilian pizza with sausage, slabs of bacon, ham and cheese tortas, and ice cream. I came to Spain a vegetarian and departed a carnivore.
After several days wondering the streets of Seville, we headed to the coast. We stumbled upon the Parador in Nerja. We weren’t planning on straying in Nerja, but when we stopped there for lunch, we couldn’t leave. We checked into the Parador and headed to the beach for dinner. Scattered throughout the beach were tiny little huts(I don’t remember what they were called) and we sat at the first one and ordered gazpacho and potato tortilla. I cannot count how many potato tortillas I ate that trip, and even if it was 100, that would not have been enough. They were delicious. When we returned home from our trip I made potato tortillas everyday for almost a month. Not as good as the ones on the beach in Nerja, but good enough.
Dorie’s recipe for potato tortilla is just as good, if not better than the one’s I ate on our trip to Spain. Prior to making Dorie’s I would always make them using up left over roasted potatoes. The potatoes and the onions in her dish are cooked slowly and for a long time, over a simmering fire. Thus creating creamy, not starchy, tough potatoes. Dorie’s recipe is the perfect ratio of onion, to potato to egg. I made this for lunch last Sunday and served it room temperature with a simple side salad of baby lettuce, pearl tomatoes, and a classic vinaigrette. I have already had requests for another potato tortilla. Will do. And will do it happily!