This super traditional Spanish cake first caught my eye because of its short list of ingredients and the fact that it uses no flour, just finely ground almonds, as the base. Another example of how a couple of simple ingredients can transform themselves into something special. This cake is moist, deliciously not-too-sweet, delicate and crumbly which makes it great with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. Simran and I and our friend Rachel happy nibbled away on this during a recent afternoon of recipe testing… and the fact that I wasn’t nice enough to save any for my family to try will give you an idea of how much I liked it.
In addition to being a lovely accompaniment to afternoon coffee this is a cake also has a long history. It dates back to the 16th century where it has been enjoyed by Santiago locals and pilgrims making their way to the Cathedral of Santiago Compostel (the burial place of St. James, the patron saint of Spain.). This recipe also happens to be gluten-free which comes in handy as well. Continue reading
It’s always nice to stumble upon a new tasty use for leftovers. After all there’s only so much fried rice a person can eat. I’m loving this Spanish tortilla, aka tortilla de patatas, because it’s easy to make, works with a lot of different odds and ends and is less egg-y than a quiche or a frittata (a plus in my book). The finely layered potatoes look way more impressive than they should which might even win you a few kudos from your friends. You can serve it warm or room temperature and enjoy it just about any time of day. Because it holds together so nicely, it’s a good one to slice into wedges for the lunchbox or to tote along to a picnic. Give this one a try next time you open your refrigerator and you see some potatoes and eggs staring back at you. It’s super easy, I promise!
- 6 eggs
- 1 pound of potatoes (about 3 large russets)
- 1 onion finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs finely minced (parsley, thyme, mint or a mixture of your favorites)
- Optional: 1/2 cup leftover meat or vegetables finely chopped (if needed, squeeze the chopped vegetables to remove excess liquid); We also like finely chopped ham or chorizo.
- salt and pepper
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of hot sauce
- Lightly oil a sheet pan and pop it into the oven and turn the heat up to 450 degrees. This way you can preheat your pan while you slice your potatoes.
- Peel and slice your potatoes into thin rounds, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ is nice. Once you’ve finished slicing, pat them dry and lay them in a single layer on your pre-heated baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and a little smoked paprika if you like. Cook them about 10 minutes or until they start to turn golden around the edges, then flip them to cook on the other side. After another 5-10 minutes, check them to see if they are tender. Once they pierce easily with a fork, take them out and let them cool. You can do this step ahead.
- Saute the minced onion until translucent, then move it to a large bowl to cool. When the onions are no longer hot, add the eggs, the herbs, salt pepper, smoked paprika and/or hot sauce to the bowl. Beat well. Add the cooled potatoes to the bowl and toss them very gently with your hands to coat them with egg.
- Lightly mist a saute pan with oil. Start layering the potatoes like shingles. Here and there add your chopped leftover meat or vegetables so that they are layered with the potatoes. Drizzle a small amount of the egg mixture after each couple of layers. Keep going until you’ve used up all your ingredients. Then pour more of the egg mixture over the top until it comes just to the top of your final layer of potatoes. You may not need all of the egg mixture.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, cook the tortilla on the stove top using medium heat until it is a deep, golden brown on the bottom. Slide the tortilla onto a plate. Give the pan another light mist of oil and then invert the pan over the plate and flip them together so that the tortilla falls back into the pan and you can brown the second side. Once the second side is also a deep golden brown, move the whole pan to the pre-heated oven. Check for done-ness after about 10 minutes and about every five minutes after that. Just insert a knife into the center of the tortilla and lightly press next to it to see if any liquid comes to the top. It’s done when no more liquid appears.
Let the tortilla cool slightly so it can set before you cut into it. Slice into wedges, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with hot sauce on the side. Leftovers of your leftovers? Not to worry…..slices of tortilla also make a great filling for a bocadillo — a Spanish-style sandwich on crusty bread. Yum!
Potatoes waiting for a tortilla.