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Mandy Patinkin Would Be Proud July 2, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.

. . . . Prepare to die.

. . . and die happy!

Finally, we got to make the Cook’s Illustrated magazine version of Spanish tortilla.  And it was GOOD, too.

And I’ll bet you’re scratching your head, wondering what the heck Mandy Patinkin has to do with anything, aren’t you?   Who was Inigo Montoya, the Spaniard, anyway?  What, I’m just going to title this post “Spanish Tortilla?”  How very . . . original.

First off, a clarification.  Evidently all things aren’t equal when it comes to the Spanish language.  It’s kind of like English that way, I think.  When you’re in England, a “fag” is a cigarette, a boot is your car trunk, a jumper is a sweater, and a biscuit is really a cookie.  Here’s they’re totally different things.

I know, right?  Like it’s not enough that it’s a foreign language to begin with!

A Spanish tortilla is NOT the flour- or corn-based flatbread that it is south of our borders.  No, it’s potato and egg dish that’s closer to a frittata, only without cheese.  THIS is what we’re making here, not taco or enchiladas.  Just saying.

So anyway.  We finally had an evening where we could put this together – a quick note – if you ever make this (and you SHOULD!) you’re going to probably want to do it on a weekend.  Like most other Cook’s Illustrated recipes, there’s a fair amount of fussing involved (which is so worth it!), but also, it took is a good 45 minutes to an hour, from start to finish, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fuss that long after work.  And I get out of work at 3:00.  Ish.

PhotobucketWe’re going to start with potatoes.

A pound and a half of spuds, preferably Yukon Golds, which seem to be Cook’s Illustrated’s current favorite non-russet potato.  I’m reasonably sure any basic waxy potato – red or white – would work just fine.  I wouldn’t go getting all hung up on the Yukons.


So your potatoes are going to get sliced into 1/8-inch slices, and you want to make sure they’re uniformly sliced.   We used the V-slicer – it’s so easy that way!  We also used it to slice a single onion, as well.

‘Cuz, you know, it was already dirty and all.

PhotobucketToss the sliced potatoes and onions with 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) of freshly ground black pepper, and 4 tablespoons of GOOD extra virgin olive oil – the best you’ve got on hand.  Yes, you’re using plenty of oil in this, about 3/8 of a cup, but it’s going to serve 4 for dinner, and you’ll want the better, more flavorful oil. It’s potatoes and eggs, for Pete’s sake!

And chorizo sausage.

PhotobucketDice up 4 ounces of chorizo (the cured kind, not the fresh kind) and brown that with a tablespoon of your olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet for about 5 minutes.  Once that’s browned, dump in the potato-onion mixture and stir.  Cover and cook this on medium-low heat stirring every 5 minutes or so (I used a silicone spatula – it won’t melt!) until the potatoes are done, about 25-30 minutes.  Make sure to pay special attention to the sides of the pan – don’t let the potatoes stick.

And I, uh, forgot to brown the chorizo first, so we did that separately and dumped it into the potatoes.  That’s OK, though.

PhotobucketAnyway, meanwhile.

Meanwhile, while the potatoes are cooking, whisk together 8 eggs with another 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, then add 4 or 5 thinly sliced scallions to the eggs.

Just use the same bowl the potatoes were in – you probably haven’t washed it yet anyway.

PhotobucketSo when your potato-onion-chorizo mixture is done, the potatoes will be soft and offer no resistance when you poke them with a paring knife.  In fact, they might even break a little bit.

And they’ll just look done.

Now comes the cool part.  You’re going to take the HOT POTATO mixture (go ahead, sing along for a minute – I’ll wait) and just mix that in with the eggs – fold until just combined.

PhotobucketReturn the pan to the heat and heat another teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke,then just dump the potatoes-eggs-and the rest of it back into the pan, shaking and folding constantly for a few seconds.  You do NOT want this to stick!

Smooth it out with your trusty silicone spatula (or rubber if you must), and from here, it’s pretty simple.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook, gently shaking every few seconds until the top is just set and the bottom is GBD.

PhotobucketUsing the spatula, and shaking the pan back and forth, very carefully loosen the tortilla from the pan and slide it onto a plate.  Invert the tortilla onto another plate, then slide it back into the pan, uncooked side down this time.

I know, what a pain, huh?

It’s not that bad, really.

Tuck the edges of the tortilla in around the edges of the pan with your spatula, and continue cooking over medium heat until the formerly-top-now-bottom side is also GBD, still shaking pan every 30 seconds or so, for another 2 minutes or so.

PhotobucketSlide onto a cutting board and let rest about another 15 minutes or so.

NOW do you see why I suggested doing this on a weekend?

You’re welcome.

Once cooled, cut into wedges and serve – we cut it into quarters, and that, along with some fresh bread and a salad, was a perfect light dinner for three of us, with a single piece leftover for Surly Boy‘s breakfast the next morning.


And it was absolutely delicious!  Those of us who are over 21 (his birthday’s not until the end of next month!) also enjoyed a lovely glass of albariño, a delightfully smooth Spanish white wine that is never disappointing, and occasionally outstanding.


1. origamifreak - July 2, 2009

Mmmm. Looks like a Spanish fritatta!

Toy Lady - July 2, 2009


From what I understand, being a Swede and all, fritattas are Italian, omelettes are French, and tortillas are Spanish. . . they all have their own twists, but they’re all the same idea.

And they’re all really good. 😀

2. judy - July 10, 2009

Yum. Mandy WOULD be proud. I love that man and miss him on the TV.

Toy Lady - July 10, 2009

I used to watch him in Chicago Hope – and, believe it or not, I love his singing voice. 😀

We recently stumbled on Dead Like Me in syndication on Saturday afternoons – Mandy Patinkin as a grim reaper. It’s kind of fun! 😆

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