Friday, July 4, 2014

Spanish Tortilla (omelette)

I think I like leftover potatoes better than the first time they come around, and this is one reason why. This makes a hearty, easy meal that feeds a crowd, and even keeps vegetarians happy. It's great hot, but also good cold as a late-night snack (sort of the 17th century Taco Bell). You can get fancy and make it from raw potatoes (I recommend waxy ones like Yukon Gold), but slice them thin and allow plenty of time for them to cook through.

~2 c. cold leftover potatoes, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6-8 eggs
1 Tsp paprika (smoked paprika is extra tasty in this)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Optional: other leftovers

Heat a large nonstick pan with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the potato slices in a single layer, and cook on medium-low until the edges start to crisp.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, and paprika. TIP: taste the eggs to see if the salt is right--don't fear the reaper. Dump the hot potatoes into the bowl and stir. I think this step allows the potatoes to get thoroughly mixed throughout the eggs and jump-starts their cooking. It also allows you to add more oil to the pan if you think it's necessary.

Dump the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook for ~10 minutes. Personally, I leave the lid on and allow it to cook thoroughly on one side. Other, more adventurous people, flip the tortilla part-way through. You could also put it under the broiler to cook the top if your pan is oven-safe. If you're desperate enough to be making a tortilla out of leftovers late at night, you probably don't want to try flipping it so keep it simple.

Once cooked to your satisfaction, dump onto a cutting board and slice into wedges.

Couscous Salad

This is a great dish to bring bright colors and fresh (non-mayonnaisey) flavors to a potluck. I used "maftoul" (giant couscous), but you could any grain that suits your fancy and stays toothsome when cooked: barley, wheat berries, bulghur, brown rice, wild rice, etc...

1.5 c. maftoul couscous
3 c. chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 c. red onion, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lemon
1 small bundle fresh mint, sliced thin
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp. black pepper
1 pinch allspice
1 Tbsp. salt or to taste
2 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes (optional)

Bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the couscous (or other grain). Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (it is OK if there is extra liquid). Drain the grain and rinse under cold water. Cut the vegetables into uniform pieces and add to a serving bowl with the chickpeas and drained grain. Add olive oil and lemon juice and mint. Toss and season, adjusting spices to taste. Chill and serve.