French Frdays with Dorie

Friday, February 4, 2011

FFwD: Basque Potato Tortilla

I was quite looking forward to this one.  I love potatoes, I have days when all I eat are potatoes, fried potatoes with cheese for breakfast, boiled potatoes with butter for lunch and a baked potato for dinner.  That is my idea of comfort food. 

I was not, however, enthralled with the way this turned out.  Surprisingly (to me) I really did not have issues with flipping out the tortilla.  I used my Le Cruset cast iron frying pan.  I use it all the time for oven pancakesand they come out of the pan just fine (but they have lots of incentive, i.e. shortening).  I fully expected the eggs to cling tenaciously to the pan and refuse to yield, but other than a slight rim around the top, it came out quite easily.  Well, as easily as anything can when one can barely lift the pan to flip it over!  I swear, Dorie must have some well developed forearms, because I could not hold the receiving platter and flip the pan simultaneously.  I ended up being grateful for the slight hitch around the top.  It gave me the time I needed to invert the frying pan over the receiving platter.  I used two hands on the frying pan and had the platter waiting eagerly on the counter. 

I fried up some crispy bacon to go with the tortilla and set down to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  And, then I decided several things had gone wrong.  Number one, I subbed a bit of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika for the traditional basque spice.  Number one-A, I did not sub enough of those two spices.  I barely even noticed they were in the dish.  Number two-my potatoes were not done as well as I thought they were.  I contemplated cooking them in a non-stick pan and then switching to the oven-proof pan later, but I decided to use the same pan.  Next time, I will do the potatoes in a non-stick pan and truly get them golden (all-over).  Number three, this dish needs cheese.  Come on, eggs, potatoes, what comes next?  Cheese.  Number four, I prefer this dish closer to hot than to room temperature. 

Maybe this is because the temp in my house hovers at around sixty degrees and at room temperature this tasted slightly chilled or maybe it is just because that is what I am accustomed to eating.  Either way, I have reheated some of the left-overs and liked them better than the original slice.  Reheating served me well, I was able to get my potatoes farther along in the cooking and I tried the dish in a hot state.  Next time I reheat a bit it will have some cheese tossed onto the top.
And the next time I make this, from start to finish, I will definitely up the ante on the spices.  This dish wasn't a hit right off the bat for me, but I definitely think it has potential.

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