M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


We have an early dinner tonight because of the class early in the evening and I’m making a real Spanish tortilla.

Four years ago, when my wife was studying for her master at the Université de Montréal, she became friend with a group of Spanish student. Being Spanish, the liked to eat well, I read somewhere that the Spanish spend a greater share of their take home pay than any other European. They were 5 or 6 and share to big apartment close to the campus. As much as possible they would keep to the Spanish ate lunch, rotate cooking duties among them and eat all together in one of the apartment. But whenever they received other people M who was from Cacetes in Castilla would make tortilla. Simple egg and potatoes tortilla. He would cut them in cubes, pick some of them with toothpicks. I could not have enough of it.

The potatoes soaked olive oil were simply delicious.

M met O here in Montréal and they went back to Spain together. O is from Barcelona and M moved there with her. Here they would always speak in Castellan but the minute they set foot in Barcelona she spoke to him only in Catalan. Now they live in both language and their daughter is learning both.

They have a daughter now and live in a suburb of Barcelona that used to be a small town well outside the city. We visited them last year in their home of Sabadell and while the women were drinking wine in the living room, M and I were drinking wine and making a tortilla in the kitchen. There really nothing to it once you see it done. The trick is to cook the potatoes in good olive oil, not fry them but gently boil them so that they absorb the oil’s fruitiness.

Then you remove them from the oil, put them in the egg, mix well and cooked them in the pan. I use the same 6 inches Teflon pan. I just strain the oil in a container and re-use it 2 or 3 times. You have to judge when one side is ready, then you put a plate on top of the pan, reverse it and cook the other side.

Tonight, we ate the tortilla with a can of Cod Liver (foie gras of the sea, I love it), good bread, a simple green salad, Rosette de Lyon (a French saucisson) and, of course, olives.


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