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You’re gonna need a bigger boat…

On one more freezing May night after a day of jury duty, I opened the fridge expecting to find a few leftovers for supper, but there were none to be had.  Somehow we’d eaten them all.  I had my mouth all ready for pizza, homemade pizza at that, and found zip, 0, nada.  I already had a nice little red opened to air, JAWS was on tv, Dave had called checking in from D.C., and I thought I had nothing to do but heat an oven.  Instead I had to make something for dinner.

If there’s nothing made and there’s no time, there’s nothing better than an omelet of whatever variety and a glass of wine.  Unless you’re too exhausted even for that, in which case you should have a cheese sandwich and go to bed.

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(Above:  a favorite book of mine)

I began with a 9-inch non-stick pan and good splash of olive oil well-seasoned with salt and pepper.  In went a handful of cherry tomatoes, a nice chop of onions (about a 1/4 cup), and somewhat more of a beautiful red bell pepper I cut up with dispatch.  There was no rhyme or reason to these ingredients, other than they were in the refrigerator and I knew they’d be good in eggs.  I wasn’t thinking Spanish omelet (aka Tortilla) until I saw a big bag of small red potatoes sitting hopefully on the floor in the mudroom; I grabbed a couple.

Spanish omelets –or tortillas — are a flawless puffy and crispy combination of thinly sliced or diced potatoes, onions, eggs, and lots and lots of olive oil.  My version would have luscious vegetables,  including the onion, only two small diced red potatoes, asparagus, eggs, and not so very much olive oil. I seasoned it all with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper, and I’m sure terribly non-traditional  tarragon.  It would feed two of us –my son and me –with a bite or two left for the dogs.  Try this:

CASI UNA TORTILLA  (almost a spanish omelet)

serves 2 – 3

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Small handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small red potatoes, unpeeled, small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • Pinch each crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon or oregano (1/2 teaspoon dry)
  • 4 spears asparagus, trimmed of the bottom third, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 eggs, beaten with a tablespoon of water and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper
  • Salsa for garnish, if desired.

Heat the olive oil, salt and pepper over medium-low heat. Add the tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and bell pepper. Season the vegetables with the crushed red pepper and the tarragon and cook 15 -20 minutes or until well softened.  Add the asparagus and cook another two minutes.

Pour in the egg mixture evenly over the veg and stir lightly.  Cover and cook five minutes or until eggs are about half-set.  Turn the pan upside down and tip the omelet out onto a plate.  Slip the omelet back into the pan, adding a little oil first, cover, and cook the omelet briefly on the other side.  Turn out onto a warm serving platter and divide in half or thirds.  Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold. Salsa (or marinara) is a piquant garnish or you might like the Italian version garnish, which is a shower of grated Parmesan cheese.

COOK’S NOTE:  The time for cooking the omelet is approximate; it will depend on your pan, the flame, and so on.

SALAD OF WALNUTS, MOZZARELLA, AND KALAMATA WITH GREENS

serves 2              Ingredients are bold.

In a large bowl, pour in a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar and season it with a pinch each of salt, sugar, and pepper along with a finely minced clove of garlic.  Whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil — perhaps two tablespoons — until the vinaigrette is well-combined.

Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh mozzarella, 1/4 cup each coarsely chopped walnuts and kalamata olives.  Stir well.  Toss in about 3 cups fresh greens and squeeze a lemon tightly over them, drizzling. Season the greens with a tiny bit more salt and pepper. Toss slowly until the greens are well-coated.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve cold  or at room temperature. (I’m not in agreement with the greens always having to be stone-cold.)

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For an interesting article in English about the Tortilla Española, click HERE.

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By the way, I’d forgotten how great and terrifying JAWS is.  Yikes.

Farewell and adieu to ye fair Spanish ladies…

Sing a new song,

Alyce