Thursday, February 3, 2011
FFwD basque tortilla
This week's French Fridays with Dorie was basque tortilla. When the February recipes were announced I flipped the Around My French Table book open to the basque tortilla, and left it sitting out for a few days. Mr. Hobby was admiring the picture, and we decided we’d make this recipe together. What fun I thought! I made my grocery list out and planned to use one of the Bonne Idees of inserting ham into the dish, but I figured instead I’d use the pancetta. Since I knew I’d be buying a package of pancetta to make the green beans this month, I figured I might as well make the dishes at the same time, and use one package of pancetta. I’ll post more about the green beans on 2/18/11 because that is their assigned FFwD date.
You know what they say about the best laid plans, right? Well, we were predicted to have an epic snow storm here in St. Louis. So I had planned to do the shopping on Monday, and make the tortilla on Tuesday. I was dismissed from work Monday at 3 due to weather. This is very unlike my work, we don’t normally close early. I went straight to the grocery store, and beelined for the eggs, worried they’d be out. St. Louisans tends to run to the store and buy out all the staples whenever snow is coming, even ¼ an inch. So with the snowpocolypse predicted, the city was sold out of generators by Sunday. I had reason to be concerned I wouldn’t be able to find the 9 eggs needed for the tortilla. But, thankfully they had plenty of eggs. They weren’t my usual kind, but they were eggs, and that was what mattered. Next, I set about finding the rest of the ingredients on my list. I bought the last of the fresh green beans. But I really had trouble with the potatoes and onions. There were almost no onions left; I was able to get a little bag of them. But there were no potatoes left in the store! There was literally 1 sweet potato still in the loose potato bins. There were a few small bags of red potatoes (not right for this recipe) and there were a few 10lb bags of russet. I had wanted to make the tortilla with Yukon Gold, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. As I wheeled the 10lb bag a way, I knew I’d be in trouble with Mr. Hobby. With just the two of us, we can’t eat enough potatoes to warrant a 10lb bag. The last time I bought a 10lb bag we had it in the house 2 months, and they started sprouting, we ended up eating potatoes for a week to finish off the last of the bag. Luckily, as I was about to check out I saw some potatoes on an endcap. They were the kind that are pre-washed and wrapped in cellophane; you’re supposed to put them in the microwave to make a baked potato. They were on sale for 10 for $10, so they had a special spot on the end, and they’d been missed by the frantic potato buying masses. As I was leaving I ran into a good friend, and we had a good laugh about the potato panic. If we really loose power (they were predicting power outages in St. Louis due to broken power lines) then who is going to be eating raw potatoes? Surely they couldn’t have all been FFwD fans? The panic ended up being over hyped. While people 2 hours away from St. Louis got 17 inches of snow, the storm skipped us, and we got about an inch of ice covered by 2 inches of snow.
Tuesday night Mr. Hobby and I set out to make the tortilla and green beans. He suggested we make it without talking, and only mime things to each other. I agreed, because I knew what he was getting at – this would keep us from yelling at each other! This turned out to be really great, because it forced us to be very thoughtful about our communication with each other. You can only mime things like cut up the potato. Had we been talking, I would have screeched “You’re cutting them to big” and he would’ve nagged “How much did you spend on these fancy pre-washed potatoes?” The potatoes took awhile to cook, in part because of their size I’m sure. Otherwise, this wasn’t too challenging. We made sure the skillet and oil was real hot when adding the egg/potato mixture, and didn’t have any problems when it came time for the flip. I was a bit nervous about putting my aluminum foil wrapped plastic pan handle in the broiler, but we had no problems. The leftovers are great too!
About to flip
Flip action shot
Proud of his flip!