Monday, August 11, 2014

Tortilla Espanola


This "tortilla" is more like a potato frittata, but who's to say about names. The dish originates in Spain, but is enjoyed everywhere, and frequently makes an appearance on meatless nights at my house. It is similar to a frittata, but the tortilla espanola is usually flipped then finished on the stove top instead of being finished in the oven or under a broiler like a frittata. I've lightened this substantially ... no cupfuls of oil found here. There is still enough olive oil to bring out the taste of the potatoes. Use a good extra virgin olive oil, one with lots of olive flavor, along with the freshest potatoes you can find. I like using Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe, as they have good flavor and hold up well during cooking. Also use a flavorful onion, a big white or yellow one will do quite nicely. As for eggs, I've decreased the number of whole eggs, using more whites to lower cholesterol.  

Ingredients:

4 Yukon gold or white potatoes
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow or white onion
4 large eggs
2 egg whites
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

Peel the potatoes, then slice them thinly. I used a mandoline to slice them about 1/4 inch thick. Place them in a microwave safe container and mix them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook them in the microwave until they are almost done, about 3 minutes on high power. Slice the onions, I used the mandoline again for this, again slicing the onion about 1/4 inch thick. Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the onions, and cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. The onions should begin to brown slightly. Add the potatoes to the onion mixture in the skillet. Use a wire whisk or fork to beat the eggs and egg white together until frothy. Add the salt and pepper to the eggs. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the bottom is set and the top is beginning to get firm. This may take from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the stove and the depth of the pan. Use a plate to slide the tortilla out of the skillet, then place the skillet over the plate and invert the tortilla to cook the other side. Continue cooking until done, another 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve. This is good served hot, warm, or cold.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: You'll notice a piece of proscuitto next to this slice of tortilla. It's a sneaky way to add a small amount of meat to a meal. My meat lover didn't even notice what a small amount of meat was on his plate! And, the tortilla is so filling and delicious that most people won't miss their meat at all!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Tzatziki Sauce


This refreshing sauce is a melange of cucumbers with bright lemony notes offset by tangy Greek yogurt. I like it on chicken souvlaki or as a side to just about any Greek dish or savory meat. It's also nice as a dip with toasted pieces of pita bread. If you don't do dairy, try substituting mayonnaise for the yogurt.

Ingredients:

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. minced mint leaves


Directions: Salt the cucumber slices, and let sit for 5 minutes. Place the cucumber slices in a clean towel or some cheesecloth and squeeze out the juices. Discard the cucumber juice. Mix the cucumber slices with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve later. This will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Serves 4 as a side, or more as a dip

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This tangy sauce tastes great when juxtaposed with grilled meats in a sandwich. It's a sure fire way to add some vegetables to a sandwich ... just do as the Greeks do!