I’m home putting fingers to keys to finish two papers and edits for two essays. These I call my rocks and pebbles. The sack I set out with in early September has compressed my spinal column about three and five eighths millimeters. I hope daily stretching and self resistance will counter, and does seem it may be working. I’ve gotten quite a few comments about my posture recently. By Thursday I will be done. By Thursday night Winter session free read will commence. And all will continue to be good. I digress.
I am hungry. It’s nearly three pm and haven’t eaten yet today. So why make a quick snack when I can make a tortilla. This is not altogether a snail’s prandium. It takes a bit of prepping—about fifteen or twenty minutes worth—and some time to cook—about twenty or thirty minutes—first on the stovetop, then to the oven to finish. My tortilla is still cooking so I make no guarantees as to total prep/cook times. It’s worth it.
A tortilla with no particular name
Pleasures me four times (makes four servings)
8 or 9 red and white baby potatoes
4 or 5 Fairway label local, happy chicken brown eggs
Crushed red pepper
Use a mandoline to fine slice the baby potatoes; put them in a bowl. Peel outer skins off the shallots and use a sharp knife to thin slice them. I suppose you could use the mandoline but I prefer my French knife to do this. It affords them the opportunity to wage their nasty little fight on my tear ducts. Put the shallots in the bowl with the mandolined potatoes, add olio, season with sel, piper nigrum, and crushed red pepper, and mix with a wooden slant-edge spatula. Heat an eight inch cast iron skillet—a #5 Griswold is an 8” skillet—and melt about a half inch of butter all around the bottom and sides. Toss the potatoes and shallots and sauté until soft and a little bit crisp at the bottom. Crack the eggs in a bowl, beat with a fork, and season with more sel, piper, and crushed red pepper. Pour the eggs over the potatoes and shallots. Use the wooden spatula to make sure the eggs mix throughout but do not stir, per se. A skin will form quickly to seal everything in; let this happen. Turn the flame down very low and cover. Let it cook for a while—about fifteen or so minutes—when just the top is still uncooked but the sides separate from the pan easily with a metal icing spatula. A few minutes earlier you’ll have heated the oven to 400-450ºF. Place the pan on the bottom rack and let it bake for about ten minutes. When the tortilla is cooked through take it out and let stand a minute. Next you’ll need to wear two oven mitts to flip-to-transfer the tortilla onto a plate. Place the plate—face down—over the pan and flip over. Be careful with this and take your time. Last time I broke my tortilla rushing it a bit and hadn’t used two mitts—makes all the difference. Season with more crushed piper and red pepper. Let stand a few minutes to set. Cut a slice and serve. I’m still on a hotHotHOT kick, so ample dashes of Melinda’s Extra Hot Sauce satisfies me. Make yourself a salad; this preparation used a bit of fat. And don’t forget the seltzer.