The Laziest Meal on God’s Earth.
It is common amongst certain parts of the media, not just the national but sadly many student rags, to contribute to a stereotype of students as so lethargic as to be unable to do more than open a packet and add water. I’m more optimistic. But let's take baby feet, baby, baby feet in that direction.
This recipe is for a very passable and enjoyable and stodgy tortilla; that Spanish potato omelette which many should have fond memories of. The most delicious that I ever had was in a Spanish school cafeteria, it was dense and wobbly and yet so light. I’ve never yet managed to procure one ever so good again, I think it might have done with the fact I may or may not have been a little bit drunk or sleep deprived at the time.
I was however given a recipe by one of the teachers who in turn had developed it from a recipe from Ferran Adria, the chef of the late and famed El Bulli, which works rather well. Alas though never as well as hoped or remembered.
Take a rather large handful of crisps and crush in a bowl. Ready salted is the obvious candidate but cheese and onion are feasible for the wild of constitution. My quasi-Spanish friend informs me that the potatoes should be fried first anyway, so it’s no so heretical. She also says that there should be fried onions in the mix but I disagree. I depose that they disturb the regular distribution of the potato layers but this is an actual heresy and I would not consider to dare say it to a hot-blooded Spanish matron.
Heat a rather small heavy frying pan on a low heat to warm it evenly. Break into the shards of potato two or three eggs depending on their size, you want enough to leave a few shards of the crisps poking above like icebergs on a sea of beaten egg. Beat them with a fork rather well but not to a froth, leave for a moment or so to allow the crisps to hydrate.
By using crisps it does save on seasoning the thing. Sadly this recipe is rather dry but I find that some roughly hewn olives mixed in work rather well to provide some necessary bursts of moisture.
Into the warm pan pour a substantial and frivolous layer of oil to coat it thickly, about a pound’s thickness should be enough. This is essential. Swirl about the sides. Turn the heat up and pour in the egg mixture. Turn the heat back down to as low as possible when the egg has set around the edges. You do not under any terms want to brown the bottom at this point otherwise you’ll burn it horribly.
Leave it cook, shaking occasionally to make sure it isn’t stuck on the bottom. If it has then you’re on your own, sorry, your fault for being miserly with the oil. You might be able to use a spatula, but I’d wept salt tears before I could even reach into the drawer. When the top looks more solid and set and able to be flipped you can put a large plate over the whole and flip. Hopefully you’ll hear a little plop as it all comes out in one. Slide quickly and in one fluid motion the whole back into the pan. And cook until the bottom has set firm, this will be a matter of moments and will become apparent when you can shake it about the pan freely.
Alternatively you can more easily grill it. Either way turn out onto a plate and consume either hot, warm or cold. It’s not a hard dish but it is a good and happy thing to have up one’s sleeve.