The end of October, I noticed that the potato vines had withered--that is, the parts the chickens hadn't eaten! I lost most of my first potato crop because I read somewhere that after the vines withered, you could leave the potatoes in the ground into fall. Instead, the potatoes rotted, although some of them actually sprouted, giving me a second chance. When I was telling Cameron about my first lost crop, he said the potatoes need to be dug up as soon as the vines wither. So, thanks to Cameron, I got these in time!
Gathering new potatoes and fresh eggs got me thinking of a Spanish omelet, which is nothing like the French kind. Our friend Margarita used to make wonderful ones, and suddenly I was hungry for one. I borrowed Kara's Spanish cookbook to remind me of the basics, and then I got creative. There were the last bits of the garden begging to be used, and when I had gathered all the Zephyr Hill produce, I only needed to add garlic, an onion, and some country ham.
And, of course, the absolutely essential olive oil. I cringed from using the 1 1/2 cups recommended by the recipe, so I fried the potato in a couple of tablespoons with several cloves of pressed garlic. While the potatoes cooked gently in the oil, I chopped green pepper, a few small tomatoes, an onion, and 2 thin slices of ham.
When the potatoes had sauteed for about 10 minutes, I added the green pepper, tomatoes, onion, and ham. It needed a bit more oil at that point. Then I put a lid on the skillet, lowered the heat, and let it cook gently till the potatoes were tender.
Meanwhile, sort of following the recipe here, I cracked four eggs. The recipe calls for three, but mine are a little smaller, and I added lots more stuff besides the potato and onion the recipe called for. Hence, the extra egg. (It's funny how blue that shell looks inside, yet the outside looks more green. As you can see, though, I won't be making green eggs and ham! No matter what color they are outside, they're orange inside.)
The next step was to beat the eggs till frothy. The pace of preparing this recipe is actually pretty tranquil because while the ingredients of one step are cooking, you have time to prepare the ingredients for the next step. While the final stage is cooking, you have time to pour the wine, and voila! Dinner is ready!
When the potatoes and veggies were tender, I added the hot ingredients from the skillet into the egg mixture. It was supposed to sit for 10 minutes, but Herb and I were getting hungry, so I gave it about 2 minutes. I think it definitely needed that time to set while in the bowl.
Adding a bit more oil to be sure the tortilla wouldn't stick to the skillet, I poured the "batter" into the skillet and let it cook till it set around the edges and began to look more solid all over when I jiggled the skillet.
This is where you don't want your tortilla to turn out like mine. Perhaps because I didn't let it sit long enough in the bowl, perhaps because I had too many chopped ingredients for 4 eggs to hold together, or perhaps I turned it too soon. Anyway, it did not remain one nice large pancake-y item for me to flip over. As you can see from the picture, it broke up in pieces. It's supposed to be evenly browned and flip in one piece!
By the time the second side cooked, it all held together a bit better when I served it up onto our plates. Herb put a dry white wine with it, and no matter what it looked like, it tasted fantastic (if I do say so myself!) Herb said so, too! I think half of the delicious taste was the satisfaction of knowing that I had raised almost everything in it! Home-grown or not, though, a Spanish tortilla makes a great Sunday supper, so bon appetit!