Winner Winner, Smitten Dinner

artichokes + eggplants

It has looked a lot like the Smitten Kitchen here over the last couple of days, with two dinners in a row inspired by Deb’s dishes.

potatoes, sliced

I started on Monday with a potato tortilla, the first I’ve ever attempted at home. I used this recipe as a guide, but I did go the more traditional route of frying my potato slices – creamy beauties from Ledge Ends Produce, sliced thin on a mandoline slicer – low and slow in a good amount of olive oil. I used raw artichokes rather than marinated, since I had picked up some beauties from Wishing Stone Farm over the weekend, and included some of my own marinated grilled red peppers plus a little smoky pimenton.

potato tortilla, cooking

Mine didn’t come out nearly as pretty as Deb’s did, which I attribute to my choice to use our iron skillet rather than the recommended non-stick, but it still tasted delicious. The last of it made a great breakfast today, too.

crust, prepped and ready for the grill

Which brings us to the pizza.

eggplant, garlic, oil

provolone and olives

Now that Mike has mastered his grilled pizza recipe and technique, it was time to change things up a bit, so for last night’s version we went with the grilled eggplant and olive pie posted here.

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

Mike made me promise I’d include the phrase “Deb’s a genius” in this post, and how could I not? What a great combination of flavors this was. The grilled eggplant slices were tender and smoky, the olives provided deliciously briny bursts of flavor, and the melty provolone cheese was a winning counterpart to both.

sliced pie

Dinner:  August 26, 2009

Thanks for the inspiration, Deb!

7 thoughts on “Winner Winner, Smitten Dinner

  1. Liz says:

    I had to make that eggplant pizza the other day after seeing it on “smitten” as well. We did it on the grill over here and added a little chicken sausage and it was superb. Why hadn’t I thought of eggplant and green olives before?!?

  2. Marcos Castrillón says:

    I’m mighty tempted to just yell heresy! at your tortilla and be done with it. Red potatoes? heresy I say. :)

    I wouldn’t recommend a mandolin. Potatoes in Spanish-style tortillas are not really sliced as scaled off as the starch in the potatoes would be easily released, making for a thicker, richer “dough”. The usual method is to chop thin scales off the potato, cutting around it until it’s gone. I don’t think red potatoes are a good idea, either. I’ve never made a good tortilla with anything but the whitest potatoes. New potatoes are generally worse than old too. If you can, get Baracas, if not kennebec are fine.

    And I have to say that, while I bow to Deb’s cuisine prowess and the taste was probably very good, that pic of the tortilla wouldn’t win any contests. Potatoes look too thick. The egg looks overcooked, I’m afraid. Looks like what we call a “bar tortilla”, something meant to be eaten cold in tapas, so the egg must be thoroughly cooked and the tortilla must keep a regular shape for several hours in front of the bar’s patrons. They can be tasty but no cook would defend it against a freshly done tortilla

    Tortillas come basically in two varieties, depending on the cook’s tastes. Runny or fluffy. Fluffy means the egg is just done. As in half a nanosecond after it’s completely coagulated. Runny means you cut a slice and half the egg inside bursts out of the tortilla, the other hanging to the potatoes for dear life, the only cooked egg being on the top and hold the thing together.

    Tricky part is how you time the egg when you flip the tortilla and you can’t really see the egg. I like it runny so, while the tortilla can spend 10 minutes on one side depending on thickness, it will barely be 10 seconds on the other side before I plate it.
    But it’s all practise, contest-winning tortillas are usually made by folks that cook a hundred a day and have been doing it for 20 years, and they taste awesome.

    One last thing: try adding some onions when potatoes are half done. They will give the tortilla an amazing sweet note

  3. “Runny means you cut a slice and half the egg inside bursts out of the tortilla, the other hanging to the potatoes for dear life, the only cooked egg being on the top and hold the thing together.”

    My god, Marcos, that sounds amazing. I’m sure you’ve seen enough egg porn here to know how much we love liquidy eggs.

  4. Marcos Castrillón says:

    I know, that why I encourage you to try it. If you can get quality eggs it’s a shame to overcook them.
    So you can check the difference:

    And not only egg porn. Bread porn too. I love tearing a chunk off some good bread and dunking it on all that salty, slightly oily mess and wipe the plate clean. I never make tortillas unless I have bread.

    I’d say that sometimes I like that more than the proper dish.
    Wiping leftover oil and juices off some fried Padrón peppers, octopus or stew was a longstanding tradition in my home and it could lead to fights for the last scraps

  5. Aw, you both flatter me way too much. Funny enough, the eggplant pizza reminded me of you guys immediately; it just sounded like your kinda thing!

    Marcos — That runny tortilla sounds so freaking good. How I miss runny eggs! Soon, soon, we will be reunited. And I will try my hand at this other tortilla.

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