Friday, January 25, 2008
One of my favorite things to order when I'm in Spain are revueltos. A revuelto is basically a scramble of eggs with various ingredients, including everything from mushrooms, to capers, to blood sausage. These dishes are especially popular in the bars and taverns of old Madrid, home of some of the oldest bars in Europe. It has recently become en vogue to dine in these dark and cavernous underground spots prior to a night of bar hopping, always making sure to order several dishes in preparation for a night of heavy drinking.
Despite how easy they are to make, for some odd reason, I'd never actually made a revuelto at home. That all changed with my recent purchase of 1080 Recipes, one of the most popular Spanish cookbooks of all time. The English translation was finally released in the United States and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, between being sick and looking for an apartment, testing it out had to be put on the back burner (so to speak) for a few weeks. But, having just found an apartment (in Hell's Kitchen, no less--how apropos) I now have more time to cook. Since I'll be trying desperately to use everything in my fridge before moving (it breaks my heart when fresh meat and produce goes to waste), I'll evidently be challenging myself to make successful meals out of a random assortment of ingredients for the next few weeks.
My first self imposed challenge came this week with asparagus that was holding on for dear life in my crisper. Even though asparagus is out of season now (it'll be amazing come April), I found a really good organic bunch a few days ago and have been dying to use it. Turning to my new resource, I excitedly searched for an asparagus revuelto in 1080 Recipes. As luck would have it, there was a perfect recipe, and it included potatoes (which were about to start sprouting evil little eyes), so I could kill two birds with one stone. I didn't actually end up following the recipe exactly, because a few of the times seemed a bit off. It said to blanch the chopped asparagus for 10-20 minutes, which is definitely overkill for even the thickest of stems. It also ran a pretty long cooking time for the eggs, and underestimated (in my mind, anyway) the time it takes to fry up potatoes. So I pretty much ignored the actual recipe and went with my own instinct. And thank goodness for that, since the asparagus was ready in about 4 minutes, the eggs cooked through in about 5, and the potatoes took closer to 20 minutes than the book's suggested 5-8. In the end though, the dish came together nicely and fairly quickly. Revuelto's are a great idea for a quick last minute dinner, and who doesn't like breakfast for dinner? Here's how to make this one:
Asparagus and Potato Revuelto
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups chopped asparagus
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
vegetable oil (at least 5 cups for deep frying)
1. Heat oil in a heavy pot or frying pan and deep fry potatoes in oil until golden brown and cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. When the potatoes are done frying, remove them from the oil and set aside on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Season with salt. Remove oil from pan, leaving about 3 teaspoons still in the pan.
4. Reheat remaining oil in the pan and saute asparagus for about a minute on medium heat, seasoning with pepper. Add eggs--and additional oil if it's dried up a bit. Keep eggs in constant motion (with a spatula or wooden spoon) until almost entirely cooked through, then add potatoes and finish cooking eggs off the heat. Enjoy!