Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tortilla Espanola with Purple Potatoes

My boyfriend and I had a quiet day planned: giving blood in the morning, and then a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on our favorite yuppie food items.  (Trader Joe's won a place in my heart when I found out that you can buy whole boxes of blueberry instant oatmeal.  No other supermarket does this and I have no idea why.  Blueberry instant oatmeal is awesome.)  While browsing the vegetable section and comparing prices, a bag of mixed creamer potatoes caught my eye, and amid the red and white potatoes I beheld an unexpected delight: creamer purple potatoes (also known as blue potatoes).  I've been longing to cook with these babies for several years, since my mom had dinner at a gourmet stake house a few years ago, ordered them as a side, and was so happy and weirded out by them she ordered another side of purple potatoes so she could bring them home to her home from college-crazed, foodie-vegetarian daughter.

Like most potatoes, purple potatoes have a creamy texture if they're cooked properly.  They don't taste all that much different from red potatoes, but they have potent antioxidant properties, and their rich purple color comes from the same pigment you can find in the average blueberry.  Their only downside is that they're pretty pricey -- the mixed bag was moderately priced at two bucks for a smallish bag, but on their own I've seen them go for as much as five bucks a pound.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that I spent a good chunk of this afternoon looking for a recipe to use them in.  I considered a raclette, but I didn't feel like frying peppers yet again, so I combed my cookbooks and found this omelet recipe in my old standby, Anna Thomas's The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two

Of course, I have modified the original to fit my budget.

olive oil
3-5 creamer potatoes (preferably purple)
a chopped onion
3 eggs
cilantro and pepper to taste
cheese (I cut up the last of the old pepper jack and Havarti that have been around for a couple of weeks, and they worked wonderfully well together)

First, boil your potatoes until they are soft.  Drain and put them back in the pan and set them aside.  Beat three eggs together with your cilantro and pepper. Grease your skillet with about two table spoons of olive oil.  Add your onions and potatoes and brown lightly.  Once brown, you can pour your egg mixture over the whole thing.  Wait until the top of your omelet is almost completely dry, and then slowly peel the omelet back from the pan.  Fold it over in on itself and fry it for a few more minutes.  If you need to check to see if it's done, prick it with your spatula -- if there's no egg goo, you're good to go.

Slide it onto your plate and enjoy.

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