Along with relatively good health and a wonderful loving family, I have been blessed with some of the world's most amazing friends. Not only do they put up with my shenanigans and crazy-loving ways, but they think of me when they travel and bring me fun stuff. Case in point: my friends Paul and Wade.
If I didn't love these guys so much, I'd probably be incredibly bitter and jealous (read: ok, I still am, damnit) that my friend Paul was the only person I know who was able to pick up the phone and easily secure a reservation at El Bulli. Without the wait. Yea yea yea, it's all who you know, I realize, but hey, I'd like to know them too. Is that too much to ask for?
Paul works in the wine business and is my regular wine sage. It's hard to be angry or jealous with someone who gives you hours of advice and lets you raid their wine cellar when you visit. So I'll be nice about this.
Oh, back to the gifts. Sensing my seething envy, these guys were thoughtful enough to schlep back Ferran Adria's El Bulli Cookbook
for me along with his book Cocinar En Casa Con Caprabo y Ferran Adria
. While apparently nothing can match the experience of dining at El Bulli, just getting these books from them comes pretty damn close, if you ask me. I know I haven't said it enough, but guys, thank you.
Trying to make my way through the cookbook reminds me of my 8th grade science class. Unfortunately I was too busy passing notes to pay much attention. But Adria's book Cocinar En Casa
has been such a great read filled with interesting ways of preparing dishes using creativity and everyday grocery store items. (Incidentally, this book was developed in conjuction with the Spanish supermaket chain Caprabo and is available in Spain.) I've discovered a new favorite–his take on the classic Spanish tortilla using potato chips. But I ask: do I really need to find another way to incorporate potato chips into my diet? Egg & Potato Chip TortillaWas I Spanish in a past life? Oh wait, yes. Nevermind. Anyway, the Spanish Tortilla has got to be one of life's most basic pleasures. It's always perfect, any time of day, and always hits the spot. This recipe uses potato chips in place of the regular potatoes and can be prepared in minutes. I must thank Food & Wine magazine for the translation.Ingredients
4 large eggs
2 cups crushed potato chips
2 tablespoons finely chopped Serrano ham
2 tablespoons finely chopped piquillo peppers
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oilMethod
1. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Transfer half of the beaten eggs to another bowl, stir in the crushed potato chips and let stand until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining beaten eggs, Serrano ham and piquillo peppers and season with pepper.
2. In a small nonstick overproof skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the egg mixture and cook over moderately high heat until the bottom is set and golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, or until the top of the tortilla is golden and the center is slightly jiggly. Slide the tortilla onto a place, cut it quarters and serve.on the webPaul Marcus WinesEl Bulli