Sal is a bit of a renaissance man.He is an athlete, cocktail creator, ukulele player, wordsmith, and barista.(ok…he excels at swirling this weird shape into his coffee…it counts)Sal is a funny guy who enjoys preparing dishes that no one has heard of like Pusties and Utica tomato pie. Yes, I know, people from Utica know what that is but, for the rest of us, it’s a mystery for sure. Sal also lived, for a time, in Spain.
A while back, my neighbor hosted a Spanish exchange student. Apparently while we were serving her good ole American cuisine like cinnamon roll pancakes and cheeseburgers, she was pining away for her favorite dish from home….Tortilla.You might think you know what a Tortilla is but, let me tell you, you have NO idea. To quote the eloquent Sal (Sal’s Blog)…”The word “tortilla” in Spanish of the Americas means a thin, starchy, floppy disc that keeps the contents of a 950 calorie burrito from exploding onto your lap. In Spain, however, it means something entirely different. “Tortilla,” in the land of Cervantes, means a thick, Frittata-like, potato and egg omelette.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
In my quest to learn a new cuisine and keep our Spanish friend happy, I perused the internet, watched countless YouTube videos and produced my very first Tortilla. It took quite a bit of practice to get it exactly right but when she said “it tastes just like my Mama makes”, I knew I had achieved Tortilla greatness.Fast forward to a recent blog post by my friend Sal regarding his ‘version’ of Tortilla. I was horrified to see that he didn’t use the standard fresh potatoes in his dish but rather, replaced them with (gasp!) frozen french fries! His dish was also finished in the oven rather than on the stove. I admit that I am a bit of a Tortilla purist myself so, like any respectable Spanish Grandmother, I chastised him loudly…but like the modern woman that I am…it was all on Facebook. I’m pretty sure he made this face…In the interest of fairness, I decided I would whip up Sal’s version of Tortilla (Recipe Here) to see if it really was, as he claimed, “an easy and fool-proof Tortilla”. So here we go…I followed Sal’s directions exactly. I had to guess at the amount of cheese, since he didn’t give an exact measurement, so I just threw in a handful of each. I didn’t realize, until the end, that my pan was a bit larger than Sal’s so my tortilla came out on the thin side causing it to be slightly overdone. But…It looked remarkably like my Tortilla. And the taste….well…While I wouldn’t say it had quite the same texture as my original, Sal’s Tortilla was quite good and the addition of cheese, which I don’t usually do, was so enjoyable that I am sure it will be making a regular appearance in my future Tortillas.
Overall, I give the Sal version of Tortilla a 7/10. If you are interested in trying this yummy dish but are intimidated by the complexity of the original, I highly recommend that you give Sal’s recipe a try.And Sal….to you I say ‘Salud’!