In this irresistible companion volume to his public television show Made in Spain, José reminds us—in the most alluring and delicious way—that the food of his native Spain is as varied and inventive as any of the world’s great cuisines. To prove it, José takes us on a flavorful tour of his beloved homeland, from Andalucía to Aragón. Along the way, he shares recipes that reflect not just local traditions but also the heart and soul of Spain’s distinctive cooking.
In the Basque Country, we discover great fish dishes and the haute cuisine of some of the finest restaurants in the world. In Cantabria, famous for its dairy products, we find wonderful artisanal cheeses. In Valencia, we learn why the secret to unforgettable paella is all in the rice. And in Castilla La Mancha, José shows us the land of the great Don Quixote, where a magical flower produces precious saffron.
The dishes of Made in Spain show the diversity of Spanish cooking today as it is prepared in homes and restaurants from north to south—from casual soups and sandwiches to soul-warming dishes of long-simmered beans and artfully composed salads. Many dishes showcase the fine Spanish products that are now widely available across America. Many more are prepared with the regular ingredients available in any good supermarket.
With more than one hundred simple, straightforward recipes that beautifully capture the flavors and essence of Spanish cooking, Made in Spain is an indispensable addition to any cookbook collection.
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Tortilla de Patatas (Potato Omelet)
I have read a great deal about the Galician restaurant El Manjar over the years, but I never got the chance to eat there until recently. I was amazed at how they make their tortilla with a few simple ingredients: eggs, potatoes, olive oil, and salt. It might look easy to cook an omelet, but it takes a lot of practice to cook omelets as well as they do at El Manjar. This recipe is inspired by theirs—and it’s well worth the effort to master.
• 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
• 6 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
Heat 3 cups of the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until it measures 250°F on a candy thermometer. Fry the potatoes until golden brown, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs in a large bowl with the salt. You want them to incorporate a lot of air so they fluff up. Add the cooked potatoes to the beaten eggs and let sit for 1 minute.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke slightly, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the egg-potato mixture. Return the sauté pan to the stovetop and reduce the heat to low. The tortilla will puff up like a soufflé. Once it begins to set and the edges turn golden brown, flip the tortilla: Place a plate over the pan and invert the pan and plate together so the tortilla ends up on the plate, uncooked side down; slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down.
Make a small hole in the center of the tortilla to allow the egg in the center to cook. Once the tortilla sets, flip the tortilla back over and allow the center hole to close. Transfer the tortilla to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve.