Chances are you've had tapas, right? If not, let me give you a little background. Tapas are Spanish appetizers or snacks. They can be hot or cold, and many are already vegan. You may be familiar with such tapas as patatas bravas, sherried garlic mushrooms, or chick peas with garlic and spinach. Pregan, my favorite tapas dish, and certainly one of my favorite dishes ever, was tortilla española, or Spanish omelet. I started obsessing about my memory of this simple, perfect recipe earlier today and I had to veganize it. It turned out really well, so I'm sharing the recipe. It's great hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. The secret to the eggy taste of the tortilla is the black salt, so try to get your hands on some if you don't already have it.
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced (think 1/8 inch slices)
12 oz. firm silken tofu
black salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Using a large frying pan, sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft, salting lightly to keep from sticking. This should take about five minutes. After the onion has softened, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. Stir every five minutes until the onions have caramelized, say another ten to fifteen minutes. Scrape the onions from the pan and set aside.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Lay a single layer of potato slices down in the pan. Cook them for two or three minutes on each side and then test with a knife to see if they are soft. They don't have to be browned, although it's fine if they are. You just want them soft enough to eat. No crunch left. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining slices, adding olive oil as desired. (I had five batches total.)
Empty the silken tofu into a large bowl, large enough to accommodate all of the potato slices. Whisk the tofu as smooth as you can, and add black salt and pepper to taste. Remember you're salting for the potato and onion here as well, so be a bit generous. Now mix the potatoes into the tofu. (You may also mix in the caramelized onion here if you like to save a step.)
Heat a bit of olive oil in a small (six to eight-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Layer 1/4 of the potato-tofu mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the caramelized onions. Layer additional layers, ending with potato-tofu mixture. You may add additional black salt to each layer if you like. Press the top down with a spatula, ensuring that the edges are touching the sides of the pan and that you have a pretty solid potato cake. Allow to cook for five minutes or so, until you see that there is quite a bit of potato browning along the sides of the pan.
Place a large plate over the frying pan and quickly flip the tortilla onto the plate. Shimmy the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan. Cook for an additional five minutes, rinsing and drying that plate while you wait. Now do the same plate-pan flip. You should have a gorgeous tortilla steaming and waiting to be devoured.
Skyhorse Publishing have kindly provided me with a copy of Animal Camp, by Kathy Stevens. This lovely follow-up book to Where the Blind Horse Sings continues the story of rescued farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. As a person who initially went vegan after hearing about the horrors of slaughterhouse conditions, and later about the treatment of factory-farmed animals, my heart is warmed whenever I can hear about the wonderful animals that have been saved. I am sure you will agree, and I hope lots of you want this beautiful book. This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere, from the Catkills to Kathmandu to Catalina and all points in between. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Tell me about an animal you love, a camp you went to, or anything at all. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and posted on the blog tomorrow.
* * *
The winner of yesterday's Daiya giveaway is Sarah! Congratulations! Please send your name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)