Sunday, January 31, 2010
Guatemala - Spanish Tortilla
Guatemala is located in Central America next to the countries of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. In the southwest is the Pacific Ocean and to the east is the Caribbean. You can’t go to Guatemala and not notice the Maya heritage, volcanoes, brightly colored textiles and crucifixes. And, although it’s had its problems in the past with guerilla warfare and dictators, and it’s still known to be unsafe in certain parts of the country, it’s a place many people fall in love with and return again and again.
Guatemala’s culture is apparent in its cuisine, a blend of Mayan, Spanish and Mexican traditions. For our Guatemalan meal I cooked Frijoles Negros Volteados (fried black bean paste), Spanish Tortilla and Arroz Guatemalteco (Guatemalan style rice). Everything was very good and not hard to make. I’ve made Spanish tortillas before when, years ago, a friend of mine from Spain taught me how to make it (although she called it a Spanish omelet). The only thing is that you have to be good at flipping mass amounts of potato and egg onto a plate and back again into the pan without it all falling apart. I had a bit of an issue with that. Even when making a standard omelet I end up making scrambled eggs.
3 large white potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced
Flat-leaf parsley, minced
Skins may be left on the potatoes, if you want. Slice the potatoes very thin. Heat TBSP of oil in a pan and sauté the potatoes and onion, stirring until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Beat eggs and mix the potatoes with the eggs. In a frying pan, heat the remaining oil and pour in the potato and egg mixture. Cook over medium heat. Don’t stir and let it set. With a plate, flip over and cook on the other side until brown. Garnish with pepper and parsley.
Guatemalan Style Rice
2 cups long grain rice
2 TBSP oil
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet red peppers, green peas) finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken stock
Heat oil in saucepan and add rice. Sautee lightly until the rice has absorbed the oil. Add the mixed vegetables, salt and pepper, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cool for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Fried Black Bean Paste
2 cups of black bean puree (canned refried black beans)
1 TBSP oil
Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add bean puree and mix. Stir until the puree thickens and the liquid evaporates. Continue until the mix begins to come away from the skillet and you can form it into a sausage shape. Serve warm with tortillas, cheese and sour cream.