6.057 Tortilla Improvisado


3 (Tue) March 2015

Tortilla Improvisado


by me

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-


Improvisation–no idea at the outset what a dish will be, making it up on the go, fairly confident that it will turn out okay (see generally 3.019 Spaghetti with Shrimp & Shiitake Scampi)–requires 4 essential skills.

(1) The ability to cobble together components on hand that work well together.

With leftover ingredients from various prior meals, including lapu lapu and chopped garlic (see 6.055 The Penultimate), bell peppers and onions (see 6.051 Lentejas con Chorizo), butter* (see 6.043 Bibimbap), as well as pre-cooked potatoes from CAL’s pantry (see previously 5.364 Grilled Shrimp & Olives…).

*Whereas open butter needs to be quickly used because it absorbs flavors from the refrigerator, but I don’t cook all that often these days, even less with butter, the single-use butter packets, each about a half-tablespoon (provided with the bread rolls on the plane) represent a tidy solution (I don’t eat the rolls anyway, so why let the butter go to waste?).

(2) The ability to adjust amounts, especially aromatics, spices/seasonings, oils, etc….
…increasing, for example, the number of eggs to compensate for the additional volume of fish.

(3) The ability to set appropriate heat levels and cooking times.
(4) The ability to implement a wide range of techniques, like flipping big things; indeed, my proudest moment was when I flipped the omelet over and found it perfectly golden brown on the underside.

While the tortilla wasn’t the greatest ever, I was quite pleased by the outcome nonetheless.  Nicely cooked, nicely seasoned. Not too shabby for an improvised first-time effort. What a great way to clean out the fridge.

As I don’t have a smaller frying pan, which would’ve created greater depth (see for example 5.081 Home-Cooked Spanish Cuisine…), the omelet came out a bit too thin (see for comparison 6.045 Tortilla Española).


2 thoughts on “6.057 Tortilla Improvisado

  1. i’m slightly confused by the use of the word “tortilla” – what is in that jar exactly? i’m only used to the flat flour/corn kind.

  2. “tortilla = small cake” in Spanish.

    traditionally, the term refers to a cake made of egg (i.e., an omelet).

    the jar contains potatoes–peeled, seasoned, cooked–which are added to egg to make tortilla de patatas, the most popular form.

    when the spanish discovered the natives making flat breads (with corn) in the americas, they were referred to as “tortilla,” hence the divergence of usage. BTW, according to CAL, the mexican-style tortillas don’t exist in spain, except in mexican restaurants.

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