Monday, May 24, 2010

That Thing You Do!


I like to think of myself as being pretty easygoing in the kitchen (okay... you can stop guffawing now). I mean, I don't go out of my way to be a bitch about a few things "certain members" of the household do that irk me, but occasionally - especially when it gets into things that are actually causing damage - it drives me right up the wall. At first, it was my stepbrother plunking his espresso brewer right down on our laminate countertop, melting a lovely ring into it - neither I nor my mother were overly pleased with that, so he started to place a thin rag over the counter and keep doing it. I've actually gotten into a verbal warfare of sorts with my stepbrother and his father over keeping one side of our double sink clear, or at least reserved for clean dishes. Because they're not the type of people who would dare do the dishes (or even load/unload the dishwasher) the tins of sardines in oil they drained over a sink full of clean plates was of no consequence. I might have met that one go - except I was told that the stuff in the sink was my fault because it was there. Sigh. Whatever.

The pet peeve of mine that my mother and I did manage to cut down on significantly in the kitchen was the use of our metal utensils on all our non-stick pans. Of the four frying pans we technically own (all of which were bought as non-stick), only one of them is still non-stick - the rest of them have been scratched, burned and then (gasp) scoured with a steel wool pad to a lovely not-so-silky finish. In a way, though, we asked for it - my stepdad was desperate to prove his worthiness in the kitchen with his "signature" dish, essentially the Spanish classic patatas bravas (just don't tell him it's not Italian!), and so in her willingness to support his ego my mom opened the door up to the scratched pans and a very jacked-up olive oil bill! Once the benefits of using our non-stick safe utensils (similar to these from Chef's Catalog) made themselves clear the two of them have begun to significantly reduce the amount of oil in the pan, too - from easily a cup of the not cheap virgin stuff to a few tablespoons.

This recipe is one that is suitable for any meal - and the potato-pepper mixture is even good as leftovers topped with a freshly-fried egg. Another way to make this dish, which is also on the rotation around here, uses chunks of cod instead of the eggs simmered in the sauce. Paired with a crisp green salad it's a hearty and spicy one-pan dinner.

Sorry about the lack of photo for this one - being in the same room as several hot skillets with spitting oil is not tops on my to do list!

Patatas Bravas con Huevos
Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil
5 small red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
2 large red peppers, chopped
1 piquillo or jalapeno pepper, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 pinches crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
8 eggs

  1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil.
  2. Add potatoes and peppers, cook 4 minutes without stirring.
  3. Stir in onion and cook 2 minutes longer.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to a bubble and cook until potatoes are tender - about 8-10 minutes - stirring occasionally.
  6. Crack eggs into the tomato mixture and cook until set.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 474.3
Total Fat: 20.8 g
Cholesterol: 425.0 mg
Sodium: 617.8 mg
Total Carbs: 55.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.2 g
Protein: 19.9 g

The Amco 7-Piece Nonstick Nylon Utensil Set (pictured above) is the Daily Special on FoodBuzz this Wednesday.

1 comment :

Johanna GGG said...

I had to hide my good enamelled le cruset pot in a share house after one too many metal utensils used on it - but it is amazing how much less oil is needed with good non stick kitchen ware - have never done patats bravas stove top but maybe I should try it