Saturday, April 18, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: Spanish Tapas
April 24th, 2020 by Katekoster

Hi, like most of you, I am stuck at home with my family (parents, sister, and dog, Koko) as a result of COVID and New York State’s “PAUSE” Act.  Our family had talked about going to Spain this summer but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so for some COVID Comfort Food, I decided to make two classic Spanish tapas: Gambas as Ajilo and Tortilla Espanola.  We like this restaurant in NYC called Soccarat, and besides their paella, these are two are of our favorite tapas.

Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)

I made this first, really as an appetizer before dinner. (Tapas are small savory dishes, so that makes sense).  Ingredients for this are simple (potatoes, eggs, onion and olive oil), but I have never made it before so I found a recipe from Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers.

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First step is to peel the potatoes and slice them as thin as possible.

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Next step is to slice the onion.

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Next step: sautee the potatoes and onions until they are soft but not falling apart.  Remove from heat, drain the oil with a colander and let cool for a few minutes while you beat 3 eggs together.  Mix the eggs and potato/onion mix back together.

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Next step, back into the pan with the whole mix until the eggs set.  Once that happens you have to do this crazy flip thing to plate it.  You put a plate on top of the cooked eggs/potato and flip everything over.  Not easy!

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But the end result was worth it.

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Gambas as Ajilo (Shrimp with Garlic)

Ingredients for this are also simple: shrimp, garlic, olive oil and paprika (and of course salt and pepper).  I made a larger portion of this because we ate it as our main meal.

I used frozen shrimp (because we are sheltering in, and it was in the freezer).  After thawing the shrimp, the worst part of the prep: removing the tails from the shrimp.  Our family is a no shrimp tail family.


After that, I minced the garlic and sauteed it in olive oil.  It needs to soften but shouldn’t brown


Then it was time to add the shrimp, sprinkle with paprika and cook.  I also started some pasta to serve with the shrimp.  Traditionally, you eat it with toasted bread, so I did that as well.

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Finally, time to plate and eat.  I plated the shrimp with both pasta and toasted bread and added some roasted broccoli (mom made that). Buen Provecho!

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