Kitchen Improvisation

It’s not that I can’t follow a recipe.  I mean, I’m a literate girl, right?  I just kind of never feel like it.  So I make stuff up.

Today, I started with this recipe for Tortilla de Patata.  I knew I’d be making it sans cheese…  But wow, doesn’t six potatoes and eight eggs sound like a lot?  For one person (over a few days, of course)?  So I reduced the potatoes by half and cut the eggs down to six (well, actually I cut it down to four, but it didn’t seem like nearly enough, so I added two more).  I didn’t have parsley (and I think it’s sort of a useless herb), so I subbed cilantro.  And who has a skillet large enough to hold this much (much less the actual recipe)?  Not I.  So I baked it in a 9 x 13 pan.  The whole idea of putting the skillet in another pan of water sounds a little too high maintenance, so I skipped that, too.  After like 30 minutes I felt like it wasn’t doing much so I turned the heat up to 300.  Then 325.  An hour and a half later, it was ready.  And while it probably can’t be considered a true Spanish tortilla, it was a hearty and spicy mix of breakfasty stuff, which is all I was really after…

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This is not how my friends cook, and sometimes I wonder if I’m missing something.  I’m sure I am.  Baking, for one (like when chemical things must happen to get the desired result), is disastrous.  But I kind of like the haphazard, flexible, few-rules, experimentational style I’ve developed.  It’s worth the occasional disaster.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Kitchen Improvisation

  1. That looks delicious!

    I’ll have to try it. I love frittata/spanish pancake sort of things.

    Thanks for sharing.

    p.s. I’m a rebellious cook, too. I get weird about measuring but will do so if pressured.

  2. jfochek

    That *does* look delicious!

    I must say, though, that parsley has its place, especially gorgeous, flat-leaf Italian parsley. Don’t count it out!

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