Rainy Day Recipes: French Fry Tortilla

4 Oct

It has been a very long time since I’ve last posted.  My apologies!  Much has happened since I posted my last entry at the end of March.  I just celebrated eight months with a special person, I graduated from law school, and I took the California bar exam.  I am also back in DC, despite my previous plans of going back home to Los Angeles.

It’s a tough market for would-be lawyers.  I am working part-time at the Office of Student Affairs at the law school, and supplementing that income with wages from moving boxes and delivering wine for Ansonia Wines on Saturdays.  Needless to say, with law school loans coming due and the expenses of living on my own mounting, I have very little money leftover for purchasing wine.  (I have been drinking pretty well, regardless… a lot more beer and liquors.)  Mary Kate and I have been enjoying a box of Maipe Malbec recently.  In fact, we’re on our second box.  We saw the boxes at Total Wine, and as I’m a fan of Maipe we decided to pick some up for everyday consumption.  Though not the most refined wine, it is delicious, easy to drink, and a wonderful value at around $25-$30 for three liters (FOUR BOTTLES!) of wine that stays fresh for weeks.

I am also fortunate to be eating well despite my budgetary constraints.  Mary Kate and I cook at home often, and we also eat take-out from delicious, high quality-to-price ratio restaurants like El Pollo Rico, El Charrito Caminante, Fast Gourmet, Iota, and Shake Shack.  We usually find ourselves with leftovers, which are generally eaten as-is.

However, some leftovers need a bit more… finessing.  For instance, it’s one thing to gnaw on a cold rack of pork ribs (Rhodeside Grill) or slurp down reheated Szechuan lo mein (Great Wall Szechuan House).  What do you do with cold french fries?

I like most of my leftovers cold.  For instance, I think that cold pizza is often as good as hot pizza, and I thoroughly enjoy cold burritos and Chinese food.  I don’t think anyone enjoys cold french fries–how could they?  The fries are hard, cold, dry, and difficult for the process of peristalsis.  Being cooked and salted potatoes, however, cold french fries do have a good culinary use, especially on rainy days when going out for breakfast seems a drag.

Taking a cue from José Andrés, who uses potato chips as the starch base of a modern riff on the traditional Spanish tortilla recipe, I decided to chop up the cold french fries, soak them in beaten egg, and make the American diner equivalent.  Because this recipe uses french fries, which are rectangular/boxy in shape, I’m not sure if it qualifies as an actual tortilla (which uses finely-sliced potato rounds) but it’s tasty nonetheless!

French Fry Tortilla

Serves one for breakfast or two as a snack.

Materials

  • 8″ non-stick skillet
  • plate
  • silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped-up cold french fries
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • ground black pepper to taste

Get your ingredients ready! Chop up the cold french fries (I used thin, McDonald’s-sized fries and chopped them coarsely to between quarter- to half-inch pieces) and put in bowl. Crack open four eggs into bowl and beat until egg is creamy and fries are thoroughly soaked. Add black pepper.

(Soaking time affects how soft the potatoes will be. Five minutes takes the hard edge off the fries but retains a pleasant dense texture; you can soak for up to fifteen minutes for a softer consistency.)

Heat oil in skillet. Dice onion and add to skillet; sauté over low flame for about five minutes. Pour in egg and potato mixture to onions in skillet and mix thoroughly. Turn up heat to high. You want the skillet to get hot!

Use the spatula to push the edges of the tortilla down the sides of the skillet, and after two or so minutes use it to start to separate the edges of the tortilla from the bottom of the skillet. You will want to keep doing this over the course of five or so minutes until finally the tortilla can move about the skillet freely, in one piece. Banging the pan a few times on the burner or a hard surface helps separate the tortilla from the skillet. At this point the surface should be a bit runny but relatively firm.

Now comes the fun part. Slide the tortilla onto a waiting plate. Put the skillet on top of the plate and carefully flip both around so the runny surface of the tortilla is now on the bottom of the skillet. Fry for another two minutes. Remove from heat, slide the tortilla onto the plate, and serve with ketchup or, better yet, Sriracha chili garlic paste. You can serve the tortilla hot or eat it cold.

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