Breakfast

Olive and Shiitake Mushroom Spanish Tortilla

Olive and Shiitake Mushroom Spanish Tortilla - A Thought For Food

This post is sponsored through the Have an Olive Day campaign featuring olives from Spain. Thank you for supporting these partnerships. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. 

My first taste of a Spanish tortilla was during our trip to in Madrid last fall. Not a bad way to be introduced to a dish, right? We tried quite a few during our five-day stay. Most were traditional: potatoes, onion, egg. Sometimes the egg was a bit runnier (like a custard) and other times it was firmer. The best one was speckled with salt cod (obviously it made an impact if I'm still thinking about it). As we dug into each of these, I kept thinking about ways I could replicate it at home. When we returned, I quickly got to work on a pan and was more than satisfied with the results (which is good because we had to consume it for quite a few days). After that initial success, I played around a bit, swapping the regular potatoes for sweet. This quickly became a favorite side of the fall.

I had plans to put something together months ago and share it with everyone, but I never got around to it. When I was asked to make something for the Have an Olive Day campaign utilizing Spanish olives, I knew it was finally time to put together a tortilla. Here I've incorporated Queen olives, a large green varietal. It has everything I love in an olive: a bit briny at the front but with a smooth, creamy finish. But that's not the only addition... scattered throughout are sautéed shiitakes and a hearty amount of parsley, rosemary and thyme.  

Olive and Shiitake Mushroom Spanish Tortilla - A Thought For Food
Olive and Shiitake Mushroom Spanish Tortilla - A Thought For Food

OLIVE AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOM SPANISH TORTILLA

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
1 small yellow onion, halved and cut, lengthwise, into 1/4-inch slices
5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
1.5 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
6 extra large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
7 oz jar pitted Spanish Queen Olives, drained and quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup whole parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt
Black pepper

Directions:
On the stove, set a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, followed by the onion and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl with 3/4 of the olives. 

Return the skillet to the stove and heat 3/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and press down so they are submerged in oil. Once the oil reaches a low boil (it will start to sputter slightly), reduce heat to medium-low and cook, turning occasionally, until tender. Drain potatoes of oil using a colander, reserving two tablespoons of oil. Transfer potatoes to mixing bowl with onion and mushrooms. 

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the chopped parsley, thyme, and rosemary, until combined. Pour eggs over warm potato and onion mixture and gently stir together, being careful not to break up the potatoes. 

Move oven rack to the second row from the top. Preheat broiler to high.

Heat the pan over medium-high heat for one minute. Add reserved 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Pour in the egg and potato mixture, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Cook until the edges begin to crisp and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 6 minutes, until the eggs have mostly set. Transfer pan to the oven and cook under the broiler for another 5 minutes.

While the tortilla is cooking, combine the sliced fennel, remaining chopped olive, and whole parsley leaves in a small mixing bowl. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt, to taste. 

Remove tortilla from oven and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with fennel and olive salad. 

Olive and Shiitake Mushroom Spanish Tortilla - A Thought For Food

Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes

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This past fall, I took a class at the Boston Public Market that focused on making crepes. Now, I can count on one hand how many times I've prepared pancakes, so crepes had yet to make it into my repertoire. I was excited to try something new and figured if anyone could teach me, the chef at Salt Box Kitchen could. I didn't realize just how fun and easy they'd be. It took a bit of practice figuring out how much batter I needed for the perfect thickness. But after a few failed attempts, I got the hang of it. The task of flipping each crepe wasn't as challenging as I'd anticipated. There's a chance they could tear around the edges, but they're surprisingly resilient.  And you know what's great?  Crepes can be made a few hours in advance, then warmed at the end (I'll often throw them in the microwave just before adding the filling). 

These have made their way into our weekly meal rotation. I find the spinach-mushroom combination is the ideal filling for brunch or dinner. If we have leftover smoked salmon in the fridge, I'll chop that up and add it to the mix. 

Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
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Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
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Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food
Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes - A Thought For Food

Spinach, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crepes

Source: Crepe batter provided by SaltBox Kitchen
Yield: 6-8 crepes (depending on size)
Special Tools:  Blender (optional)

Ingredients:
For the crepes
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Butter

For the filling
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 lb cremini or white button mushrooms, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, and salt until thoroughly combined. Whisk in milk. Alternatively, you can put the ingredients in a blender, mix at low speed for 10 seconds and then high speed for 1 minute. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour before making crêpes.

Meanwhile,  add olive oil to a saute pan set over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and chopped thyme and cook for another 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and black pepper.

To prepare the crêpes, heat a shallow sauté pan or crêpe pan over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of butter to the pan (a couple teaspoons). Once the butter has melted, add 1 1/2 ladles of crepe mixture to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom (it may help to gently tilt the pan to allow it to spread).  Cook for about 1 minute, then, using a spatula, flip over crêpe and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer finished crêpes to a parchment-lined sheet tray. Crêpes can be served immediately, or frozen in layers between parchment and wrapped in plastic or freezer bags to use at another time.

Fill each crêpe with sauteed vegetables and crumbled goat cheese, and then fold the crepes.

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Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net

I have a deep love for smoked and cured salmon. Well, any fish, really. Salmon, though, is my #1 favorite. WhIle some people put tiny cuts of lox on their bagels, I want a mound on mine. Ideally there's a greater salmon to bagel ratio. If I haven't made myself clear, I can't get enough of the stuff. So, when I first learned of gravlax from my mother-in-law, I knew I needed it in my life. Gravlax is a Nordic recipe that involves curing salmon (or any other fatty fish) in salt, sugar, pepper, and dill.  Once these ingredients have been rubbed all over the fish and arranged so that the two fillets are placed with the flesh sides pressed against each other, the salmon is then wrapped in aluminum foil.  At this point, it is left in the fridge, set in a pan with a weight on top of it, for 48 hours. For a number of years, we made it fairly often. While it's not difficult to prepare, it does take some forethought. To have it on Sunday, I'd have to get everything ready on Friday. 

However,  we recently acquired two Himalayan salt blocks, so I thought I'd give it a try using those. Not only were the results delicious, but the preparation was cleaner and faster (it takes less time to cure... closer to 36 hours). Of course, I don't expect people to have salt blocks, so I've included two recipes below. Enjoy this as an appetizer at Christmas dinner or your New Year's Eve party or for a very special Sunday brunch. 

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Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net

HOMEMADE GRAVLAX (Using Salt Block)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Tools: baking pan, aluminum foil, 2 Himalayan salt blocks

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet (skin on)
Large bunch of fresh dill
Lemon (optional)

Directions:
Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil. Place one of the salt blocks on the pan and cover the surface of the salt block with a bunch of dill.

Using a sharp pairing knife, score the skin of the salmon with 3-4 incisions. Lay the salmon fillet on top of the salt block, skin-side down. Cover the flesh of the salmon with more fresh dill and place the second salt block on top. Transfer to the refrigerator. Let cure for 36 hours. 

Before slicing, remove the dill.

Slice thinly and serve with bagels or pumpernickel bread.  It is tasty with either cream cheese or butter.  A nice mustard sauce would work nicely as well.  Or just a couple lemon wedges.



HOMEMADE GRAVLAX (Without Salt Block)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Tools: baking pan, aluminum foil

Ingredients:
2 - 1.5 lb salmon fillets (skin on)
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons white pepper
Large bunch of fresh dill
3 tablespoons gin

Directions:
Mix the salt, sugar, and white pepper in a bowl.  Lay out two sheets of aluminum foil that are 6 inches longer than one of the fish fillets on a roasting pan or another rimmed baking dish that is big enough to hold the fish.  Rub the fish with the salt/sugar mixture on both sides of each of the fillets.

Lay one fillet, skin-side down, into the baking dish.  Cover the flesh side with heaping handfuls of fresh dill.  Drizzle with the gin.  Place the remaining fillet, flesh side down, on top of the other piece of fish.  Fold the ends of the aluminum foil over the fillets so that it completely wraps the fish.  Wrap with another two sheets of foil, so it is tightly packaged up.  Place a weight (I use another heavy, but smaller, baking dish and then fill it with oranges and grapefruits) on top of the fish and let sit in the fridge, flipping every 12 hours, for 48 hours.

Before slicing, remove the dill.

Slice thinly and serve with bagels or pumpernickel bread.  It is tasty with either cream cheese or butter.  A nice mustard sauce would work nicely as well.  Or just a couple lemon wedges.