Saturday, February 5, 2011

FFwD: Dorie Greenspan’s Basque Potato Tortilla or how I learned the truth about my broiler.

Here I am participating in my first French Fridays with Dorie and feeling like a screw up. There is nothing wrong with the recipe just with the cook and her equipment.  I decided this week’s dish would be perfect for dinner because my teenage son is great fan of breakfast for dinner.  Greenspan suggests serving the tortilla with bacon for an American diner meal and I knew my son would love it. The final dish was fine for dinner and very good cold in my lunch the next day but it wasn’t perfect and I know why …

When I try a recipe for the first time I always read carefully through the whole thing once before I shop, again while collecting the ingredients, and one last time before I start cooking. Well, maybe not always. I was in a rush to get dinner on the table and was multitasking. I didn’t read the first paragraph on page 143 carefully enough.  Dorie writes that “the top is almost set – there’ll be a circle of liquid or jiggly egg at the center” but I stopped reading after I saw the word “set”. Finally I figured out that 21 minutes was too long for the eggs to be on the stovetop and checked the recipe one more time.  I had let the eggs go well beyond the suggested 8-10 minutes. Lack of extra ingredients and a hungry teenager forced me to carry on.

This is when I encountered problem number two. My broiler had been pre-heating for a long time, over heated and shut itself off. I didn’t know my oven did this but now I know the truth about my oven’s broiler. The oven was warm because I cooked the bacon in there and I didn’t notice that the broiler was off.  I continually peeked through the window to see if the top had browned and it never did. I finally figured out what was going on but at that point the eggs were very well cooked and I decide to stop and call it dinner. Lesson learned.

I will do better by Dorie next time, I promise.  Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table (available on Amazon) is full of beautiful photos, delicious recipes, and headnotes that make great reading. I encourage you to find out for yourself.

Bon Appetit


  1. Angela, so glad you've joined us! Sorry for your cooking glitches (I think we've ALL had those days!). Looking forward to seeing your future FFwD posts :)

  2. Welcome aboard! Sorry you had problems. Lizzy's right - we ALL have those days. Looking forward to your future posts.

  3. Welcome aboard, from one newbie to another! If it tasted okay, then that's all that matters!

  4. Welcome to FFwD! I think I overcooked mine a bit too (but my potatoes were a little undercooked...). I may have to try this one again to get it right.

  5. Well sometimes there is only one way to learn something: the hard way! Still it looks good and if it was edible then no harm, no foul.

  6. Welcome! I love your artistic ingredient shot at the top! Hope this Friday's turns out better.