Sad Discount Potatoes become Fancy Spanish Tortilla

Here’s a few things you should know about me- I’m frugal and I like being challenged. These two attributes serve me well in the kitchen. So this time, I’d like to tackle the Discount Produce Bin. You are familiar with this part of your grocery store or produce market- plastic bags full of not-so-perfect produce that is discounted to sell. Now, I can’t resist a bargain of any kind, especially when it comes to food. I feel as if the Produce Gods are challenging me and giving me these sad vegetables and fruit to see if I can make something delicious. I also feel a little sorry for the sad produce, that they too deserve to be cooked lovingly and enjoyed just as if they were the perfect produce displayed in the regular part of the produce section.

discount potatoes and the makings of Spanish Tortilla

Yesterday, I did my produce shopping at Dan’s Produce in Alameda and the first place I go to is the discount produce bin or kiosk. I surveyed the endless bags of zucchini, potatoes, bananas, oranges and decided to rescue a bag of red onions and a bag of organic(!) russet potatoes, each for 99 cents. Today, I need to figure out what to do with the produce. The potatoes, I’ve decided will become the famous Spanish potato tortilla which is simply a potato omelet or frittata. I begin by peeling and slicing the potatoes and then lay them out on a sheet pan, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on the potatoes. I bake it until it is soft and slightly crispy brown on the edges. I layer the potatoes into a warmed and oiled cast-iron pan and pour in some scrambled eggs. I stir the potatoes and eggs and when it is almost set, I put the pan in the oven under the broiler. A few minutes later, I check and see that the eggs are set, puffed and golden. I let the pan cool before I slip a knife along the edge and invert the tortilla onto a large platter. Viola! Potato Tortilla. I serve this with crusty bread and a plain green salad with a sprightly lemon vinaigrette. It’s my idea of a quick and easy dinner that if I were so inclined to do some math, I’m sure is pretty economical to boot.

the finished Spanish tortilla

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