Bonnie Frederick, a Spanish professor at the university, shared her most popular recipes for the traditional tortilla española and marinated tomatoes, straight from the kitchens of Southern Spain. Frederick has visited Spain eight times and has been to several other countries, but to her it is never quite enough. These two recipes do not require elaborate ingredients, she said, but there is one ingredient that must not be forgotten: family and friends to share it with.
Frederick: Food is a wonderful way of understanding another culture. When you are travelling and you don’t know what else to talk about, people are always willing to talk about food. No matter where you go, that’s a topic of interest. And, wherever I travel, well first of all, I eat my way around the world. I ought to spend more time in museums and good places like that, but actually if you want to find me, I am out at a café. I just love in particular the café culture of the Hispanic world. It’s probably one of the reasons why I went into Spanish because I love café culture so much. Wherever I go, I pick up a recipe or two.
The custom [of tapas or lids] started because in the Spanish speaking world you want to always eat something with wine. You don’t drink alcohol without some sort of thing to eat at the same time. In the old days, they would take a slice of bread and put it on top of the glass of wine. So, when you were served your glass of wine, they would put it on the table and it would have the lid, which was a piece of bread. As time went on, to distinguish themselves from other competing places, they would make the bread fancier and nicer. They developed over time this custom of having little servings of delicious things designed to go along with a glass of wine. They are small portions and they tend to highlight some ingredient in an interesting way.
2 medium potatoes
1 yellow onion
Salt to taste
Step 1: Boil the potatoes. This can be done ahead, and the potatoes can be refrigerated until you are ready.
Step 2: Chop the onion. Remove skin from the potatoes and chop potatoes into ½ inch square cubes. Beat the eggs with a fork or in a blender until they are slightly foamy.
Step 3: Pour olive oil into the pan to cover it, and set the stove temperature to medium. Spread the onion over the pan in a nice layer and sauté onions until they start to become translucent.
Step 4: Add the potatoes, covering the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt and turn the potatoes and onions until onions are cooked but not browned.
Step 5: Pour the eggs over, so that the potato-onion layer is covered. With a spatula, pull back an edge and let some of the liquid egg run under. Keep doing this until the top is moist but not liquid.
Step 6: Place a plate on top of the skillet. Put your hand on top of the plate, and turn the skillet over, so that the tortilla falls onto the plate. Put the skillet down on the burner. Tilt the plate so that the uncooked side of the tortilla slides back into the skillet. Let it cook for a minute or so. I usually flip my omelets twice so they have a pretty form and nice golden outside.
Step 7: Cool to room temperature and cut into thin wedges or squares.
3 baskets of cherry tomatoes
6-8 green onions
3-4 tablespoons of cilantro
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Step 1: Chop onions and cilantro and cut all the cherry tomatoes into halves.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients into bowl and chill for two hours.