10. November 2006

ever tasted an austrian central american tortilla española?

me neither.

but last week i had another cool new veggie in my farm box: the sweet potato. you should have heard my cry of joy when i saw it! because i have been sweet potato hunting here in linz for quite a while. no greengrocer in my area seems to have this central american veggie in their range of goods. how lucky am i to have it sent right to my porch?!

it is funny that the sweet potato is such a cryptical vegetable here in austria and a staple food in central america. is is becoming more popular these days though and people seem to know that a sweet potato is actually quite different from the potato we europeans know.

in my quest to cook this amazing batata i was browsing many recipes lately. originally i wanted to experience the taste of this new veggie as natural as possible. not to much spice, not to many other ingredients. should i make something like rösti? the purer the better, right?

but when i came across a lusty recipe of a remote relative of the rösti, i finally decided to make something inspired by the spanish omelette (tortilla española). i don't really know what a spanish cook would add to the basic recipe, but since i had some other stuff in my fridge i had to save from decay i accidentally made way more than just dinner for one ... and finally came up with a sweet potato tortilla served on a bed of salad.

150 g carrots
150 g potatoes
450 g sweet potatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 eggs
75 g flour
salt, pepper, chili powder

(makes about 10 medium sized omelettes)

01 wash, peel and grate the potatos, the sweet potato and the carrots.
02 put them in a large bowl.
03 chop onion and garlic and add to the veggies.
04 add eggs and stir well.
05 if the mixture is too soft add flour to make it more smooth.
06 heat a little oil in a skillet and carefully spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan. i made little flat tortillas with a diameter of about 10 cm.
07 cook for about 3-4 minutes and flip once. cook another 2 minutes. the tortilla should be golden brown.
08 i then placed the mini tortilla on a bed of mixed salad.

i was a bit surprised that the mixture turned out so orange. i always figured the sweet potato is the same color as our potato. the tortilla tasted quite interesting and i still could identify the unfamiliar taste of the sweet potato. the taste of the eggs was quite dominant and maybe i should have taken less of them, but then again i killed to birds with one stone: cooking something remotely spanish for the first time and tasting a sweet potato for the first time as well.

sweet potato tortilla served on a bed of salad
sweet potato tortilla served on a bed of salad sweet potato tortilla served on a bed of salad

i did put aside a tiny portion of the sweet potato and i fried it in a little butter just to experience a more pure taste. i have to admit that i am a bit clueless how i could use this new veggie in my kitchen but then again i suppose i won't get my hands on one of these babies anytime soon ...

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Trig hat gesagt…

The sweet potato is a staple vegetable where I live, due to many decades of migration from the Caribbean to the East End of London.

The potatoes come in two types, one of which looks more like an ordinary potato and one is orange coloured and perhaps a little better tasting.

Next time try using a mixture of sweet potato and ordinary potato. Mashed potato in proportion 1 sweet to 3 ordinary is absolutely excellent.


Tokyoastrogirl hat gesagt…

These look like they'd make a great main course for a vegetarian meal. Thanks for the recipe.

Dani hat gesagt…

That looks delicous!

Pamela hat gesagt…

The batata (sweet potato) is also very popular here in the Canary Islands, both in savory and sweet dishes. One of my favourites are these Christmas pies, Truchas de Batata (Sweet Potato Pies). You'll find the recipe at that link.

Tea hat gesagt…

My favorite, and super easy, way to cook sweet potatoes is to peel and cube them, toss in olive oil and roast in a hot oven (400°) until they are soft (20-25 min). Sprinkle with salt and enjoy. You can also roast them in the oven, whole and unpeeled, then slit open and mash the insides with a bit of butter (try adding fresh grated ginger for a nice treat).

Enjoy your experimentations!

Tea hat gesagt…

Whoops, that would be about 200°C

tschoerda hat gesagt…

... don't even get me startet on that celsius/fahrenheit - issue ... i make SO many mistakes when i have to convert between measurements ... *lol*

vasilisa hat gesagt…

I don't know if sweet potato is a staple here in Canada, but it's available in every supermarket. I usually use it in soups or roast it with other vegetables. I think if you roast it, you get the most of its real taste. It's a great veggy :-)