Monday, October 4, 2010

Taberna De Haro

Last week Slow Food BU had the pleasure of working with Deborah Hansen, chef and owner of Spanish restaurant Taberna de Haro. Hansen invited us into her kitchen to share a recipe for Tortilla Española, a staple of traditional Spanish diets, and discuss her start in the culinary world.

Hansen was smitten with Spain after a visit during her college years, and later returned to live in Madrid. During eight years living in the heart of Spain, Hansen opened a restaurant serving American food; however, her down time was spent mastering the rustic elegance of traditional Spanish cooking. Hansen took her education back to the United States where she opened Taberna de Haro. The restaurant has since become a sanctuary for anyone seeking comforting food, authentic cuisine, and local ingredients.

Hansen spoke with high esteem of the Massachusetts-based farmers who provide produce, seafood, meat, eggs, and more for her restaurant. In addition to sea salt and olive oil (two of Hansen’s few exceptions to her all-local ingredients rules), Hansen used potatoes from Swaz Farm in Hatfield, onions from Old Friends Farm in Amherst, and eggs from Country Hen, based in Hubbardston.

Tortilla Española, one of the most popular items on the menu at Taberna de Haro, is a great addition to any home cook’s repertoire. The five-ingredient recipe makes it an easy dish for any time of day.

Deborah Hansen's Tortilla Española Recipe:

4 large potatoes, any type except golden or red bliss, peeled and sliced thin

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin

2 cups cooking olive oil, preferably Spanish, “pure” grade (“puro” in Spanish or Italian)

5 free-range eggs

1 ½ Tbl. Sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the potatoes and fry on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure even cooking. Add onions, stir, and continue to fry 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, set up a strainer or colander over a bowl for draining potatoes.

Whisk eggs and salt in a large bowl. When potatoes are cook thoroughly, spoon into strainer and allow oil to drain. Reserve a tablespoon of oil, and save the rest in refrigerator for another use. Add potatoes to eggs and stir thoroughly.

Heat a 9” non-stick pan with a bit of the used olive oil. Coat thoroughly. Add egg mixture and simmer on low to medium heat for 4 minutes. Cover with a plate and turn pan upside down to flip tortilla. Slide back into pan, smoothing edges with a spatula. Cook 3-4 more minutes. Turn out onto a plate.

Serve hot, warm, or cold.

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