As a thank you for teaching my host father English, he’ll sometimes call me into the kitchen to learn how to cook something. The two main dishes we focused on learning are Croquettas and the Spanish tortilla. In order to clarify, tortillas here are more like omelets than what we consider ‘tortillas’ in the United States. Although in the beginning this difference was very confusing, I’m slowly forgetting that tortilla ever meant something other than a delicious Spanish omelet.
To make a Spanish tortilla, you first need to fry potatoes and onions in a frying pan, using enough olive oil to give any Olympic athlete a heart attack. Then, you drain the majority of the oil and add eggs whipped with water and salt. You should have enough potatoes and onions to cover the bottom of the frying pan, so that the tortilla is thick. After cooking the eggs with the potatoes, you’ll flip the tortilla onto a plate and then back into the pan on the other side. Super simple and super easy!
Croquettas are just as easy, but they do take two days to make. You first need to make the ‘masa’ (dough) of the croquettas. Normally, it’s a mix of chopped meat, whole milk, olive oil and flour. You’ll mix all of that over heat until you form a paste. After that, you’ll pour the contents into a square dish to refrigerate overnight. The next day (or whenever you want to make them) you’ll take the dough out and form circles with them. You’ll then dip the croquettas in eggs and breadcrumbs and then fry them. Although at first they may be a bit tricky, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough and find yourself in love with this delicious dish!
In addition to cooking Spanish food, I also attempted to make an all-American apple pie for my host family. Epic. Fail. Since they don’t have measuring spoons or cups I had to translate everything into grams. The inside part worked well, but we ended up not having enough dough to cover the pie. However, it still tasted good…and that’s the most important part!