I have been teaching myself to crochet. An absolute beginner. I’ve just hurled crochet hook, yarn and my sanity into the basket. I know – I’m over-reaching myself as usual. Sue Maton – the yarn genius – has a new online project and I thought I’d join in. With no experience. Obvs, I was going to be a disaster. I digress.
Brenda has so generously offered me wilting celery, half a pot of Quark and half a jar of red peppers. It is crying out to be a tortilla darling! One of our all-time standbys when we don’t know what to cook. In fact (I am now editing this piece) I find that I have already posted a tortilla recipe in 2016. Never mind, here’s another with a little variation to fit Brenda’s requirements!
If it’s just for you and Brian tonight then halve these quantities. Or, damn it, make all of it and have the rest of it for lunch for a couple of days.
OK. Those all too familiar staples of sliced onion (two of) and a cup full of finely chopped celery in a good sturdy frying pan that you can put under the grill with plenty of olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic. If you have a nubby end of chorizo you can chop this up and put it in, or some bacon, at the same time. Peel and slice potatoes about 1cm thick. Add to the pan, making sure there is sufficient oil, and fry them gently; keep turning them, turning them. It doesn’t matter at all if they break up.
If you prefer a lower fat option then put the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for three minutes then drain. Let them cool a bit and then add to the onions and celery. Add chopped parsley and fresh thyme or oregano, a goodly amount of salt and black pepper. Drain the red peppers and pat dry, then cut into strips and add to the pan, distributing evenly across the top. Break four large eggs into a large bowl and beat them then add the quark. If you have half a tub of thick yogurt or cream you could add that too. But half a tub of quark is fine if you haven’t. Mix the quark/cream/yogurt into the eggs and beat again. Season with salt and pepper.
Check that the potatoes are very nearly cooked, then turn the heat up and add the egg/quark mixture. Move the potatoes around a bit so that the liquid is evenly distributed. Watch it carefully. The idea is to seal the eggy base on a high heat (which will take 4-5 minutes) then turn down the heat, sprinkle smoked paprika on top and then put a lid on it and cook gently on the hob for another 10 minutes. Keep the heat low so the bottom doesn’t burn. Alternatively you can put it in the oven at 190C for about 15 minutes without the lid, to set the top.
Leave in the pan until it cools. Then either turn in out onto a plate (plate over pan and invert it – easiest to do this when it is cooler) then bring to the table and slice into quarters. Or serve straight from the pan if it is hot with green beans or spinach or with a salad.
This is a regular dish for us. Usually all the ingredients are in the house and if we don’t have Quark we just use eggs.
Hope you enjoy it Brenda.