Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Basque Potatoes

For my last official dish from Time-Life Foods of the World's American Cooking: The Northwest volume, there were Basque Potatoes (p77) for dinner. Yes, potatoes and lardons again. I made more or less a whole recipe, which should serve four, and the two of us ate it all, followed by a big salad. Probably it would have served three, but four would be a bit skimpy, I think.

The potatoes are cooked until almost done, then drained and sliced. Meanwhile, the bacon gets cooked and crumbled. The recipe asks for 6 slices of bacon. A 100g package of bacon-like stuff here usually has 8 slices, albeit quite thin. I used a 100g package of lardons instead. You're supposed to pour off all but 4 tablespoons of bacon fat. But I didn't even have 1 tablespoon left. (When we first moved to Europe, I was shocked to find recipes that called for cooking bacon slices in butter. You need to do this because bacon and lardons simply don't have as much fat here as they do in the US.) I added a bit of olive oil to make up some of the difference. Some finely chopped onions are sautéed, then the potato slices are added and stirred in carefully. This mixture is topped with four eggs that were beaten with salt and pepper; then the bacon/lardon are sprinkled on top.

After the bottom has browned, you should be able to turn the potatoes out onto a dish and turn them over back into the pan. I found I didn't add enough olive oil for this to work well, so I just turned them as best I could in the pan. The potato-egg mixture is covered for the last bit of cooking. (I took this picture just before they were done. The next time I removed the lid the eggs had puffed up and it was quite impressive to see. But my camera was already put up and it was time to eat.)

This dish is very much like a Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata. It's very satisfying food and can easily be varied with odd bits of veggies and whatever spices are appealing at the moment.

It seems to me that the Northwest volume is more typical of American food as I knew it in the 50s, 60s, and 70s than the others I've tried so far. (Only the southern cooking volume remains now of the American Cooking ones.)

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their June cookbook. You could even join in if you want!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I've got to add some oil to the bacon too when frying them, as there's really not much oil from the bacon at all. This dish looks delicious! Potatoes are always so good with bacon, eggs and onions. A big slice would be great as a sandwich between breads! Thanks for sharing the lovely recipes this month!