Potato Torta (and Octopus in 60 Seconds)
Cafe Drake wanted Spanish food and we wanted it quickly. The obvious answer was a potato torta, or baked omelet, dressed with a topping of flash-fried octopus. Sound impressive? Not really, especially if you purchase the nifty bags of frozen and boiled octopus available at all Asian supermarkets. Thaw in the fridge then toss for 30 seconds in a screaming hot, olive oil-slicked pan with a tomato, some garlic and a few olives or capers.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring salted water to a boil and cook in it, until just tender, 1-2 peeled and sliced potatoes. Drain potatoes and set aside.
Add oil to an ovenproof skillet - cast iron is ideal and adds rustic charm to your family-style table - and heat in hot oven for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and carefully layer boiled potato slices on the bottom. Watch out as the pan will be frightfully hot! Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a mixing bowl whisk together 6 eggs and 1 cup of milk. Season with salt and pepper and some fresh herbs (we used summer savory, having scored a small bunch for a buck at the corner vegetable market). Stir in some minced onion and garlic and 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Pour oven the potatoes and return pan to the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the torta is relatively firm and golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into thick wedges. Traditionally, in Spain, the torta would be served at room temperature with a few olives on the side.