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Potato Tortilla with Vegetable Sauce
Student Chef: Nydia Mercado In Spain a tortilla is an omelet with potatoes and other vegetables, much like a frittata. Le Cordon Bleu student Nydia Mercado created her version of a tortilla based on comfort food her grandmother made in Puerto Rico. You can serve squares of her tortilla atop a rich vegetable sauce, almost like a soup, or cut wedges and serve with the sauce, or tomato sauce or ketchup.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush under cold running water. Using mandoline cutter or sharp knife, cut potatoes into thin slices.
  3. In large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add potatoes in an even layer. Cover and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Gently stir in onion, thyme, garlic and paprika and cook 2 minutes longer.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, in large bowl whisk together eggs and egg whites. Add cheese, spinach and salt and pepper. Gently stir in hot potato slices. Wipe out skillet. Add the 2 teaspoons olive oil. Pour in egg/potato mixture, spreading evenly. Cook over medium heat until edges are set, about 15 minutes. Move to oven and bake until set, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Run spatula around edge of pan to loosen tortilla. Place large plate on top of pan and carefully invert to turn tortilla out. Serve hot or cold, with Vegetable Sauce, see below, or tomato sauce.
Vegetable Sauce:
  1. In small bowl, soak 1 1/2 ounces porcini mushrooms in 1 cup warm water until mushrooms soften, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms well, squeezing out liquid. Set mushrooms aside in a small bowl. Reserve mushroom liquid.
  2. In large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook 1 1/2 cups chopped onion and 3 cloves minced garlic until onions are just tender. Stir in 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced and 2 cups diced celery and cook until carrots are just tender. Stir in 1/2 cup Marsala and 1 /2 cup red wine. Heat to boiling, then simmer until almost all liquid is reduced, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in 1 (32-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes along with the mushrooms, 2 cups chopped baby spinach, 3 small zucchinis, diced, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano and 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary. Heat to boiling.
  4. Add 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock and reserved mushroom liquid. Simmer 30 minutes.
  5. In small saucepan over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and cook until frothy. Blend in small amount of tomato mixture, then return to rest of tomato mixture and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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