Patatas Panadera con Setas

Soft Potatoes & Onions with Mushrooms Thickened with Egg

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IN TRUE SPANISH FASHION NOTHING IN THE KITCHEN IS WASTED — NOT EVEN THE HEAT FROM THE BREAD KILN! IN DAYS GONE BY, AFTER BREAD WAS BAKED, A CAZUELA (CERAMIC POT) OF POTATOES, SITTING IN A POOL OF SEASONED STOCK, WAS PUSHED INTO THE KILN TO SLOWLY COOK FROM THE RESIDUAL HEAT TRAPPED IN THE BRICKS. MOST PANADEROS (BAKERS) NOW USE ELECTRIC OVENS, BUT THE NAME OF THIS DISH IS STILL THE SAME. I ENJOYED THIS DISH WHILE SPENDING TIME WITH TITO ROBLEDO FROM LAS PETRONILAS. HIS FRIEND, THE LOCAL DOCTOR, DROPPED BY WITH A BASKET OF WILD MUSHROOMS WHICH TITO COOKED WITH THE POTATOES AND SERVED TO THE DOCTOR AND HIS WIFE. THE LOVELY SOFT DISH WAS THICKENED WITH A LITTLE EGG. TITO COMMENTED THAT HE FELT SAFE EATING WILD MUSHROOMS WITH A DOCTOR. IF WE GET SICK HE’LL BE ABLE TO CURE US,’ HE LAUGHED.

Ingredients

  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 white salad onions, cut into fine wedges
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 green capsicums (peppers), seeded and membranes removed, cut into slices 1 cm (½ inch) thick
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • fine sea salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) roasting potatoes, such as sebago, cut into slices 1 cm (½ inch) thick
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 100 g ( oz) shiitake mushrooms, cut into slices 5 mm (¼ inch) thick
  • 100 g ( oz) king brown mushrooms, cut into slices 5 mm (¼ inch) thick
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Method

Heat 80 ml ( fl oz/ cup) of the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, bay leaves, capsicum, half the sliced garlic and a good pinch of sea salt and sauté for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Reduce the heat to low-medium, then cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the capsicum is tender, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and stir the potato slices through.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Spread the potato mixture into a large roasting tin, season well and pour the stock over. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 60–70 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms, the remaining garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Toss to combine well, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly brown and soft. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the beaten eggs and parsley.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove the roasting tin from the oven and remove the foil. Pour the mushroom and egg mixture over, then stir it through gently, without breaking up the potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for another 6–8 minutes, or until the egg is nearly set, but still a little runny. Remove from the oven and serve warm.