Celebrating Chef Ferran Adria’s Wild Molecular Cooking!
My “52 In 22” cooking challenge goes “molecular” for week #11’s recipe, thanks to the world’s greatest Chef!
Here is the stack of cookbooks #11-20 for my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, and the foundation is the massive “A Day At El Bulli” book, an inside look at the world’s greatest restaurant!
This “cookbook” is an incredible deep dive inside the world’s most acclaimed restaurant, where molecular magic is part of their daily menu…with that said, let me explain what’s about to unfold for my “52 In 22” cooking challenge:
A Wild “Potato Chip” Take On A “Tortilla de Patata!”
While Chef Adria is renowned in the world of “molecular food art”, he also has this simple yet creative take on a “tortilla de patata” (potato omelet) in Spanish – adding potato chips to his eggs!
Chef / Cookbook Author Michael Ruhlman raved about it, so I had to give it a try!
This recipe is very simple – but as you are about to find out, my preparation of the dish was anything but – let’s start by whisking four eggs in a bowl for 4 minutes – this will make them airy and light:
Here’s where it gets fun: you need potato chips for the recipe!
That’s right, the “potatoes” in this dish are going to be “potato chips!” Using your hands, crush a cup of chips and combine with the eggs.
I put the whisked eggs in a pan that was lightly oiled, then added the potato chips and mixed them in – more on this later – I added the chips once the eggs were already in the frying pan!
Chef says you don’t need to add salt because the chips will have them, but I did add pepper:
After about 4 minutes on medium heat, I flipped the “tortilla de potata” over in the pan and let it cook for another minutes:
As you can see, it does indeed look like a frittata, one made with eggs and potato chips…
I slid the tortilla onto a plate and added chopped chives…that’s it, the dish was done!
So how did it taste?
OK, something went horribly wrong here – the dish tasted of egg and potato, but there was no depth of flavor, nothing made me think I was eating potato chips, and the tortilla was very dry as well – what went wrong?
Well, I was going to find out!
Fast forward to two days later – I had a plan to fix this disaster – and my wife Alex was behind the camera to document it:
Will The Second Time Be The “Potato Chip Charm?”
Well, here goes, my second attempt to make “potato chip eggs”
I begin by breaking more eggs into a bowl and whisking them for 4 minutes….
I am making 5 adjustments this time – beginning with what I think may have been my biggest mistake:
Change #1: Soak The Potato Chips!
This time, I whisked the eggs, then crumbled a cup of potato chips into the eggs and let the crushed potato chips soak for ten full minutes…
Change #2: I added a tablespoon of Smoky Paprika
Change #3: I added a handful of shredded Mozzarella
Change #3: I cooked the eggs in a mixture of olive oil and 3 tablespoons butter.
I slid it into a pan that was heated very low, and I SOFTLY SOFTLY SOFTLY scrambled the egg/potato mixture for close to fifteen minutes…constantly stirring and blending the mixture, never letting them get too hot or too cooked:
Change #5: Add Parsley!
I really didn’t like the way the chives looked on the frittata, so this time I plated the slowly scrambled eggs with a side of potato chips and topped them with parsley…and here’s how it looked:
While no longer a frittata, these slowly scrambled eggs were pillowy soft and delicious, with a nice pop of paprika in every bite along with the melty creaminess of the cheese – plus the potato chips in the eggs were smoother, richer and had a more pronounced potato flavor!
For me, this was the way to make them.
I have shared all of the drama, mistakes and culinary disasters in the kitchen as I cook a new recipe every week…and I know I didn’t do Adria justice at all – how could I?
If you want to see how Chef Ferran Adria created the world’s most acclaimed restaurant, check out this trailer:
This incredible documentary about the famous restaurant is your way inside El Bulli – and since Chef Adria closed his temple to gastronomy a few years ago, there is no other way to see it up close!
Click here for more about the restaurant and a fascinating book that spent a year inside the kitchen!
I discovered Chef Adria’s unique “potato chip egg” recipe thanks to Michael Ruhlman, who knows something about eggs:
Ruhlman’s “Mollet Egg with Asparagus” almost cracked me – click here to see why:
I also cooked a Parisian bacon-wrapped pork dish thanks to legendary Chef Anthony Bourdain – click here to see how that one turned out:
This was week #11 of my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, so much more to come!
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