A while back we watched a show on Netflix called Street Food: South America. I think I have written about it before, but regardless if you like food you should watch it. Anyway, the first episode is based in Argentina and is centered around a chef who specializes in these giant cheese crusted potato omelets. They call then Tortillas de Patatas (or Papas in Argentina).
Imagine my surprise when I looked through my new cookbook and found a recipe for this amazing dish! Except after close inspection it was from Spain and did not involve cheese…Curious. I thought on this for a while. Should I make the one from Spain or figure out how to modify it to make the Argentinian version?
Also, a brief aside, we (Chris and I) love Argentina, even though we have never actually been. I guess you can say that we love the idea of Argentina. It is near the top of our travel list when we have the time, money, and lack of pandemic to actually visit. For me, a lot of the love for Argentina comes from studying about Eva Peron when the film version of the musical was released (because I like to know the accuracy of such things) and the experience of the small amounts of Argentinian food I have tried, there is something about the idea of drinking Malbec with a plate of Asado and Empanadas that warms my heart. I also think it’s important to appreciate other cultures in order have an accurate view of the world. I think, especially as Americans, we try and shove other countries, especially other “brown” countries, into our world view expectations, which is wrong. When we visit anywhere in the world we should do so with the intent of appreciating their culture in order to expand our own views.
After much thought, and re-watching of said episode, I decided to make the cheesy Argentinian version. Needless to say, it was DELICIOUS! I had some trouble finding South American cheese, so I went with the Mexican Quesadilla cheese. I mixed the egg mixture with the lightly fried potatoes and baked it over a thick layer of cheese. After baking I flipped the whole thing onto a plate and served hot. The chef on the show made them plain, with spinach, and also as a ham and cheese plate. I made the decision to mix in some chicken I had left over from making fajitas the night before. I definitely give this dish a two thumbs up, would HIGHLY recommend, and it’s going into our rotation. However, I may try and make this without the cheese to make it more authentic, because after extensive recipe researching it seems as though most of Argentina also leaves out the cheese? But they also add onions… Food is so weird.