Monday, January 17, 2011

spice and jazz

What a treat to go see jazz saxophonist James Lovano play with his combo last night. On stand-up bass was none other than Esperanza Spalding, the object of my ongoing girl crush. I had seen Esperanza perform this summer at Summer Stage in Central Park and afterward I created a tribute recipe in her honor in a blog post back in June. Last night at the Village Vanguard, a far more intimate setting that is steeped in jazz history and tradition, I got an up close experience of her incredible musical talent. As it turns out, my friend Cathy, who was attending the performance with me, casually mentions that she had spent Thanksgiving dinner with Esperanza and some mutual friends! Say what!? After the performance (which was an amazing evening of Charlie Parker tunes) Cathy and Esperanza exchanged hugs and I was introduced and actually got to shake Ms. Spalding's surprisingly delicate, but very nimble and musically confident hand. She is an elfin beauty who at 25 could pass for 15, yet has the soul of someone alive a hundred years as she easily held her own on stage with seasoned jazz musicians who were likely twice her age.
Catch Esperanza perform if you can. She is a lovely rare talent and a joy to behold.
Again I have created a recipe in Esperanza's honor. This time, in keeping with the season, I was looking to create something a little earthy, but with lots of spice. My sister had recently sent me a recipe for pan roasted potatoes cooked with Indian spices that I was interested in trying.
Last night before the show Cathy and I had some tapas at Cafe Espanol that included a Potato Tortilla (Spanish Omelet). The tortilla was satisfying but I was in the mood to create something a little more robust. I decided to combine the two recipes and came up with: Indian spiced potato Tortilla. It seemed like a leap, but it turned out delicious. Even my fussy eater of a husband enjoyed it.
Here is to you Esperanza!

Indian Spiced Potato Tortilla

4 Tbs. oil
2 Tbs. *whole spice seeds 
4 red potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 Tbs. butter
4 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
S & P

Heat oil and saute spices until they turn several shades darker.
Fry potatoes, tossing and turning, until coated with spices and lightly brown 
Remove potatoes and oil from pan into a bowl
Heat the butter in the pan
With a slotted spoon return the potatoes to the pan with the butter, allowing some of the spiced oil to drain off
Add the eggs to the pan, pouring over the potatoes, then add salt and pepper to taste
Cook eggs until they are set, about 5 minutes. 
Carefully slide eggs off the pan onto a plate and then invert the plate back over the pan to tunr the tore over.
Cook for another two minutes until the torte is set.
Serves two- Can be served hot or cold.

*for the whole spice seeds, mix and match what you may have on hand. I used about a teaspoon each of black sesame, fennel, celery, cardamom. Equally good would be cumin, mustard and nigella.

Amanda is away on a family vacation this week so we have no wine pairing for this recipe. Maybe this one time we will switch to beer, always a good combo with Indian spices.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Spammers have forced me to now review every comment before publishing. So please bear with me as I read through your comment. Thank you for visiting the blog!