World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Granada, Spain, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, September 22, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
Granada lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.
The city was the final bastion of the Spanish Moors, before they fell to the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand V and Isabella I in 1492.
"This is where devout Catholicism mixes with surrealism, modernist cuisine with traditional tapas. Christianity and Islam traded places, shared space. And the effects and influences of all those things are right here to see," Anthony Bourdain says.
Yet, there are many parts of Granada's culture that are decidedly Spanish in nature: siestas, bullfighting, Flamenco and, of course, tapas.
According to Bourdain, "You may think you know what a tapa is, like if you’ve had small bites at some fusion hipster bar where they do a whole lot of little plates. Yeah. That ain’t a tapa."
The definition of a tapa has expanded to mean almost anything served in a small portion, but tapas, in the most traditional sense, are small, simple and savory snacks. They're often free of charge so long as you drink - and keep drinking; they're meant to entice you to stick around for a while and ideally order something larger from the menu.
While in Granada, Bourdain feasts on morcilla (blood sausage), berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant drizzled with honey) and caracoles en salsa (snails in almond sauce). And, let's not forget, lots and lots of jamón, the international coup de grâce of country ham.
Another icon of the tapas spread is the tortilla, more specifically the tortilla de patatas or tortilla española; for all intents and purposes, an open-faced potato omelet.
1 cup olive oil
Wash the potatoes under cold running water. Slice in half lengthwise and then into 1/4" half moons. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the onions and potatoes. Stir every so often and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about eight minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and the onions are soft.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk until they are thoroughly mixed. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the potato and onion mixture into the bowl of eggs, making sure to keep the oil in the skillet, and stir to combine. Reserve the remaining oil left in the pan. It is important to do this while the potatoes are still warm. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three hours.
Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of the reserved oil from cooking the potatoes and onions. Pour the egg, potato and onion mixture into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sides of the eggs have set and the middle is beginning to set. Place a plate on top of the pan and invert. Gently slide the tortilla back into the pan with the brown side now upward. Cook for another three minutes and remove from the heat. Let the tortilla rest in the pan for four minutes.
To serve, invert the tortilla on to a cutting board and cut into quarters. Place one wedge on each of four plates.
Note: If pressed for time, you can cook the tortilla after refrigerating the mixture for one hour.
Previously on "Parts Unknown":