January 28, 2006

torta


Always a hit, it doesn’t matter where or who you serve it to. Back in the Philippines, this simple but tasty ground beef and potato pancake is one of our staples and everybody’s favorite. It’s a simpler fritata version. Spanish influence in food is still very evident in everyday Philippine cuisine. The combination of spices is a well-appreciated flavor. For this popular meat pancake, diced potatoes or potato strips are pan-fried in some olive oil until slightly toasted or they may just be boiled in water for a healthier alternative.The potatoes are then drained and using the same pan, the ground beef is then cooked with minced or grated garlic and sliced onions along with some chopped or sliced tomatoes until browned. I find grating the garlic using a microplane grater is an effective way to release the flavor of the garlic to the max. The ground beef is seasoned with salt, pepper and a few drops of worcestershire sauce. The cooked meat mixture is then set aside to cool. Cooked potatoes are added to the meat mixture next. Pan-frying the potatoes may also be eliminated since they can just be added to the ground beef to cook. But the pan-frying method was the way my mother did it and I always like to do it her way. Just make sure to drain the fried potatoes on some papertowels to get rid of as much grease as possible. When the meat and potato mixture has cooled off a bit, the beaten eggs may be added with some cornstarch as well. Cornstarch will help bind the ingredients together to make the tortas a bit firmer and easier to flip over. Mix with a fork until combined. In the same pan, add a little olive oil and start making the tortas or meat and potato pancakes. Some suggestions for the sauces or dipping are catsup or some good hot sauce. My husband craves this now and everytime he would see me making these for, he can’t wait to eat! The torta can definitely be everyone’s favorite.

4 comments:

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  3. Hi! Instead of potatoes I add sliced chayote. Now, I use grilled eggplant, remove the skin after grilling, flatten a litte before putting the cooked ground beef on top. Beat 1 egg, put a little on top of the eggplant before frying both sides.

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  4. Good idea esp when trying to cut down on carbs and potatoes should be avoided. Although chayote is not easy to find here, and rather expensive but there must be another good vegetable substitute. I used to make eggplant torta and I agree it's very good. Thanks again for the suggestions.

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