Yesterday I spent the day with Kathleen Berger, an opera singer, and her chef-husband Manuel Alba Garrido. I tagged along with Kathleen when she had a music lesson with voice coach Tony Madigan. What fun to hear her practice scales and phrasing in preparation for a performance in a week.
In the apartment they share with their four cats, Manuel showed me how to make an authentic Spanish dish, one served in most tapas bars: a tortilla de patata.
Made with a potatoes and eggs with onions (or without onions the barbarian way, as Kathleen explained; whether one puts onions in a tortilla de patata is a topic of debate in tapas bars, fueled by glasses of red wine) and a lot of loving skill, the tortilla does not have tortillas.
Similar to a frittata, but not a frittata. Similar to a quiche, but not a quiche. The tortilla is light but filling, deliciously comforting.
Manuel made a tortilla with a filling of thinly sliced Spanish ham and fre…