IMG_0534.JPGOne of my favorite type of cookbooks are the vague ones.

Sauté some potatoes, hazelnuts in some butter and oil, add an egg yolk and put under the broiler till it’s done. Sprinkle some chives over it.

Simple, huh, and the recipe is full of holes. How many potatoes? Hazelnuts? Umm…and what kind of container should you use? Broil it? How long? Now, in Nigel Slater’s cookbook Eat there isn’t quite that much variability, but it is flexible and presumes the reader knows that you need an oven-safe container to put under the broiler, etc.

So I started out cooking the potato and the hazelnuts in a paellera, which is not only stovetop safe but oven safe, as well. I planned to simply serve right out of the paellera itself but I wanted to separate the potato and hazelnut mixture from all that oil and butter (I could have stood to use less), so I used my slotted spoon to put them into two separate but equally small cazuela dishes ( also oven safe).

The dish, as described by Nigel Slater, is Potatoes with Hazelnuts and Egg and you can’t really get much more unfancy than that. And it was as simple as that–the flavors and textures were wonderful: crunchy hazelnuts, soft, buttery potato pieces, a hint of aromatics from the onions, and the creamy, partially cooked egg yolk. A nice combination. My wife and I both thought that the addition of some olives wouldn’t have hurt.

She had the idea of using the olive and anchovy bites (Spanish drinking crackers I’d made along with it out of boredom) would have been a good base for a mini- tapa when combined with this dish. Coming to a dinner table in Berkeley soon.