They say never judge a book by its cover, but when I stumbled upon Allegra McEvedy’s Bought, Borrowed & Stolen a few weeks ago, I could tell just by the bright turquoise cover and gold detailing I would like the cookbook. Flipping through the pages of her honest, heart-warming photography and stories, my feelings were confirmed. The book is more a journal of her travels then anything else, with notes and memories jotted down from the past 20 years of trips she’s taken, and as I mentioned on Friday, traveling can be vastly inspirational.
Crafted around the theme of her culinary knife collection, and the blades she has bought or borrowed across Europe, Asia, and America, it’s a book that’s easy to just sit down and read. And her traveling stories come with recipes, the “stolen” element, for everything from a Japanese Rising Sun Salad or Brazilian Seafood Stew to Pumpkin Doughnuts from New York City. McEvedy is British and the recipes are written in her a conversational locals tone—many of the terms and ingredients are specifically geared for her hometown audience. (“Knock up the glaze by melting the butter in the milk and whisking in the icing sugar…”) She’s also a popular chef abroad, and this collection of recipes is certainly meant for a more advanced cook who is quick thinking on their toes—her methods are often more suggestion rather then tried and true specifics.
None the less, when flipping through the beautiful book of adventures it’s hard not to head straight into the kitchen to cook up a worldy feast (or book a plane ticket straight to Thailand!). This simple yet delicious Spanish frittata called out to me, because it’s one of my sister’s go-to recipes and she’s currently traveling in Spain. The sweet onions and spicy sausage make the perfect breakfast, and paired with a simple salad, it’s also a filling lunch.
Catalan Sausage Tortilla, adapted from Bought, Borrowed & Stolen
Servings: 8 – 10 slices
3-4 red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 or 9 eggs, beaten and seasoned
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
Pinch dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 340°F.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil with the potatoes in it and cover. Simmer for about eight minutes until the potato pieces are just cooked, then drain.
In a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, fry the sausages in the oil until lightly browned. Remove using a slotted spoon and reserve.
Reduce heat to medium-low and fry the onions in the same pan, stirring regularly as you don’t want too much color on them.
As the onions begin to soften, after about 10 minutes, stir in the garlic. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then add the sausages and potatoes. Stir to combine, then turn off heat.
Pour the eggs into the pan; all the solids should be covered by egg, so you might need to add another egg, depending on the size of your pan.
Arrange the tomatoes on the top, pushing down gently with a knife. Season with salt, pepper and, oregano.
Place pan into the oven and check after 25 to 30 minutes. Eggs should be set around the edges, and just slightly runny in the middle. Serve tomato-side up.