featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Note: This site uses Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Food editor Cloris McWerther is taking a much-deserved vacation this week. Filling in for her is author Kimberley Troutte with Tortilla Espanola recipe with a tapa twist. Kimberley is the author of Catch Me in Castile and Soul Stealer, both published by Samhain Publishing. Read more about Kimberley at her website. -- AP

Thank you for inviting me, Anastasia. It is so good to be here!

Since we are nearing the one-year anniversary of my book, Catch Me in Castile, I thought I’d bring a Spanish story and a recipe.

First the story…

Once a long time ago, a young bride and her handsome groom went on a trip to Spain. As they explored the ancient castles, the bride was swept away by the romance and the beauty all around her. There was so much history right there at her fingertips. She imagined living here five hundred years ago when Queen Isabella sent a young Columbus in search of new lands. The land where the bride was born. It boggled her mind.

She ventured just outside the thick castle walls and looked down. There at her feet were bits and pieces of pearly-white bones. Wondering what kind of bones these were, she picked up a few and carried them to the tour guide.

“Excuse me? What animal did these come from?” the bride asked in her halting Spanish.
“Human,” was the shocking answer.

The bride nearly swallowed her tongue. As she grappled with what to do with parts of PEOPLE—no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn’t drop them, could she?—she sputtered, “But…but there were so many... Why are there human bones all over the ground?”
The guide explained that in olden days dead bodies were sometimes just tossed over the castle walls.


As she scrubbed her hands clean, a bold and beautiful idea came to her:
What if a 15th Century ghost from Queen Isabella’s Court haunted one of these castles? What if the lady was pushed out of the tower, but can’t remember what happened? What if an American woman who is at her wits-end is the only one who can see the ghost and the two of them must solve an ancient and a modern-day murder mystery? Ah-ha.
Catch Me in Castile was born.

Oh, and the bride lived happily ever after.

Now, here is an easy tapa recipe called Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelet).

Tapas are Spanish appetizers.  They can be cold, such as mixtures of olives and cheeses, or warm, such as fried baby squid.  In Spain, you can go to a swanky tapas bar and order enough tapas to make a meal. I love this idea because I am a big snacker and like to try all sorts of interesting foods, but tend to fill up before my entrĂ©e arrives.

The Tortilla Espanola is one of the most common dishes served in Spain. And can be eaten as a light dinner, but for our purposes, we are going to make it into a tapa and serve it with baguettes so that guests can make mini-sandwiches with it.

·6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
·1 whole yellow onion
·5-6 large eggs
·2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
·Salt to taste

Also, you can add diced ham, chorizo, red or green peppers, or tomatoes.

Slice the potatoes into 1/8” slices. Chop onions into 1/4” pieces. Mix potatoes, onion and salt. In a large non-stick pan heat the olive oil on medium-high. When the oil is ready for frying, spread the potatoes and onions evenly over the surface. Cook until potatoes are done then remove mixture from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add the potato-onion mixture.
Pour 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into a non-stick frying pan (appox.  9-10”). Heat on medium. Stir the potato-onion-egg mixture once more and pour into heated oil. Spread evenly. When the eggs have cooked around the edges, carefully lift one side of the omelet and peek. You want the bottom to brown while the inside of the mixture remains slightly runny. When the bottom is brown, put a plate on top of the pan and flip the omelet over onto the plate. You may need to add a little more olive oil to the frying pan to keep the omelet from sticking. Then carefully slide the flipped omelet back into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2 minutes.
Carefully slide the omelet onto a plate and cut into 1.5” squares and serve with a sliced baguette.
Thanks, Kimberley! My mouth is watering from just reading the recipe! Readers, what do you think?  Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for a book by our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Liz V. said...

Greeks call a collection of snacks "meze" or "mezze" and you are so right about meze constituting a meal. Never thought of omelet, however. Sounds nice.

Sandy Cody said...

Fascinating premise for a novel. Recipe sounds good too.

Pat Dale said...

Your book sounds intriguing. I love ideas where past and present bump elbows. Love the recipe,too. Best wishes,
Pat Dale

Kimberley Troutte said...

Good morning all!
Liz: I'll have to try a mezze one of these days. Of course that might mean a trip to Greece. Yay!

Sandy: thanks!

Pat: I love bumping past and present stories too. Best wishes back at you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Patricia said...

Intriguing novel and superb recipe. Great combo!

jeff7salter said...

Not interested in the recipe, because I don't do much in the kitchen besides make a mess, but I love the premise of your plot.
And I'm quite impressed that you took so much inspiration from that single bleached bone on the beach.

Kimberley Troutte said...

Thanks, Patricia and Jeff.

I've always loved ghost stories. And historicals for that matter. I was intrigued with the idea of blending history with a contemporary romance in the same setting--an ancient castle. The bones jumped-started the premise.

Kimberley Troutte said...

Someone contacted me saying that she couldn't leave a comment, so I'm checking to make sure I didn't break anything.

Anastasia and Cloris will not be happy with me if I did.

Kimberley Troutte said...

I'm still here if anyone has any questions or comments, but before I forget, I want to say thank you to my hosts for having me here.

What a great place to hang out!

Anonymous said...

The recipe sounds yummy. I'm going to give it a go the next time we have company over.

I like genre blended stories. How do you mix history, contemporary and paranomal and manage to tie up all the loose ends?

Kimberley Troutte said...

Hi C.C!

Good question.

I started with the place. The castle was old and full of history that I could research. Since I had visited, it was easier to visualize the castle and put myself in the setting.

The paranormal aspects relate to a ghost that is trapped in the castle's tower and has no recollection as to how she got there. She doesn't realize she is dead, but does understand that time has passed. The tower is mostly the same, but that view outside the window? Wow, has it changed.

I was able to explore the historical elements through the ghost as she and the contemporary heroine piece together what happened five hundred years ago. As the women sort through the clues, history is repeating itself.

A modern day killer is drawing closer.
Will another woman die in this tower?

Thanks for dropping by.


Kimberley, we enjoyed having you and hope you'll come back again.

Deborah Blake said...

I loved seeing how you got your inspiration! And ewwww.....