Thursday, March 1, 2007

Potato Gypsy's Arm

I am clearly no master of the jelly roll. But that's what a "gypsy's arm" is. In Spain the jelly roll is known as "brazo de gitano" or arm of the gypsy. Today I made the Potato Gypsy's Arm from The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen. I just had to make it simply because of the fun name.

In this savory version, you use mashed potatoes to wrap up various fillings. Lots of Spanish goodies are inside such as anchovies, good canned tuna, red peppers and olives. According to the author, this dish is similarly as popular in Spain as the Tuna Casserole is in America.

I had a bit of a hard time making this one. It was all just kind of messy. I have no idea why the author had peel the potatoes after they were boiled - I broke my potato peeler! And the jelly rolling didn't go very well. I got it most of the way but it fell into pieces at the end. I just mushed it all back together and then slathered it with the sauce before popping it into the fridge to firm up.

Look for the Jihva for POTATO roundup after March 1st at Happy Burp.

Potato Gypsy's Arm
Brazo de Gitano de Patata
(serves 4 to 6)

For the Potatoes:
2 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)

For the Roll:
6 ounces imported solid oil-pakced tuna, or 1 can (6 ounces) Bumble Bee tonno in olive oil, drained and flaked

1 medium-size tomato, finely chopped

1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, plus more for decorating the roll

6 to 7 piquillo peppers (from a can or jar), or 3 to 4 pimientos, drained and slivered, plus more for decorating the roll

8 to 10 best-quality oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged

1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellman's)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 large garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press

Boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Let potatoes cool and then peel. Combine in a bowl with milk and olive oil and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Place a 15-inch piece of waxed paper on a large baking sheet. Spread mashed potatoes onto waxed paper in a thin rectangle approximately 15 x 12 inches. Even scatter the tuna, tomato, olives, piquillo peppers, anchovies and parsley all over the rectangle. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle vinegar on top. Starting at the long end, roll the potatoes up jelly-roll fashion, using the waxed paper to shape the roll without catching the edge of the waxed paper in it. When roll is finished, slide the waxed paper out from under it. Pinch together any tears in the potato roll.

Combine mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to mix and season with salt to taste. Spread the mayonnaise mixture all over the roll and decorate with extra piquillo pepper and olive slices. Place the roll in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours. To serve, cut the roll into thick slices.


Erin said...

Those are all ingrediants that I love on their own so I'm quite certain I'd adore them all rolled together. Green olives are definitely one of my top 5 favorite things to eat. I hope to try this recipe at some point in the future. Yum Yum!

Brilynn said...

That name is great, I'd make it for that reason alone too! Plus it's filled with all sorts of tasty things!

Freya said...

The name is great! Makes me want to buy the book for that recipe alone! It looks wonderful too!

rachel said...

Erin - Green olives are one of my favs too! And they were perfect in this.

Brilynn - the flavors are definately and all strong themselves.

Freya - this is the first recipe I made from this book but just flipping through I found a ton I want to try.

Mar Calpena said...

Hi, Rachel, just two cents as a Spaniard. Whereas this is not quite on a par to what the tuna casserole means for Americans in terms of popularity, this kind of conoction is quite popular in summer. Now, the name Gipsy arm usually refers these days to any food that comes in a roll shape, but originally it only referred to a whipped cream cake (much as a jelly roll), glazed with burnt creme brulee (which gave the cake it's name- Gipsy arm, because of the tan colour).

Mar Calpena said...

By the way, you can see a photo of a tradicional "BraƧ de gitano" (that's in Catalan) here:

and here

rachel said...

Cool Mar! Thanks for posting. The cookbook did say that the Gypsy's Arm was originally named after dessert. It also said this is kind of kitschy like tuna casserole. No matter - it was interesting for me!

Anonymous said...

by 'peel' it meant that you should just be able to peel the skin off the potato with your fingers once boiled, it should honestly almost fall off. no need for a peeler!

Nuria said...

It might help to add a little bit of butter instead of oil to the potatoes. My mum does it that way and usually potatoes stick together pretty well. As Mar said, this is quite popular in summer time in Catalonia (I didn't know it also was in the rest of Spain). But I love it all around the year. There is another version with warm meat inside for colder seasons also.