2015. It’s hard to not ring in a new year without reflecting on the past one. I’m not usually one for resolutions, but goals. Some say they are the same but they are not. Goals are specific, measurable, achievable. They are realistic. And they should be accomplished within a given time frame. Although I didn’t accomplish all of my goals in 2014, I progressed on both professional and personal levels in ways I did not anticipate.
I have always believed that action meets opportunity. Even a step in the wrong direction can bring you important information. One key is to keep moving. Another is to focus on the action, not the result. We are often so focused on reaching that brass ring that we forget it’s the journey that counts more than the destination. I have also found that when I am too focused on the end result it remains elusive. The more I want something, the more it seems to slip through my fingers. Focusing on the action carries a different energy.
Whatever you create from this place–whether it be art or photography or a menu for a dinner party–you can’t help but be more relaxed about it. You’re in the zone. You’re paying attention. And likely you are enjoying the process. Exactly one year ago on this blog, I wrote a reviews of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, in which he writes: ” We must do our work for it’s own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” Most of us do our work for some form of one of those.
This year I have several goals related to my photography and writing, but I also have one resolution and that is to focus on the action, not the result. As someone who is very results-driven, this is really new for me. It will be interesting to look back on 2015 to see the affects of this resolution. I think it’s a better one than the tired eat-less-exercise-more sort of resolutions I used to make.
In the meantime, I offer you these Patatas Bravas with Egg, Spinach and Crispy Prosciutto. I have these often for lunch. Sometimes I have them for breakfast. I had always liked patatas bravas with their crispy skins and smoky Spanish paprika flavour but they have always been just a tapa, until I cracked an egg in the middle and added some prosciutto crisped in the oven for texture and tongue tickling saltiness. Spinach wilted in olive oil and garlic complemented the other ingredients by adding texture–and some antioxidants!
Here is wishing you a joyous, prosperous and healthy 2015.
Patatas Bravas with Egg, Spinach and Crispy Prosciutto
900g baby potatoes/32 ounces, scrubbed
8 slices prosciutto
4 large eggs
120g/4 ounces/4 (packed) cups baby spinach leaves
150ml/2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
pinch chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons oil for frying
sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Boil potatoes in salted water for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, or until cooked.
2) Fry spinach in 1/3 of the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the oil; season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
3) In a small bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, the rest of the garlic, half the chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes.
4) Fry potatoes in remaining olive oil until they are crispy and golden brown on the outside, working in two batches if necessary.
5) Place prosciutto on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake in the oven for about five minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy. Remove to a paper towel.
6) Pour olive oil mixture on potatoes and store to coat, frying for a couple of minutes more t meld the flavours together.
7) Place potatoes in oven proof bowl or tapas dishes, leaving a well in the centre; fill each with 1/4 of the spinach. Crack an egg into the well, on top of the spinach. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil from the pan.
8) Bake in the oven until the egg whites are set, about 15 minutes. Garnish with the rest of the rosemary and extra salt and pepper. Serve piping hot with crusty bread.