Visitors to the Downtown Market got the opportunity to taste what’s possible from market vendors Saturday.
Manuel Hernandez, executive chef at Gella's/Lb Brewing Co., hit the street market to make a Spanish tortilla.
Hernandez mostly used prepared ingredients for the omelette — cooked potatoes and onions, chorizo, roasted red peppers — but he also purchased examples at the market that morning and used eggs from Svaty’s Produce and basil from Bethesda Place in his demonstration.
The recipe is one that can use different ingredients, Hernandez said.
“Instead of chorizo, you can add bacon, you can add pancetta, or if you want to go to the next level, you can add prosciutto on it,” he said.
“The recipe is just a guideline,” he told the crowd.
The demonstration was to show people the variety of produce available locally and offer some new ideas on how to use it, he said.
“Beautiful little things, and very cheap,” he said.
“These things, $1. Really,” he said as he picked up the large bunch of basil he purchased from Randy Edwards at Bethesda Place’s booth. “In Dillon’s for 4 ounces, you pay $4. And you didn’t even know where it came from. I know these guys.”
Hernandez said Gella’s also uses farm-fresh eggs and showed the gathered crowed their difference from store-bought eggs by cracking one of each in separate bowls.
“These eggs are so beautiful for pastry, for baking, for cooking. The yolk is so rich,” he said.
“This one is a little more pale,” he said, showing the store-bought egg.
Hernandez poured the mixture of eggs, vegetables and herbs in a cast-iron skillet to fry in oil. As the tortilla became set, he flipped it in the pan, garnering cheers from the crowd.
To finish, he spooned some marinara sauce on a display plate and topped the tortilla with slices of parmesan cheese, chopped basil and greens.
Hernandez brought out prepared samples, including a vegetarian version for the crowd to taste.
“Delicious,” said Laura Ellison, Ellis. “It was awesome. A great thing for Saturday morning.”