This weekend we celebrated Tom’s mom birthday. In fact her birthday is tomorrow, but we decided to throw her a dinner party today. During this whole let’s plan a birthday party dinner, it totally slipped my mind to try to come up with a menu that incorporate the Gutsy Cook choices of the week. And she had already requested a specific menu: Mainly latin - as in black beans, rice, plantain and shredded beef [Carne Mechada] - recipes coming for those soon.
I knew there was no way I could stick the cod in tomato sauce in there. Maybe the Spanish Vegetable Tortilla?
Why not? It could work as an appetizer, so it became part of the menu.
But, of course Tom then asked me if I was going to make “arepas” since his mother never tasted them. The tortilla went out the window and got killed off the menu.
The tribe has spoken, sorry tortilla.
I told myself that I was going to have to make it on Monday and post late.
But then Saturday, after a major house cleaning mode, we got hungry and the light bulb went off and bang! The Spanish vegetable tortilla was back in play. Except with a couple of tweaks - because I did not have peas or broccoli, which the original recipe called for. Instead I had everything to make a simple Tortilla de papata - Potato Tortilla, which is the most original Spanish tortilla in Spain. They eat it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, as tapas, as party food - This tortilla is the chameleon of the food world folks, you can add stuff, take out stuff and it will never fail you to turn out delicious.
I call that a great team player.
After many years of making tortillas, I learned a couple little tips:
- The shape and size of your pan is important, you will need a pan with rounded sides that is about 9” inches in diameter. Also use a pan that is non-stick, with sides that are at least 2 inches high.
- Make sure you cut the potatoes all the same size, trust me this makes a difference. I usually cut them into quarters lengthwise and slice. Using a small paring knife, then cut the potato into little pyramid shaped pieces.
- You can also make this in advance, it will be good the next day
Spanish Vegetable Tortilla
Adapted from The Kitchen Bible
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 5 medium baking potatoes, such as russet or Burbank, peeled and cut into ¾ in (2cm) cubes or into little pyramid shape pieces.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a nonstick 9”-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, add some salt, stir and cook until translucent.
- Turn the heat up to medium and add the potatoes, season with a bit more salt and pepper, while you fold everything together, then turn the heat down to medium low, cover and let cook. Check the potatoes occasionally to make sure they are not getting any color, if so turn the heat down a bit.
- When the potatoes are almost done, check for seasoning. The potatoes will take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes to cook. Once the potatoes are cooked remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes and onions to the eggs. Add the vegetables as well if using at this point, gently stir.
- Wipe out the pan with paper towels.
- Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in the pan over high heat. Pour in the egg mixture, reduce the heat to low, and smooth the surface. As soon as the sides of the tortilla start to cook give the pan a bit of a shake to make sure the bottom is not sticking. Then once the egg starts to set, fold the sides in slightly. As soon as the edges of the tortilla start to brown, flip the tortilla using a large flat plate.
- Place the frying pan back onto the stove and drizzle with a bit more oil. Slide the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan and tuck the sides under. Cook on medium heat for another 3 to 5 minutes. Use a large plate to flip the tortilla out of the pan.
- Allow the tortilla to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
If you want to add the vegetables: Add ½ cup fresh or frozen peas and 1 cup small broccoli florets and to cook them before incorporating them into the tortilla. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and boil for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Use a wire sieve to transfer the peas to a bowl of cold water. Return the pan to a boil, add the broccoli, and boil for 4 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer the broccoli to the peas and cool. Drain the vegetables together and pat dry with paper towels.
I served it with a simple salad of butter lettuce with a refreshing lemon dressing
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 2 tsp sugar, or honey
- 1/2 tsp grey salt - can substitute with 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- In a medium bowl, crush the garlic, add the lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Then slowly whisk in the oil.
- When you are ready to serve spoon a few tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and mix.
- This will make more dressing than you need, but it will last for quite a few days in the refrigerator and it’s a great everyday dressing.
- Because the tortilla has such simple flavors, try to use a really good extra virgin olive oil for the dressing as it will stand out nicely against the tortilla.
Tom - “great lunch! it was light and filling at the same time. Also we will have plenty of left over for breakfast tomorrow.
Me - I love tortilla, is one of those quick meals that work no matter what. Plus, you can pretty much clean out the fridge of leftovers and add anything to it and it will just work. They are also great as sandwich filling.
You can mousy over and check out the other Gutsy Cooks blogs and see what they came up with.