17 November 2008

Potato and Onion Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)

Third in the brunch series.

Aside from the muffins and the laban, I thought I needed something a little more substantial for the brunch. I wasn't expecting anyone to come starving because of the time-frame, but I didn't want anyone to leave hungry. A Spanish omlette seemed like the perfect solution, but given my
history with them I was a little nervous trying it out for company. The Joy of Cooking book that I'd been using had a recipe for one and I decided to give it a try, with a few modifications along the way...

The recipe called for a substantial amount of olive oil (step number one according to a friend who lived in Spain) and a fairly low egg to potato ratio. It also called for cooking first caramelizing the onions onions, then cooking the potatoes in a skillet on the stove. As I had other things to do in the kitchen that night and as I was making a double recipe and felt like getting to bed before 2am, I decided to tempt fate by cooking the potatoes and onions in the oven. I finely sliced the onion, then peeled and sliced the potatoes as thinly as I possibly could. I spread them out over 2 baking sheets (since I did a double recipe) and liberally poured on the olive oil, salt and pepper. I roasted it for about 35 minutes at 400F, stirring every 10 minutes or so for even browning.

Then I beat the eggs in a large bowl and mixed the potato onion mixture with the eggs. I think this was a key step and once I was definitely missing the last time around. This ensures an even coating and that you won't have a really dry section of the tortilla. I heated up my cast iron skillet and trying to silence my inner monologue about trying to reduce fat, poured about a quarter of an inch of olive oil into the pan. I've had disasters in the past combining eggs and cast iron and really did not want to have one at 10pm that night. Once the pan was nearly smoking, I poured in the egg mixture and then turned the heat down. I could see the oil come up around the sides and was duly horrified but the tortilla slid right out of the pan when it was done.

The next morning I warmed the tortilla in the oven, then cut it into wedges and set it out. Judging
from the fact that there were no leftovers, I think everyone liked it.

Potato and Onion Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking: Party Foods

1lb. (450g) potatoes, peeled
1/2 lb. (225g) onion, cut in half and sliced
2 T. (45ml). olive oil (plus more for frying the tortilla)
salt and pepper
5 eggs

- Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the onion in half and slice it into thin half moons. Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly and evenly as you possibly can. Spread the potatoes and onions out on a large pan, pour on 2 T. of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix until everything is evenly coated. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the onion is soft and golden, and the potatoes are beginning to brown. Remove from oven.

- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Carefully add the potatoes and onions to the eggs and stir to coat.

- Put an oven safe skillet over medium high heat with about 1/4 in. (1/2cm) of olive oil in the bottom. When the oil just started to smoke, pour in the onion mixture. Use a spoon to even out the mixture in the skillet and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the tortilla begins to set. Transfer the skillet to the oven and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through (no jiggling eggs when you shake the pan. Carefully slide the tortilla out of the skillet and serve, or cool and refrigerate for the future.

7 comments:

kat said...

When I was in Spain I think this had to be one of my favorite things to eat. Theres nothing better than this cold for a late night treat

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great. I love tortilla espanola!

I know what you mean about silencing that "reduce the fat" monologue. I made savory pies for a dinner of 100 people. The recipes were historical recipes, written when a good layer of blubber was a sign of wealth, and I had to keep kicking myself to find ways to add MORE fat to the recipe! It really is counterintuitive to how we're taught to do things now.

Katerina said...

I love this dish, I have made it a few times but it was never as good as in Spain. I will have to try your recipe next time.

Lynn said...

This looks really good. Often times there are so many sweet dishes at a brunch, I prefer the savory side. I am going to give this a try.

Cynthia said...

Got to give this a try.

Vera said...

I love this thing! And you are right, it's perfect for brunch!

smoke plus smoking blend said...

I know what you mean about silencing that "reduce the fat" monologue. I made savory pies for a dinner of 100 people. The recipes were historical recipes, written when a good layer of blubber was a sign of wealth, and I had to keep kicking myself to find ways to add MORE fat to the recipe!