Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tortilla Espanola, in Spain it's a Spanish Omelette~

In Mexico Tortillas are disks of either corn or flour flat bread to be served with food tucked into them.  In Spain a Tortilla is an entirely different matter. The Espanola is an egg dish filled with potatoes & served either hot or cold.  It may be served as an appetizer in a Tapas bar or a main dish at home.  My first education about the Spanish Tortilla was in a Miami Beach Tapas restaurant believe it or not. (at last count Miami has at least 8 Tapas restaurants) My husband had lived in Spain & was thrilled to find a Tapas restaurant & introduce the family to one of his favorite foods.  Since then I have been captivated by this easy mainstream dish from Spain. Tales of this dish differ on where the Tortilla Espanola originated however all seem to agree that it dates back to the early 1800's. Historically speaking it was said to gain popularity during wartime as a way to feed a crowd with few handy & wholesome ingredients. The dish is both easy & quick to put on the table.

Tortilla Espanola ~ Spanish Tortilla
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
1 whole yellow onion, sliced
5-6 large eggs
1 cup Spanish Chorizo, sliced into rounds
3  cups loosely chopped Swiss Chard
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8" thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook.

Peel and chop the onion into 1/4" pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture.

In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn, next add chorizo slices & cook 3-4 more minutes or till sausage browns slightly.

Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.

Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a medium, frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.

When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Add chopped swiss chard & use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes. If chard needs wilting more broil it for 1-2 minutes or till nicely wilted.

Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve a wedge of the Tortilla with sliced pickle, marinated mushrooms, fruit or a piece of crusty bread & a glass of wine.


Angie's Recipes said...

I had once Spanish omelette when I was in Manila and it was really looked nothing like flavoursome, appetizing and WOWED!

Dee said...

Thank you, Angie. I imagine in Manila they have a marvelous Tortilla Espanola.