Wednesday, August 23
Once again, I find myself posting about my memories of Spanish Food. How strange, since I rarely find myself thinking of the time I spent in Spain. My time in Spain has clearly embedded itself in me through culinary means, which is laughable, since upon my return home from Spain, I lamented to friends and family alike that the food in Spain was pretty boring.
In the south of the country, there is a stubborn adherence to all things traditionally Spanish. The list of tapas bar standards is short, and like any culture, the Spanish have their own classic cuisine based on what was available to them locally, and throughout the years, this cuisine is relied upon to help celebrate the unique heritage and tradition of the Spanish people. Simple grain and bean stews, soups and salads, cured and stewed meats, and plenty of rich egg tortillas were offered on every corner, and these are the dishes that taste of Spain to me.
A Spanish egg tortilla is a rich mixture of eggs, potato, and onion, most traditionally, with the occasional addition of roasted peppers, cheese, or chorizo. Plenty of olive oil contributes to the satisfying texture and mouthfeel of the tortilla, and with a simple salad alongside, it makes for a delicious light dinner. The taste of a tortilla is simple and earthy, sweet with the taste of sauteed onions and potatoes. If you've ever spent time in Spain, this recipe will transport you right back to those streetside tapas bars, drinking Spanish wine and nibbling on Manchego cheese. The taste of this tortilla is Spain, through and through.
Potato and Roasted Bell Pepper Tortilla
Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons salt
¾ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into julienne
¼ inch thick
1 cup grated dry jack or Manchego cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground five pepper blend
2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and
cut into strips 1/4 inch wide
In a 10-inch nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and 1 tsp. of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a small plate.
Return the pan to medium heat and warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add half of the potatoes and 1/2 tsp. of the salt and stir to coat the potatoes evenly. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir again, cover and cook until the potatoes are soft and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a separate plate. Repeat with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, potatoes and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Wipe out the pan with a damp paper towel and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, the remaining 1 tsp. salt and the pepper blend. Add the onion, potatoes and bell peppers and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Set the fry pan over medium heat, pour in the egg mixture and partially cover the pan. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Shake the pan gently to loosen the tortilla. Invert a large plate on top of the pan and invert the pan and plate together. Lift off the pan, letting the tortilla fall onto the plate; be careful as some uncooked egg may spill out. Slide the tortilla, cooked side facing up, back into the pan and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Flip the tortilla out onto another plate and let cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
I became tired of standing over the stove and opted for baking the tortilla in the oven, instead of on the stovetop. If you would prefer to do so, preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you're finishing up the potatoes, pour the egg mixture into a 9-inch pie dish, and bake for about 30 minutes or so. Check the tortilla while baking; it should be firm to the touch, and it will have browned on the edges slightly.