We had to do something to lift our spirits! The harsh reality of leaving our little Spanish seaside town and returning to the urban jungle that is London was a little hard to bear. Especially as it was raining. I love London but that contrast is too extreme and sudden. So, we decided we’d have a little Spanish night. We got home a little late so we didn’t have alot of time and limited it to two tapas and some Spanish rioja that we had brought back with us. We settled on a a Tortilla Española (or Tortilla de Patatas, Spanish Omelette) and Chorizo cooked in cider.
I have been making tortilla for years, it’s one of my favourite dishes, it takes a little time but you can squeeze it in after work, it’s a relatively low maintenance dish. Chorizo with cider is new, we had chorizo with cider in Andalucia and it was the first time I tried it. It was delicious, the sweetness of the cider combined with the intensity and sharpness of the chorizo. I have cooked it in red wine before so figured it can’t be much different and went with that. Easy peasy, slice the chorizo, fry it in olive oil, add approx. 150 ml cider and a bay leaf or two and braise for 10 minutes or so.
The tortilla requires a little more explanation. In Spain, they cook the potatoes and onion (otional) in about half a litre of olive oil. I haven’t done it that way yet but will soon. For those worried about the grease, don’t worry, they drain it off before adding the eggs :-)
Here’s my version:
500g potatoes, sliced thinly, about half a centimetre or so thick
1 onion, finely sliced – I cut the onion in quarters in slice (alot of recipes prefer fine dice but I like the onion to have a presence)
Extra virgin olive oil, about 50-100 mls or so
S & P (fresh ground preferably)
a frying pan, non stick if you have it, approx 9 inches in diameter
Coat the frying pan in a olive oil, it should be like a little puddle but not too deep, a couple of mm or so.
Heat the oil and add the potatoes and onions. Cook until the potatoes and onions are soft but not brown, over a low to medium heat, about 15-20 minutes or so. Stir frequently as they are starchy and will stick.
Season. Drain off any excess oil (I didn’t have any incidentally but sometimes there is) ensuring that there’s still a little left to stop the tortilla sticking.
Add the egg mixture. it should just cover the potatoes but this will depend on the size of your pan. Add more if you need to.
Beat the eggs and add to the potato and onion mixture. Have a plate ready that exactly covers the frying pan.
Cook over a medium heat until you can see the egg setting at the side. This bit takes a little practrice so take care if it’s your first time, place the plate over the pan and turn it over gently, then slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so and your tortilla should be done. It should still be soft in the centre.
Serve in wedges. Its’ quite popular to serve this on bread or in a sandwich in Spain.
We served it with a nice large glass of rioja and the chorizo in cider on the side.
In northern Spain they like to dice their potatoes for their tortilla.
To get a really nice tortilla that’s eggy in the centre some people turn it a few times.
Tapas talk have a great tortilla recipe on their blog: Tapa of the Week #1 – Tortilla Española
(Apologies for the poor photo, my camera is broken so I borrowed one and it doesn’t do it justice…)