Thursday, 2 May 2013

T is for Tortilla de Patatas

Spanish tortilla is great summer lunch dish on its own with a salad.

The traditional way of making it is to deep fry the potatoes.  While this adds texture, it piles on the pounds. As a student, I used to buy a bag of fish-shop chips on my way back to my digs to use to make this without having to fry off the potatoes. It was a really quick and cheap dinner alongside some salad and a pork chop.

But most often, I gently pan fry my own potatoes with a lot less fat involved.

  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 brown/white onion, cut in half and each half is finely sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 4 large eggs, very lightly beaten
  • Good pinch of saffron strands (about 10)
  • 4 tblspns veggie oil
  • S&P
If you don't have saffron, don't worry.  The taste is very delicate and most miss it.

  1. Find a frying pan that can be covered a plate
  2. Fry the onion gently in a tablespoon of oil until translucent; remove
  3. Fry the potato gently until soft in another tablespoon of oil (takes about 15-20 minutes)
  4. Drain off any excess oil
  5. Add in the minced garlic and fry for another minute
  6. Decant the contents of the pan and the onion into the bowl of beaten egg: crumble in the saffron strands and season well
  7. Fold everything together very gently

  8. Put the frying pan (empty) back on the hob, add the rest of the oil and heat till hot
  9. Add in the potato-egg mix and push down the top potato bits to flatten
  10. Turn down the heat to a very low setting and cook for 12-15 mins, jiggling the pan every so often to ensure the mix isn't sticking
  11. Now you can flip it or put the pan in the oven at 180° for a further 10 mins (obviously only if your pan is oven proof)
  12. To flip, put a flat plate upside down over the frying pan and very quickly flip both over together pushing the handle down with one hand and holding the plate edges firmly to the pan rim with your other palm splayed out over the bottom of your plate:  The cooked bit should now be facing upwards and you will be left holding the plate in your hand with your hand bent back underneath like a waiter carries a tray
  13. This has to be done quickly otherwise the uncooked egg will leak
  14. Slide the tortilla back into the pan so that the uncooked side is now on the bottom and can finish cooking
  15. (Any slices of egg-potato left on your plate can be slid under the tortilla with a fish slice)
  16. Leave for another 5-10 mins to cook through
  17. Once cooked, flip it onto a clean plate and decide which is the prettiest side (the side cooked first usually does)
  18. Cut out one slice and put a cake slice underneath so people can see the layers; serve with a couple of small sprigs of thyme or parsley in the centre.

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