Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tortilla Española with Chorizo

I know, I know, chorizo isn't actually bacon. But I figured it's been awhile since I updated with an actual recipe, and this really called for chorizo. And chorizo is made of pork (at least I think it is?) so it's kinda the same idea at least. Feel free to sub in bacon if you want.

ANYHOW. Tortilla Española is a kind of potato egg and onion omelet. Its typically served over bread, sliced into wedges. It is delicious. My friend Russ was mentioning how much he loved it the other day, and it inspired me to try making it myself. It turns out to be kind of difficult, at least for me, mainly because anything that involves trying to flip an omelet is difficult for me. The recipe is sort of improvised; I googled it and then made it up as I went along. In the process, I used:

5 (very) small potatoes
1 onion
4 eggs
a few slices of chorizo
garlic salt, pepper, olive oil

Cut the potatoes into slices that are maybe 1/4 inch thick. The recipes I found said to do the same with the onions, and I did, but I think next time I'll dice 'em, actually. Pour a goodly amount of olive oil into a pan and set it on medium low heat. Put in a layer of potatoes, sprinkle liberally with salt, then add a layer of onions, more potatoes (and salt), onions, you get the idea. I happen to think potatoes are terrible without salt, so I used plenty of it. Note here that the heat remains on medium low - you're trying to cook the potatoes, not deep fry them. They shouldn't be sticking to the pan. If you cover them, they actually take less than 10 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat em with some pepper. When the potatoes are ready, dump the potatoes and onions into the egg bowl. Chop the chorizo and fry it a bit in the pan. Turn up the heat a bit and add some more oil. Then pour the potato egg onion mixture on top. Use a spatula to prevent the egg from sticking to the sides.

Now comes the tricky part. Once the whole thing appears to be 3/4 cooked, ie, the top is fairly solid, if you are a very brave person, you can try to flip the omelet. If you are somewhat trepidatious, as indeed you should be, get another pan of roughly the same size, put a bit of olive oil into it, heat it up, and then put it on top of your other pan and try to do the flip that way. It mostly worked for me, though it turned out that I hadn't been as good with the spatula as I thought, and parts of the creation stuck to the pan, leading to the loss of a few brave potatoes. Let us remember them a moment in silence.

Anyhow, so here's what it looked like then:

Which, aside from the slightly flawed surface, is basically what it should look like. Ideally, you should then only need to finish cooking the other side and then flip it onto a plate. Unfortunately, the next step didn't go nearly as well. I think, actually, I may have used too few eggs - another one or two might be wise - so the top part wasn't eggy enough. Or maybe I didn't cook it quite long enough. In any case, what happened was this:

The good news is though - it was still totally delicious.


Anonymous said...

Wow, it looks frikkin' awesome.

Oddly enough, the classic spanish omelet is almost entirely potato, with just a little bit of egg to keep it together (Although I feel you on wanting a little egg). If you want to try that I would cook everything together on very low heat with a cover to kind of seal everything together, and then flip with the two pans as you did. And then let it get ice cold (like put it in the fridge) and put it out after everything is hardened to come back to room temperature. In spain these things just sit out like pies until they're eaten in glass dishes.

I've also heard of variations that blend butter with the olive oil at the beginning, which sounds righteous. Now I gotta go buy potatoes.


Anonymous said...

Typically I find that using one more egg than potato works best. Also, using a 9 or 10" frying pan with straight sides will give you the best shape. As far as flipping? Make sure you have a nonstick surface and plenty of oil. The Spanish typically flip using a plate over the top. It'll turn out perfect every time as long as your pan is good. Good luck!

culture_vulture said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
culture_vulture said...

Yeah, I was thinking the pan is pretty key. I'm not quite enough of a grownup yet to have the proper kitchenware for everything, unfortunately, so I improvise a lot.