Tortilla (that’s spanish omelette to you)

When I posted that coleslaw I wasn’t joking about there being nothing else in the fridge (apart from beer, obviously) I actually had to go to the shop to get some eggs for this, and I got a green capsicum too.  I know going to the shops isn’t quite in the spirit of making something from whatever’s in the fridge but I do occasionally have to go shopping – I might leave those salad leaves there long enough to turn into sludge and then evolve into something else but I’m pretty sure they’ll never turn into eggs.

Spanish omelette is something my dad used to make and it’s a pretty classic can’t-be-fucked-cooking and we’ve-got-two-potatoes-and-some-eggs kind of meal.  When I was little I didn’t really like it, I can be unreasonable about eggs (poached eggs, you are the bane of my weekend cafe breakfast time) but I think it was because he likes it with tomatoes in and I don’t.

You can put just about anything in, but the classic is potato and onion.  I like mine with potato and green capsicum which is also fairly traditional but I have been know to put in zucchini, can of chickpeas, can of kidney beans, silverbeet…  I also tend to put a smidge of cheese on the top which is also not traditional but whatever, it doesn’t matter.

A note about frying pans – you need either a properly seasoned steel pan like I have or a non-stick pan for this otherwise it will stick to your frying pan and you will cry because cleaning stuck on egg off a frying pan is horrible and it smells bad.

Tortilla – for 2 with maybe a bit for lunch tomorrow

5 eggs[*]
2 potatoes (we only had two, it would take a couple more)
1 green capsicum
1-2 cloves garlic
olive oil – slightly more that you might be comfortable with
Salt and Pepper
bit of cheese, grated

Put enough oil in your frying pan to cover the bottom cleanly to a depth of about 1 ml – maybe 3 TBS.

Slice the potatoes in thin rounds but not so thin that they will snap or mash easily when partially cooked.

Not too thick, not too thin (juuuust riiiight)

Put the potatoes in the pan while the stove is off and the oil is cold.  Using your hands (or a spoon if you’re squeamish but hands are easier) toss the slices of potato in the oil until all surfaces are covered.  I find that coating them in the oil first helps them stick together less as they’re cooking – you could do this in a bowl first if you like (potatoes and oil in the bowl, then pour into the pan)  but why dirty an extra bowl?

Turn on the stove, cook over a moderate heat, stirring every few minutes to rotate the slice-to-bottom-of-the-pan distribution and to make sure they aren’t catching on the surface of the pan.  you could whack a lid on to steam them a little if you like.

Meanwhile – slice the capsicum and the garlic to whatever size is your preference and when the potatoes are starting to soften throw the capsicum and garlic in the pan.

potatoes, capsicum, garlic

Continue to cook until the potatoes are soft enough that if you eat a slice you don’t want to spit it out but it’s still got a bit of bite – we’re going for an edible al dente potato slice.  Turn off the stove, let the vegetables sit in the pan to cool slightly while you wrangle the eggs outta their shells.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, mix with a fork.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  Add the vegetables to the eggs and stir to combine.  Wipe the frying pan out with some paper towel and give it a quick wash if there is anything stuck to the bottom – if not don’t wash it.  Put a little oil in the cleaned out pan, about the same amount as the first lot.  Turn the heat up high and get the pan fairly hot, you don’t want the oil to be smoking but shimmering is good.  Swirl the oil around the pan.  Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan.  It should sizzle pretty loudly and the edges will sort of frizzle up a little so that the tops of the edges cook and are lacy.  Turn the heat down and cook until when you shake the pan the movement of the eggs and the vegetables in the pan is not too jelly like.  This might seem a weird instruction but it will make sense when you see it.  The top still won’t be cooked.

Turn on your griller.  If you don’t have a griller you can do this in a hot oven but remember that you need a frying pan with a handle that can go in the oven.  Grill the top until cooked all the way through, try to position the pan a low as possible, you don’t want a burnt top and raw egg in the middle.  Chuck the cheese on, grill to bubbly brown perfection.  Slide out of pan onto a plate, eat with quick red coleslaw or anything else that takes your fancy.

[*] Organic, free range – we don’t eat a lot of meat or eggs and what we buy is always organic and free range, you can just assume it, I just don’t particularly like harping on about it