A Spanish omelet – or tortilla – is a considerably more robust and substantial creation than the light and fluffy French style omelets. The drawback of this is that they take considerably longer to cook than their French counterparts but the results more than justify the extra time and effort. While the principal ingredients of a Spanish omelet are usually only eggs, potatoes and onions, this recipe expands the concept a little bit further for extra tasty results. Although delicious served hot, Spanish omelets are very often left to cool completely and eaten cold, perhaps as a tasty and unexpected treat for a picnic on a hot summer‘s day.
Ingredients (serves six)
1lb starchy potatoes, peeled and cut to 1” chunks
½ lb Spanish onions, peeled and quartered
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in to strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in to strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 large eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp roughly chopped basil leaves
Pour the olive oil in to a large, deep, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the potatoes and the onions and essentially but very gently stir fry for a couple of minutes until all the pieces are evenly coated with oil. Put the lid on the pan and leave it alone for twenty minutes to steam cook the potatoes.
Just before the potatoes and onions are done, the eggs should be beaten in a large bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper. Strain the contents of the pan over a second large bowl, reserving the olive oil. Carefully add the potatoes, onion, bell peppers and basil to the egg mix and stir in a folding motion to fully combine.
Return the olive oil to the pan and bring back up to a medium heat. Pour the egg and vegetable mixture in to the pan, slowly but steadily, so as not create spills or splashes. Cook for four or five minutes, frequently easing the cooking egg free from the sides of the pan with a spatula.
When you can see by looking at the omelet that the egg is set most of the way up, it is time to turn it. This is a little bit awkward and you should be careful not to burn yourself or spill the omelet.
Take the pan briefly from the stove and sit it on a heatproof surface. Use your spatula to ensure the egg is not sticking anywhere around the edge of the pan. Lay a plate larger than the pan over the top and – using a thick towel or oven gloves to protect your hands – invert the pan that the uncooked side of the omelet is on the bottom of the plate. Return the pan to the heat and simply slide the omelet back in to cook for a further four or five minutes on its second side.
When the Spanish omelet is done, slide it from the pan on to a plate, cover and leave to cool at least partially before slicing like a cake in to six portions. Serve immediately with salad or cool completely and pack with the remaining components of your picnic.