Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tortilla Española

Okay - it's almost Friday! There are so many things I'd love to try in the kitchen this weekend...I wish I had more than two days! Tonight, I wanted to whip up something easy and healthy. It's not quite as easy as just scrambling a couple of eggs (breakfast for dinner, anyone?), but the extra effort is worth it. I really believe cooking is a true form of relaxation and meditation - I completely agree with Dana Velden's piece here. I'm often tempted to grab the first thing I see after coming home from the hospital (residency can put you on autopilot like that). I'm not denying that healthy, quick options exist, but I often find that the benefits of cooking extend far beyond just the food. For example, tonight, it allowed me to connect with my husband (who has been incredibly busy lately) in the coziness of our warm kitchen. While I chopped and sautéed, we chatted - and something as simple as that can make the night wonderful.

Ok, let's get down to business. Not only is this is an incredibly simple recipe to make, it is infinitely flexible. A tortilla española, otherwise known as a Spanish omelette, is frequently served hot or cold as a tapas dish. These delicious omelettes are traditionally made with potatoes, onion, and egg and cooked in a rich olive oil. As you'll soon see,  however, you can add pretty much whatever you like to tailor it to your tastes - I went with sliced red peppers and some sautéed mushrooms. If you want meat, chorizo could be wonderful too, but the limit is really your imagination! 

If there's one thing I love about recipes, it's healthiness and simplicity. It doesn't get much better than this: eggs & veggies - a winning combination of protein + fiber & nutrient-packed veggies! Pair this with a small side salad, or even better, convert your leftovers into a hearty sandwich (I can picture this between slices of a chewy whole grain baguette...mmm). If you find that you just can't stop adding things, simply increase the number of beaten eggs so that the tortilla is rounded out (no lumps and bumps please!)

As a forewarning, the only challenging part of cooking this omelet is inverting it. Once you have added the egg to the other cooked ingredients, you'll want to let it cook through until the egg at the surface is almost set. At this point, you'll want to slide the omelette out of the pan (onto a separate plate), invert it, and return it to the pan so it can finish cooking. We had a little accident here - let's just say that this omelette needed a little reconstructive surgery - but it was nevertheless delicious. 

 Tortilla Española

preparation time: approximately 30 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 onion (white preferred, yellow will work too), chopped

3 red potatoes, sliced thin (approximately 1/4 inch)

2 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium red bell pepper, sliced (optional)

1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms (optional)


1. Heat 12 inch skillet over low-medium heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant

2. Add chopped onion and sliced potatoes to the skillet. Add 2 tsp paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until potatoes are soft and onion is translucent

3. Add bell pepper to skillet; cook until slightly tender, but still crisp

4. Increase heat to medium; add beaten eggs to the mixture. Let eggs cook until almost completely set (keep an eye on the omelette here; if you're not careful and your heat is set too high, you'll risk burning it)

5. Transfer omelette to separate plate. Invert and return to pan. Cook until egg is set all the way through

If you try this out, I'd love to hear what chose to incorporate! Relish in the fact that you've taken the time to try something new and created something healthy, delicious, and nourishing! 


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