New! I’m excited to start adding nutrition information to some recipes on NCK, starting with this one. Scroll down to the recipe for more info!
The first time I ever tried a “tortilla” that wasn’t flat and pliable and in the form of tacos, a burrito, a quesadilla, or other Mexican fare was at a favorite, long-standing tapas bar here in Stamford. I was, most likely, two or three glasses of wine deep at that juncture, so I don’t remember the exact circumstances. All I can say is, I fell in love, and now I can’t step foot in the place without ordering my other favorite kind of tortilla.
So what does a Spanish tortilla entail? It’s essentially some combination of omelet and frittata, usually the simple union of tender potatoes, olive oil, and eggs, most often pan fried to perfection. I’ve seen it mostly served in pie-like slices, although I’ve been known to cut similar potato frittatas into bite-size squares. At Barcelona (the bar, not the city), it’s served with the most addictive garlic sour cream, the perfect light, tangy counterpart to rich eggs and potatoes, which may be the reason I fell in love with potato tortilla in the first place. Let’s just say that if it was socially acceptable to lick the plate clean of the sour cream, you would find me face down in it.
Like the chickpea cazuela from the same restaurant, it was only a matter of time before I had to recreate my favorite Spanish potato omelet at home. Easier said than done. Omelets are a definite culinary weakness of mine–I don’t like anything that has to be flipped in the pan. And with the tortilla, you’re making one big one for everyone to share. It’s not like pancakes, where if you ruin one there are still plenty of tries left. More like make it or break it, one shot only.
After trying a couple of versions with moderately successful flips, I put potato tortilla ingredients on my shopping list for a weeknight dinner recently, ready to play with the format. I ended up with mini potato tortillas, one for everybody, that bake in the oven, don’t require a flip (hallelujah), and pop right out of the ramekins for serving, so you’re not having to constantly warn people that their dish is super hot and they cannot hold onto it while trying to dig out a bite.
These little potato omelets came out so well that I actually settled for plain sour cream. I didn’t even miss the garlic stuff, or, more accurately, it kept my sour cream intake in check.
A brand new thing! I’m going to start including nutrition information for some of the recipes on NCK. It’s a long, complicated story, but in the past I haven’t been the biggest fan of nutrition facts, especially counting calories and fat, if you’re eating a generally healthy diet. But, I’m starting to pay more attention to certain aspects of my (mostly meatless) diet, like protein, calcium, and iron intake, and I know that y’all may be interested in different parts of the nutrition facts. Take ’em or leave ’em, but I hope a few of you find them useful!
- Olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced thin
- 2 medium (about 1 lb.) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced
- 6 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
- Kosher or sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 5 eggs
- 2 T cream, milk, or non-dairy milk
- ¾ C grated Monterey jack cheese (or another mild, soft cheese)
- Sour cream and fresh herbs (optional), for serving
- 2 large (2 cup) or 4 medium (1 cup) ramekins or other small baking dishes
- Place ramekins or baking dishes on a baking sheet and set on middle rack of oven. Set oven to preheat to 375 (F).
- Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Add garlic slices and cook, stirring, often, until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve. Add potatoes to the oil, turn up heat to just above medium, and stir to coat the slices in oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices are completely tender, with a few starting to fall apart. Remove to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. If pan is dry, add another splash of oil, then add onions and cook until beginning to brown. Remove to bowl with potatoes, and add more salt and pepper. Add olives to the bowl with the potatoes and onions.
- In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk eggs, cream, cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper until eggs are well beaten. Once potatoes have cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, add egg mixture and toss gently to coat, without breaking too many of the potatoes.
- Remove ramekins from oven and lightly oil (careful not to burn yourself) or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly pour potato and egg mixture into ramekins, using a spoon to press the potatoes flat. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until just set in the center, if using the larger ramekins. For smaller ramekins, start checking at 10 minutes. Cool about 5 minutes, then run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edge and working a little into the bottom of the ramekins. Place each serving plate upside down over each ramekin, then invert (wearing an oven mitt). The potato tortilla should pop right out onto the plate. Serve with sour cream (and fresh herbs, if you have some on hand)
Nutrition facts are for four servings, without extra sour cream.
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