THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
COOKING

Tortilla and Frittata

A Spanish classic and its Italian cousin.

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Adam Ried
March 30, 2008

Many aficionados of Spanish tapas would say that tortilla espanola, the thick, well-browned omelet of eggs and potatoes cooked with extra-virgin olive oil, is the most ubiquitous of all the small plates served in that country. Filling and lush, the dish is also sturdy, transportable, and intended to be eaten at room temperature. Those qualities make it well suited to all manner of occasions, from spiffy buffets to casual brunches to picnics in the woods. For years, I've found it be the perfect offering to happy friends just home with a new baby, sad friends who have lost a loved one, sick friends in need of sustenance, and new neighbors, exhausted from the move and staring into an empty fridge.

Frittatas are even easier to make because they don't have to be flipped in the pan. And while almost all tortillas are filled with potatoes, a frittata is a blank slate waiting to be filled with the goodies of your choice.

TORTILLA ESPANOLA
SERVES 6

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 Yukon Gold potatoes (2 pounds), peeled and very thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
9 eggs
3 tablespoons chicken broth

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until very hot. Carefully add the potatoes, turn them to coat with oil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer the potatoes (the oil should burble gently), frequently turning and separating the slices to ensure even cooking, until they begin to get tender, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and continue cooking in the same manner until the potatoes are fully tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Set a metal colander in a large bowl, pour the potato mixture into the colander, and drain thoroughly. Return 1 tablespoon of the collected oil to the skillet, and reserve the rest for another use.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the broth until foamy. Add the potatoes and stir to thoroughly coat the slices with egg. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and heat until the oil shimmers. Pour the egg-and-potato mixture into the skillet and, using a silicone spatula, push the potatoes into an even layer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, without stirring, until eggs begin to set around the edges, about 1 minute. Carefully work the spatula between the cooked egg and the skillet sides and, going around the skillet, gently nudge the edge of the tortilla and tilt the pan so that uncooked egg runs into the gap. When the edges of the tortilla have reset, again gently work the spatula between the tortilla and the skillet sides and gingerly shake the pan to loosen the tortilla. Continue cooking in this manner until the top of the tortilla is slightly wet but not runny and the bottom browned, about 6 minutes.

Following the directions in "Kitchen Aide," flip the tortilla, then continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until a toothpick stuck into the center of the tortilla comes out dry, about 5 minutes longer. Slide the tortilla onto a platter, allow it to cool for 15 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature.

HEARTY SAUSAGE FRITTATA
SERVES 6

9 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
12 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, Parmesan, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, and set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet with a heat-proof handle, over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms start to shrink, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened and the mushrooms have browned, about 4 minutes longer. Distribute the mixture evenly in the pan, pour in the egg mixture, and cook, without stirring, until edges begin to set and bubbles begin to appear in the center, about 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the center is set and the frittata has puffed, about 14 minutes. Loosen the edges with a silicone spatula, slide the frittata onto a platter, allow it to cool for 15 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.

FRITTATA WITH FRESH HERBS AND FONTINA
SERVES 6

9 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons mixed minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, dill, mint, or tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 ounces fontina cheese, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, Parmesan, herbs, salt, and pepper, and set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet with a heat-proof handle, over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, until edges begin to set and bubbles begin to appear in the center, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the fontina evenly over the eggs, transfer the skillet to the oven, and cook until the center is set and the frittata has puffed, about 14 minutes. Loosen the edges with a silicone spatula, slide the frittata onto a platter, allow it to cool for about 15 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Send comments or suggestions to Adam Ried at cooking@globe.com.

Is a slice of potato-packed tortilla espanola , served with a salad, better for lunch or dinner? Is a slice of potato-packed tortilla espanola, served with a salad, better for lunch or dinner? (Photo by Jim Scherer, styling by Catrine Kelty)

more stories like this

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
 
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Del.icio.us Save this article
  • powered by Del.icio.us
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: Boston.com does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.