Learn to eat seasonally, with friends, in A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis, including recipes for a Tapas Party, like Octopus Salad with Pickled Onions and Pimentón; Potato and Salt Cod Tortilla; Sea Scallops ala Plancha; Black Paella with Squid and Shrimp; and Membrillo and Sheep's-Milk Cheese.
Potato, egg, and onion make tortilla espanola, a delicious, thick frittata-like cake that's a Spanish classic. The best tortillas are homemade—restaurant versions tend to be pretty rubbery. Sometimes other ingredients like chorizo or greens are added. For this all-fish menu, I added shredded salt cod, but it is optional. Two cups of olive oil may seem like a lot, but it serves as a poaching liquid and can be saved and used again to make more tortillas or to cook vegetables.
The tortilla can be prepared several hours ahead of time and held at room temperature. For the best texture and flavor, do not refrigerate or reheat it.
Peel the potatoes and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. slice the onions about the same thickness. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and gently simmer the potatoes and onions, without letting them brown. When the potatoes and onions are soft—about 10 minutes—carefully drain them in a colander, reserving the olive oil.
Spread out the potatoes and onions on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and cool to room temperature.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the shredded cod, if using, and the cooled potato-onion mixture. Stir gently to incorporate.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook gently for 5 minutes, tilting the pan now and then to help the eggs set. Put a dinner plate over the top and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate.
Add a little more oil to the pan, then slip the tortilla back into the pan to cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Flip the tortilla once more and cook for a few more minutes. Insert a small knife into the center of the tortilla to check for doneness—the knife should emerge clean. Put the tortilla on a serving platter and cool to room temperature.
To serve, cut the tortilla into small wedges or squares.
Shred the salt cod with your fingers. Rinse it well in a colander, then soak the cod in a large bowl of cold water for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) to desalinate and soften it. Drain the fish and pat dry.
This page created December 2008
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