Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tortilla Española with Spicy Brava Sauce


This one's for anyone on the East Coast currently facing an almost bare pantry in the wake of Sandy. If you've got eggs, onions and potatoes you've got a meal. I tend to make this recipe when I've got a bunch of eggs that are about to expire.

Tortilla Española is one of my favorite traditional Spanish dishes, and I add a little spicy brava sauce on the side to give it a little extra kick.

For the tortilla española, you'll need:
- 6 eggs
- 1 yellow/vidalia onion
- 1 lb yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil

For the brava sauce, you'll need:
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 yellow/vidalia onion
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne/red pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced or whole tomatoes (you'll be pureeing it, so it all ends up the same)
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbs hot sauce, your choice


Yes, this takes 1/2 cup of olive oil but fear not, you'll end up straining about 1/4 cup off so don't feel too guilty about it! Overall you're only looking at...

Calories: 165 for 1/8 of the omelette, 10 calories per tablespoon for the brava sauce

Potatoes, onions and olive oil = GOOD

To Make the Tortilla Española

1. Quarter and thinly slice the onion and potatoes. The more uniformly everything is sliced the more evenly cooked your overall dish will be. Place into a large non-stick skillet with the olive oil and turn the burner to medium heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Note that you can really use whatever potatoes and onions you'd like or have on hand, but I like the sweetness in the yellow onions and yukon golds, plus the yellow potatoes tend to cook more easily.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Once the time is up on the potatoes and onions, pour from the pan to a colander over the sink. Shake it to remove excess oil, then pour the potato and onion mixture into the eggs. Stir mixture so that all the potatoes are evenly coated with the eggs.

4. Return the mixture to the pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, and I mean 5 MINUTES. Time that and watch is like a hawk. No comes the hard part...

5. You're going to need to place a plate over the top of the pan and in one quick, steady movement flip the mixture onto the plate. This takes guts, and you've got to just trust yourself and do it quickly. If you try to flip it slowly, you'll get egg everywhere.

6. Now gently slide the half cooked egg mixture back into the pan with the uncooked side down. Cook for another 5 minutes, almost exactly. Remove and set on a plate or cutting board and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. Traditionally this dish is served at at least room temperature, and I personally like it a bit chilled.

Ta da! You've got a Spanish dish!


To Make the Brava Sauce:

1. Dice the onions and saute them with the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they are softened.

2. Add the garlic, diced, along with the paprika and red pepper. Stir so the seasonings evenly coat the onions. Cook for another minute or so.

3. Pour in the canned tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water. As mentioned it doesn't really matter if you have whole or diced or crushed tomatoes, because everything will be pureed later on. Stir in the sugar, add a little salt, and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. The liquid should almost entirely evaporate.

Tomatoes before.

Tomatoes after being cooked down.

4. Pour the tomato mixture into a blender or food processor. Add the vinegar and hot sauce. The recipe I stole this from calls for "a few dashes" of hot sauce, which was laughable to me. I add about a tablespoon of Sriracha and a tablespoon of Frank's Red Hot. Puree the mixture until smooth. Serve on the side of the tortilla española or with fried potatoes as a side for another night. This is ketchup's fancy, kick ass, older cousin. The cousin that buys you booze over Thanksgiving break and gives you their old driver's license before you head to college even though you look nothing alike.

The finished product - a bright, spicy brava sauce.

So next time you're about to throw away a bunch of eggs, spend $4 on potatoes and onions and make this super delicious, good at any time dish.

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