International Spanish Tortilla / recipe

A traditional Spanish tapas snack, tortilla is served hot or cold and at its very basic level consists of potatoes, onions and eggs cooked together to form a sort of omelet or quiche. A few weeks ago my Beloved attempted a very complicated tortilla recipe that involved two whole cups of olive oil and several hours to create. That’s too much time for me. I simply do not possess the patience for a breakfast that soon becomes lunch. Which is why I was thrilled this morning to find myself with leftover roasted potatoes and a free half hour slot in my day. I was going to try to make this dish again in my own Leftover City-style.

I’m a big believer in “use what you have” recipes. Which is why this one is being called International Spanish Tortilla. While inspired by the Ham and Thyme Tortilla featured in Fran Warde’s Simply Delicious Food, this tortilla became a United Nations of sorts when I threw in ingredients from other countries such as the sausage, mozzarella and cheddar.

What was available:
2 cups roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary (cold, from last night’s dinner) sliced thin
5 eggs
1/4 cup half and half
2 links sweet Italian sausage, defrosted and cubed
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chopped fresh parsley
EVOO, salt & pepper

What I did with it:
I preheated the broiler and adjusted the rack in the oven to position my cast-iron skillet close to the coils. Putting the skillet on the stove I threw in some EVOO (about 1/4 cup), the sweet Italian sausage and the onions slices then sauteed them on medium for several minutes until the onions were soft and starting to brown. While this was cooking I sliced up the cold, cooked potatoes using my chef’s knife as the mandolin kept catching and tearing my potatoes.

In a separate bowl I combined the 5 eggs with the half and half then whisked it together, adding a dash of salt and pepper. Once the onions were ready, I threw the potato slices into the skillet, blended them in with the onion and sausage, then poured the egg mixture over the top.

Using a flat spatula I pressed the potatoes down to create a more even surface on top. I lowered the heat to Medium-Low and sprinkled the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses over the top plus a light sprinkling of parsley.

Then I walked away from it, thinking it needed to cook for 8 minutes to let the eggs set and cook from the bottom up. After only 4 minutes I smelled something burning and rushed to the stove where a large erupting bubble of egg was sputtering at me. I immediately pulled it off of the heat, popped the egg bubble with a knife, then threw it into the oven where it finished cooking until the cheese melted under the broiler (about 3 minutes). It could have gone longer letting the cheese turn a nice golden color but I was spooked at that point thinking I might ruin the whole thing.

Once out of the broiler, the skillet sat on the stove top for a few minutes to cool down, then I put on my oven mitts, placed a large serving plate upside down over the top of the skillet, and flipped the skillet over to drop the tortilla onto the plate. Some of it didn’t make it and stuck to the pan, but what did transfer over revealed a brown, crisp bottom to the tortilla (next time I’ll run a knife around the edge of the skillet first).

Grabbing another large serving plate, I placed that on top and flipped again, revealing the gooey, cheesy top of the tortilla. I immediately tucked into a wedge with my cup of coffee and the remaining pieces were placed into the fridge to cool completely, then wrapped in packets of wax paper to be enjoyed as on-the-go treats in the coming week.

So I ask you: what do you have in your fridge? Ham, bacon, or hanger steak from yesterday’s dinner? Chop it up into small pieces. Use up those leftover potatoes. Grab a cheese and go. Make your own International Spanish Tortilla and let us know how it turns out!

Morning-After Report: Meatlovin’ Man and I had the tortilla for breakfast this morning, cold. It tastes even better than yesterday and reminded him of a sausage roll, me of a cold slice of sausage pizza. Yum!

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