Stewed Spanish omelette (Tortilla guisada): a nearly forgotten recipe
How are you feeling today? Spring seems to have entered in Oxford as we have been enjoying long hours of sunshine. That was so much needed! I hope you are all having a lovely start of the season wherever you are.
You know I have been showcasing some of the Spanish most traditional recipes. But somehow I have just realized I am missing a very important one: tortilla de patatas or Spanish omelette. How is that possible? I does not make sense to talk about tradition without posting this dish, does it? But do not worry because this day is already here.
However, this one is a bit different. My girlfriend recently cooked it in a way that I did not know because it is more characteristic where she comes from. Part of her family originates from the region of Extremadura (south west) and they still cook tortilla guisada (stewed omelette). It consists in the classic Spanish omelette with a mildly spiced sauce made with very few ingredients.
Doing a bit of research I discovered that this used to be common practice in the past. People would stew the omelettes when became dry and rough. This way, they could eat it even after a few days of being done. Time passed and the habit ceased so much that today it is a unique household recipe. Bars? You are lucky if you find it in one.
If you cannot resist to add some sauce to your Spanish omelette then this recipe is definitively for you. Once you try it you will no longer eat it with ketchup or mayonnaise.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4 LARGE PORTIONS)
For the omelette:
Large potatoes (4)
Large onion (half)
For the sauce:
Large onion (half)
Garlic cloves (2)
Peas (100 g, from frozen)
Plain flour (1 tablespoon)
Turmeric (1 tablespoon)
DIRECTIONS OF COOKING
Firstly we need to make the omelette. Peel, wash and chunk the potatoes. Fill 1/4 of a deep pan (such a wok) with sunflower oil and heat up at medium-low how.
2. Drop all the potatoes when it is hot. Chop the onion and add to the wok just two minutes after. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly brown.
3. In a separate bowl, beat all the eggs with a pinch of salt. Transfer the potatoes making sure you drain the oil as much as you can (otherwise your omelette will be too greasy). Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a consistent batter, but be careful not to mash them.
4. Empty the oil so you just leave a very tiny bit on the base. Reduce the heat to the lowest and tip all the batter into the wok. Spread it evenly and cook for 7-8 minutes. Regularly stick off the sides with the wooden spoon and by shaking the wok. Flip the omelette (help yourself with a plate) and repeat the process on the other side. Split in four equal triangular portions and reserve.
5. With the tortilla ticked off the list, let’s cook the sauce. Heat up some olive oil in a casserole and add the other half onion (chopped) and the garlic cloves (sliced). Simmer until golden brown.
6. Add the turmeric and cook for shortly. Do the same with the flour. Finally, add the cloves, the peas and about 2 inches of water. Stir and simmer until the sauce is thick and orangey.
7. Sink the omelette in the sauce. Cook for three minutes and will be ready.