Nowadays, our television is set to an endless marathon of Disney Junior and Nickelodeon. It’s had a slow, but profound effect on our sanity level. My husband and I frequently find ourselves giggling aloud over funny scenes in Phineas and Ferb and Spongebob. And I’d be lying if I said we didn’t occasionally record iCarly while we put the kids to bed, so we don’t miss what happens next between Sam and Freddy. We knew we’d gone overboard when we seriously contemplated spending a small fortune on a special Nick Jr. themed cruise to the Bahamas, which would feature special guests from the cast of iCarly and the voice-actor for Spongebob Squarepants. For the kids, of course.
So, yes… We might count iCarly amongst our current favorite shows, right alongside Community, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But don’t mock it until you’ve seen it. It’s seriously funny. Or perhaps, with parenthood, we’ve gradually lost our ability to objectively evaluate television comedy. Before you know it, we’ll be blasting the Spice Girls in the car and trying to convince the kids that it’s cool.
Whatever the case may be, I rarely get to watch any of the shows I used to watch in my pre-children days. It’s been years since I sat around watching a marathon of cooking shows on the Food Network, mentally bookmarking recipes and culinary techniques.
But, during my postpartum hospital stay, I had the opportunity to do exactly that. In fact, I watched the Food Network day and night for two days straight. I would have turned it off at night, but I couldn’t figure out how to use the one-button hospital remote and was too embarrassed to ask the nurses about it.
It was refreshing to spend those two days watching cooking shows, instead of children’s television. I left the hospital reinvigorated about cooking and with my mind set on a few new ideas. One of those ideas was so simple, yet something I’d never thought to try; a Spanish Tortilla or Tortilla Española.
A Spanish tortilla is not like the type of flour or corn wrap you’d use for tacos or burritos. It’s an egg based dish, more like an omelet or Italian frittata. It’s typically filled with sliced potatoes and occasionally onion, chorizo, or other fillings.
The main difference between a tortilla and a frittata is in how the eggs are finished. Both preparations begin with the eggs and filling, cooked stovetop in a frying pan. But whereas the frittata is finished in the oven, Spanish tortillas are flipped and finished on the stovetop.
Traditionally, the potatoes in a Spanish tortilla are peeled and lightly fried in a generous amount of oil prior to composing the tortilla. But, due to a grocery shopping oversight, which left me with very little oil on hand, I chose to bake the potato slices, with skins on, until tender. It worked perfectly and significantly cuts down on the oil typically used in the dish.
Serve your Spanish tortilla alongside a mixed greens salad for lunch or as a side-dish at dinner along with some smokey chorizo sausage and sweet corn.
- 1 pound potatoes, sliced thin (about 1/8″ thick)*
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3-4 green onions, sliced (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange potato slices in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add the green onions, if desired. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and toss to combine.
In a nonstick skillet, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil so that it coats the bottom and edges. Pour the egg and potato mixture into the hot pan. Gently shake and shimmy the pan to help evenly distribute the potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and continue cooking until the eggs appear mostly set, about 15 minutes.
Here’s the fun part… Once the eggs are mostly set on the top, you will flip the tortilla. First, use a rubber spatula to gently loosen the edges and ensure that the tortilla has not stuck to the pan. Then, remove the pan from the heat. Place a large plate over the top of the pan. Place one hand on the plate to hold it securely to the pan. Then, holding the pan with the other hand, flip the pan and the plate so that the tortilla falls onto the plate. Finally, gently slide the tortilla back into the pan to finish cooking the other side, about 5 minutes over medium/medium-low heat.
Serve warm or at room temperature.