Slow Cooked Egg & Potato Tortilla with Smoked Ham & Baby Spinach
If you didn’t already know, our cousin Mark is a very talented chef and he’s been inspiring us with his delicious breakfast recipes. He’s already shown us how to make the perfect vegan homemade campfire beans and a delightful black rice pudding porridge but today he’s back with the creamiest of recipes for those of you who like your eggs in the morning tortilla style. Over to you, Mark…
Tortilla is a Spanish version of an English omelette, traditionally deftly cooked with just olive oil and potatoes. Unfortunately, it is often cooked to a rather rubbery type of bland egg cake (by careless cooks). I have seen versions of this classic egg dish that were fit only as a prop in a toddlers play kitchen!
But… this version takes it's time and embellishes itself with crème fraiche, soft cooked onions and any number of flavours you wish to add. It’s perfect for breakfast, better suited to brunch and perfectly acceptable for a TV dinner.
It’s always worth making more than enough as it keeps well in the fridge and is even great to eat cold as part of a lunch or summer picnic.
You can make a plain one like we have here and serve it with ham or bacon and roasted cherry tomatoes. Or you can add your own twists to the mix, waving your hands in the air like a gastronomic Fat Boy Slim, with nuggets of fried sausage meat, chorizo, cooked sweet potato or frozen broad beans and peas. Feta and goats cheese crumbed on top before you put it in the oven are great too.
I suppose for supper it can be treated like a loaded pizza (but don’t tell the fun police).
A small sided frying pan with metal handle (that can go in the oven) OR a small oven proof dish or oven tray with approximately 2 inch sides (you can’t compromise on this, the omelette mix must be at least an inch thick in its baking vessel)
Baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
Ingredients (serves 8)
10 x free range eggs (room temperature)
1 x medium onion, thinly sliced (220g)
150ml x virgin olive oil
1 x 560g tin of new potatoes drained OR 350g fresh cooked new potatoes peeled and cut in roughly 1 cm pieces
1 x 300ml pot of crème fraiche
Chopped fresh herbs
20 x turns of Black pepper mill
3 teaspoons of sea salt
Quality thin sliced smoked ham OR cured Parma/Serrano ham
Cherry vine tomatoes
- Set your oven to 140°C, gas 1- 2, 280°F
- Put your tomatoes on the vine, snipped into bunches, on a tray with some olive oil and seasoning and place in the oven.
- Take your pan, or the tray you are going to cook the tortilla in, and grease it lightly. Now cut the parchment so a single piece can line the bottom and side of the pan. Push it into place firmly, smoothing out creases as much as possible (the paper must be just above the rim so no egg mix can run over).
- In a small frying pan, gently fry the onions in the olive oil and 1tsp salt (don’t be alarmed at the amount of oil). Cook without any colour for 20 minutes or until very soft to eat and translucent. A lid will help them go soft.
- Now add the drained dry cooked potatoes, season with pepper and cook for a few minutes in the oil and onions whilst keeping the potatoes unbroken.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Whisk the eggs with with the remaining 2tsp of sea salt and herbs. Add the mix to your pan of potatoes and pop it back on a low heat. Keep stirring the bottom and sides of the pan until slowly it begins cooking a tiny bit on the sides. Keep going steadily until the mix gets nice and warm but stop as soon as it seems to start thickening. If you cook the egg at this stage you have gone too far.
- Now taste this mix off the heat. If you are happy with the seasoning, pour it into your paper lined pan or dish.
- At this stage you can add your own cooked ingredients, but remember to remove some potatoes from the mix if you're adding a lot of extras.
- Take your crème fraiche and season it with a few pinches of salt. With a teaspoon, dot it all over the top of your mix, then also push some of it into the potato mix too. Grind some pepper on top.
- Put the dish on a middle shelf in your oven for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. The time depends on how warm your egg mix is when you put it in the oven and the actual temperature of the oven. All ovens are different so keep an eye on it, you are now cooking it like set custard very slowly.
- Give the pan a little light shake or tap to see if the middle of the tortilla still has a slight wobble or use a small spoon at the centre to poke around… the sides will become firmer but you must not let the middle firm up much, it needs to be like a very thick custard. Once it has reached this consistency, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 15 or more minutes (don’t rush).
- When the tortilla has rested till warm, hold the edge of the paper and carefully slide the tortilla out away from the pan onto a chopping board.
- Now you can pull the paper off the sides and take a slice with a sharp carving knife (the longer you leave it to cool the cleaner the slice will be).
- The crème fraiche should be like soft cream cheese and the egg surrounding the waxy potato pieces should be moist and just set (if the centre is slightly underdone don’t worry that’s ok).
- Serve with the sliced ham and the baby spinach leaves or rocket, and top with the slow roasted tomatoes.
Happy breakfast in bed all, enjoy!