Scotty and I were first introduced to this classic Spanish dish during our honeymoon. Scotty had studied Spanish in elementary and high school and was great in leading us around and figuring out hotels, our rental car, directions, etc. The only place that he had trouble was in the food vocab. For some reason those words just didn’t stick! So when we arrived in Madrid and had spent our first morning walking through that beautiful city we had built up a considerable appetite. But when faced with an entirely Spanish menu we were a bit perplexed. When we saw “tortilla” we thought that would be a safe bet…having Mexican corn tortillas in mind. Well we were served this potato and egg dish that was good but a little bit bland. But over the course of our stay we really began to like it and tasted several different types (along with other Spanish specialties). The only thing that I was always a bit disappointed with was that nearly every tortilla I’ve had has been on the bland side. Now, that’s probably how they’re supposed to be, but I like exciting flavors. So, last night I improvised.
I had picked up some fresh chorizo from Mel Bell’s on my way home and thought that it would be a good addition! It was perfect because it had tons of flavor. It was savory, spicy, delicious. So while this is probably not a traditional tortilla, it is tasty.
Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo
- 3 medium sized chorizo
- 2 medium sized leeks, sliced
- 12-14 small potatoes (if you’re using larger potatoes you’ll probably only need 5-6)
- 3-4 oz mature cheddar, grated
- 8 eggs, beaten
- vegetable oil
- 4-5 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
- bunch of cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a pan heat water and potatoes to boiling and let simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Meanwhile, in a frying pan or skillet (a caste-iron skillet would work perfectly for this) cook the chorizo until cooked through.
Remove from pan and set aside to cool a bit and then slice into 1/8th-1/4 inch slices . In the little bit of grease that’s in the pan sauté the leeks until they’re softened and a bit caramelized. Remove leeks and set aside.
Once the potatoes are done, run under cool water to stop cooking and cool enough to to allow you to slice them without the slices falling apart. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into slices that are about 1/8th-1/4 inch thick. In the skillet heat up some vegetable oil – you need just enough to make sure the tortilla doesn’t stick when it’s baked. Line the pan with a layer of the potato slices and sprinkle with salt. Maintain the heat so that the potatoes are getting slightly browned as you add the additional layers. Just make sure they don’t burn.
Next add the leeks:
Top with another layer of potatoes and then add the chorizo followed by the cheese.
Finally pour in the beaten eggs making sure they’re covering your ingredients evenly. Let cook over medium-low heat until you see the edges firming up and separating from the sides of the pan. Slip into preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until eggs are set through. While the tortilla is baking you can assemble the salsa by mixing the tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro/coriander and salting to taste.
When the eggs have set remove the tortilla from the oven. The top will be a bit runny because of the cheese which is fine. Just don’t over cook it. It will probably look something like this when you remove it from the oven:
Run a spatula around the edges of the pan and flip over onto a plate. Tortilla should come right out of the pan.
It looks a bit boring once you’ve flipped it out of the pan but don’t let looks deceive you, this thing is full of flavor. Let sit for a couple of minutes to firm up. To serve, slice and plate and add a scoop of salsa to each portion.