Makes 30 Canapes
"This recipe is for a festive tortilla, tarted up with some fancy ingredients, and cut into little cubes to make pretty canapés. It’s just as easy to make as a traditional Spanish omelette though, and just as addictive to eat. The festive filling can be any number of things; slices of serrano ham, little nuggets of crispy chorizo, grilled peppers, a sprinkling of chopped chilli."
I love tortilla, by which I mean Spanish omelette, not the bread or the chips (though I do love both of those as well). I can eat it any day of the year, for any occasion.
An omelette may not be an intuitive choice for party fare, consisting of just potatoes, onions and eggs, but it’s so gorgeously flavoursome that I think it overcomes its humble appearance.
In any case, this recipe is for a festive tortilla, tarted up with some fancy ingredients, and cut into little cubes to make pretty canapés. It’s just as easy to make as a traditional Spanish omelette though, and just as addictive to eat. The festive filling can be any number of things, slices of serrano ham, little nuggets of crispy chorizo, grilled peppers, a sprinkling of chopped chilli.
You don’t want to go mad with it, all you need is a little burst of flavour and colour, so even if you use an expensive dry cured ham you need so little of it that this is a very thrifty canapé. All the better at this time of year!
Peel the potatoes and slice into thin rounds. Peel the onion, cut it in half and thinly slice it into half moons. Put all the oil into the frying pan on a low to medium heat. Add the slices of potato and onion to the oil in layers, making sure the potato slices are well separated, as they have a tendency to stick together. Lightly salt each layer as you go along.
Now let it all simmer away very gently you don’t want the potatoes and onions to go brown or crispy. Essentially you are boiling the vegetables in oil, but don’t worry, most of the oil will be drained away after this stage! Carefully turn it all a few times during the cooking, but try not to let the potatoes break up too much, as we want to see those layers in the final omelette.
After 20 minutes or so, slide the contents of the pan into a colander over a bowl. Drain the oil into the bowl, keeping two tablespoons aside. Now thoroughly clean out the frying pan so that the omelette doesn’t stick when you come to cook it.
While the potatoes are draining, beat the eggs in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Now carefully slide the potatoes and onions into the bowl and let the beaten eggs smother them silkily. Leave them mingling for five minutes while you prepare your fancy filling.
If you’re using chorizo, I think it’s nice to cut it up into little nuggets and crisp them up in a pan before adding them to the omelette. Serrano ham and griddled peppers can be used in long, thin slices. Olives are nice sliced thinly into little rings. I’m sure you can come up with some pretty and delicious combinations of your own. I’m using serrano ham and roasted red peppers in mine.
Now get the pan back on the heat, this time it needs to be turned up high. Also get the grill on, ready to cook the top of the omelette. Put the two tablespoons of infused oil in the pan and let it get nice and hot. You need to work fast now. Pour half of your egg, potato and onion mix into the pan, and quickly spread it into an even layer.
Add your fancy festive ingredients in a thin layer across the omelette, then pour the rest of the egg mixture evenly over the top, again quickly spreading it out.
Turn the heat down to medium and let the omelette cook for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan now and then to stop it sticking.
The traditional way to cook a tortilla on both sides is to turn it in the frying pan, but I usually bottle out of this. It seems too big and the pan too heavy. I think it’s easier to put the whole pan under the grill to cook the top.
Take it out from under the grill and let it sit for five minutes in the pan.
Let the omelette cool then cut it into bite size cubes.