November 11, 2009

The Marquesa's Tortilla

My Nanny was from Colombia. She is a phenomenal cook. I have memories of plantains, rice with peas and onions, and Tortillas. Tortillas are basically large omelets that in the fussy Bistro world would be called a “Frittata.” It's one of those dishes that bring me back to my childhood. My Nanny became part of the family. When she had her own children years later, my family became God Parents to her two beautiful and genius girls. No matter how many times I've made this, it will never be as good the Marquesa's. Whether that's because she snuck something into her Tortilla and never let me see it, or because memory is always stronger than taste buds, I won't ever know. I suspect, however, it's the latter.

You need a really good oven-safe non-stick skillet, or a clean cast iron skillet for this.

1 dozen large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion sliced
2 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (I like using the smaller white potatoes, this comes out to about 4)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

*You can add a half cup of fresh or frozen peas if you have them. Add them in with the potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Boil the potatoes in salted water, drain, set aside.
Heat the oil and gently sauté the onions over medium-high heat until, soft, translucent, and cooked through but NOT browned. (If using cast iron, the pan might have soaked up some of the oil, if it seems like it has, add another teaspoon).
Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper very well.
Add the potatoes to the skillet and then pour the eggs in.
Let the bottom and sides of the Tortilla cook. Occasionally pull at the sides to let some of the raw egg get to the heat.
When the sides and bottom are just cooked, about 3-5 minutes, and the center is still liquidy, place skillet in oven.
Cook for 15 minutes or until eggs are cooked all the way through and the Tortilla has puffed up.
Flip onto a platter and serve.

*This is excellent hot right out of the oven, but it’s even better the next day cold from the fridge. You can serve it with salsa, or how I liked it as a kid, and still my fave way to this day... the very unglamorous Ketchup.
I like to serve this with avocado halves, spritzed with fresh lime juice and salt on the side. The creaminess of the avocado really goes well with the Tortilla.


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