With cubed pan-fried potatoes & crushed garlic
As it’s still cold, grey and miserable outside I’ve been hankering after fried foods, including home-made chunky chips or French fries. Oh yes, they’re so delicious with a sprinkling of malt vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. After wolfing three portions (not in one sitting!) this week (it’s an absolute age since I’ve had chips) I thought about trying this mini tortilla using my one and only small Le Creuset saucepan, thinking it won’t work. Well, thrilled to say it did – beautifully. None of the omelette stuck. It’s years since I’ve had tortilla and even longer to have made it. It’s one of those things that I just love at any time of day and at any time of year. It’s also incredibly versatile as it goes so well with so many other ingredients. At room temperature it’s just great with salads. Today I ate it with a side of leftover caponata, a recipe I’m overviewing as I’m tempted to include allspice – as yet I chickened out and used cayenne pepper instead, which I didn’t like. As for the toasted bread that’s a short sesame stick (think a heavier type of baguette encrusted with sesame seeds) that’s sold here in the UK. What I prefer to do with it is to rip out most of the dough in its centre, chuck that in the bin and then toast the bread. Anyway, with this tortilla it’s based on how they cook tortilla (or used to) in the Basque country in Northern Spain. Certainly I’ve had much thicker tortilla in Catalonia, more like an oven-baked cake. I far prefer the thinner version. Admittedly, I did chop the potatoes a little too large this time. The next time – and I’ll be cooking this lots – I’ll cube the potatoes a lot smaller as there wasn’t enough egg to absolutely cover them. Didn’t care. Tasted great. Besides, who doesn’t like pan-fried potatoes! Seriously?!? There’s something wrong with you if you don’t.
Serves 1 – 2
- olive oil
- up to 85g (2.99 oz) x cubed white potatoes (weight after peeling) or more depending on size of base of pan (one layer only as they shouldn’t overlap), peeled and cut into small cubes or chunks, about 1cm or less than half an inch. The saucepan I’m using is only 16cm or just over 6 inches in diametre
- 2 x free range (cage free) medium eggs, cracked into a bowl and lightly whisked with a splash of cold water
- 1 x smallish garlic clove, peeled, root end cut off and discarded and garlic crushed/minced
- freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Please be aware that times noted were for slightly larger chunks of potatoes. If going with my advice and keeping those chunks smaller the instruction that follows will differ and potatoes will probably cook quicker: After chopping the potatoes rinse them a couple of times in cold water without soaking them. Put a small heavy-based pan or skillet on electric heat No 4 and get the pan hot before adding oil. Once the potatoes are rinsed and patted dry with kitchen towel or paper add the oil and the potatoes and stir through to prevent them from catching and to get them evenly coated in oil. I wouldn’t leave the pan at this stage as otherwise they can scorch easily. I ended up having to turn each piece over with two forks to get them evenly golden. After about 10 minutes I reduced the heat to No 3. Then I reduced the heat even further to No 2 and clamped on a lid. I did keep an eye on them at all times.
- Prepare the garlic. When the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork crush the garlic over them and take off heat after 30 seconds or so. The smell of the garlic shouldn’t be as raw, and they will continue to cook as the potatoes are added to a bowl or suitable container.
- Prepare the eggs.
- Up the heat again to No 4. Again, when pan is hot add a little more oil before pouring in the egg mixture. Allow that to settle for several moments before using the tynes of a fork to make sure the sides aren’t going to stick. I did use a wooden spoon to gently tease some of the sides of the eggs toward the centre of pan. When the base of omelette starts to set and the sides aren’t sticking reduce heat to N 3. Start adding the potatoes back to the pan, as carefully as possible as the base of omelette can break. Continue to cook until the centre of omelette is no longer as runny. At times take off heat if any smell or signs of scorching takes place. Once the centre is almost solid check again to make sure the base hasn’t stuck to the pan. Then place a suitable plate on top, grab a t-towel and as carefully as possible turn this over so the tortilla is on the plate. Up the heat again to No 4, adding a little more oil and slide the tortilla back into the pan to firm that side. This doesn’t take long at this stage so I would only allow a couple of minutes before placing the plate back on top and turning the pan again. That way it’s possible to tell if the other side is cooked enough. If not simply return to pan for a few more minutes.
- Serve either hot or at room temperature.
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