Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tortilla Española-dilla.

Walking Tortilla Española? Indeed. © Ryan Schierling
Disclaimer: This is not a recipe for authentic tortilla Española, so don't get your calzoncillos in a bunch.

Julie didn't set out to make tortilla Española when she decided to whip up a quick, portable breakfast with a bare minimum of ingredients, but at its simplest, that is what it has become. Similar to the Spanish bocadillo, but subbing a big flour tortilla for bread, this delicious and deceptively-easy egg, potato and onion dish has quickly become one of my all-time hand-holdable morning favorites.

It's not a stretch, because tacos of all kinds find their way into my waking routine at least a few times a week, but this is a fast, one-pan breakfast that takes nothing more than one tortilla, one egg, a serving of hash browns and a little chopped onion. 

It doesn't need bacon or roasted red pepper or basil or tomatoes or cheese, but any additions or substitutions make for effortless frittata-like possibilities (as long as the overall moisture-level and consistency stays the same), and we do mix it up occasionally. This morning's version included leftover mashed potatoes instead of hash browns, a little fresh salsa verde, a chopped-up Morningstar Farms® sausage patty, onion and egg. Tater tots, frozen shredded hash browns, chopped-up hash brown patties or leftover latkes also work well. 

We've been joking about how this should have been our Today Show Home Chef Challenge entry, because it's much closer to what our Papaquiles were re-imagined as for large-scale preparation and service by the Today Show food trucks at SXSW. Perhaps next time...

This is a simple, single-serving tortilla Española that gives you creamy potato, custardy egg and a bit of bright onion, all in a fraction of the time it would take to create the superlative Spanish classic. As an added bonus, you can eat it while driving. Try that with a proper tortilla Española.

Tortilla Española-dilla

1-1/2 cup frozen southern-style hash browns (or diced and blanched potatoes)
1/4 cup roughly-diced white onion
1 large egg
2 tablespoons half and half (or just heavy cream and milk)
a pinch of salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
a few drops of your favorite hot sauce

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a 10-inch griddle or skillet over medium heat. Cook hash browns and onions until they've got a nice bit of color. Remove potatoes and onions to a small mixing bowl and let cool slightly. Smash about one-third (1/2 cup) of the potatoes gently with a fork.

Turn down your griddle to medium-low heat. In a separate bowl whisk together with a fork one egg, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and hot sauceAdd the potato and onions to the egg mixture and fold together. Put a teaspoon of oil on the griddle, place a 10-inch flour tortilla to cover the griddle and gently spoon your potato-egg-onion mixture onto one half of the tortilla, spreading evenly. Fold the tortilla over onto the filling and cook until brown, about five minutes. Flip the tortilla over and brown the other side. 

Remove the tortilla, cut in half and serve with your favorite hot sauce, or a little sour cream mixed with some salsa.

Serves one.


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