Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's for Dinner? *Baked Tortilla Espanola*

 What's for Dinner?

Baked Tortilla Espanola

courtesy of

$-Inexpensive dinner.  Cost less than $15.00.  Serves more like 6.


Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 strands saffron
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil and saffron in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, and garlic, and stir well. Gently press into an even layer with a spatula. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and press again. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving oil.
  2. Whisk together eggs, parsley, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in potato mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved oil in the skillet over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture, and gently press into an even layer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  3. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Invert, or serve from pan.
From Martha Stewart Living, June 2008

Read more at Baked Tortilla Espanola - Martha Stewart Recipes
Helpful Hint:
When serving this as a warm entree for lunch or dinner, cut the round into wedges. If preparing as part of a tapas or appetizer spread, slice it into bite-size pieces and serve with toothpicks.
Read more at Baked Tortilla Espanola - Martha Stewart Recipes 

~The Cooking Commentary~

This tortilla espanola, or Spanish omelet is fresh and easy (hmmm...sounds like a personal add,lol).  In Spain, it is often on the menu in bars, cafes, or is served as a light dinner.  Often an espanola is served between two pieces of baguette. Many variations of this dish exist.  For this dinner, I made a standard, and affordable espagnola with potatoes.

 Before we begin cooking in this kitchen, we have to quickly discuss something very important...the flowers.  Well, I think so anyway. I LOVE flowers.  A very long time ago, I learned that if I wanted fresh flowers to romance the room, then I was going to have to either grow them myself, or buy them.  To be fair, I must say that on occasion I do receive them.  It is a nice surprise indeed(hint...hint).  Flower starved would be my state of nature though, if I just waited to receive them as a gift. Are you feeling similar to me at this point?  Some of you are smiling right now.  I see you!  That's OK, you don't have to admit it, I will do it for you.  If not, then good for you!

 My lovely primrose.  I have decided to name her Angelica.

Today, after picking up some groceries from the market, I stopped by Ace to pick up some painting supplies.  I was just going to run in for a quick sec while Ben was watching the kids.  On my way in, I noticed rows and rows of beautiful, shimmering flower-jewels.  They were smiling at me from the flower cart.  Looking like they were in a beauty pageant, they kept saying, "pick me, pick me!" I was a woman on a mission.  Regardless,  I had to make a little detour to check them out.  After picking three of my favorites, I narrowed them down to two and then to my absolute favorite.  To me, most of the fun comes in the selection process.  Here it is. My perfect primrose.  I keep an assortment of terra cotta pots out back for occasions such as these.  For $1.50 my windowsill, and my face are delighted. 

And now, back to the cooking...

Okay, so I've never used saffron before in my life.  Before today, I only knew that it was red in color and was expensive. That's it.  Come to find out that it is a spice derived from the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus).  It is the plants stigmas that are dried and used for cooking and coloring.  Did you know that saffron is the world's most expensive spice by weight?  I do now!

Experiencing something new makes me move more slowly, cautiously, even more deliberately.  Similar in may ways to meeting a new person, I guess.  Often I pay attention to everything.  Each flavorful note stands out.  I even hear the most quiet whisper that often hides beneath even the boldest tones.

Never have I tasted this spice before.  Hmmm?  How can I describe its flavor?

Yup! I know exactly what saffron tastes like.  Unscented laundry detergent.  If you don't believe me, try it for yourself and get back to me.  Chemists have found that the slight bitter flavor of saffron is from a glucoside called picrocrocin.

Here is the lovely potato making its debut on the mandolin.  I love the mandolin! And potatoes too.
The star anise was added for humor.  At least I thought it was funny:)
Here is the red onion (although it looks purple to me) getting ready to take the stage with the mandolin.

I just had to take a moment to celebrate!  Thanks to the mandolin, I saved time!

The "meat" of the dish is now sliced and ready for cooking.

Tonight was a full moon. Here is the view from my kitchen window.  Full moons are said to be from a more feminine energy.  I could feel the feminine mystique even in the kitchen tonight.  Oohhhlala!

When it came time to cover the dish for ten minutes, I could not find my lid!  We women have a way of making do.  I decided to set another pan on top and it worked out just fine.

I love putting cast iron skillets into the oven, or even regular frying pans too.  Don't ask me why, but I just do.    Once your espanola is set, put it into the oven for ten minutes.

 Once out of the oven, make sure to tell yourself a few times that the pan AND the handle are hot! I did not do this simple task. Instead, I firmly grasped the handle to loosen up the edges of the espanola and wow!  That was not cool.


The baked tortilla espanola has arrived.

Yup.  Jordan says it best.  Look at his face! He wasn't shy about telling me what he thought, was he?

Ben, on the other hand did not mind it.  Sarah and Gabriel were neutral.  At least they still had plenty of room for dessert.  Gummy worms!

The company and ambiance were excellent.  The food however, was not really something that I would recommend.  Personally, I like frittatas better. I didn't cook the potatoes all they way either.  Yes, they were crunchy.  I would compare the texture to eating water chestnuts.  As usual, making the dinner is not about the end result (I have to remind myself this, too).   Dinner is about the family time and energy that was spent trying to create something together.   

 ~Dinner has been served~


Anonymous said...

Looks delicious. Also enjoyed seeing Jordan's face communicating YUK! I would have thought that dish would be yummy.

Well, you run a "reality" blog and pull no punches...that is what makes it so special. No "everything is perfect in this perfect world" of promotion and hype.

Keep up the reality blog.

Holman3 said...

This does look yummy! I liked your comment about saffron. I have not tasted it, so plan to go to my cupboard and pick a thread and try it. I want to go to Ace now and pick up a primrose! That looks so bright and cheerful. Thanks Morgan for your blog, I enjoy it!