When Matthew and I got married I was quite obliging to his requests. I had our larger reception in Ohio and a smaller reception in Kentucky, I left my job and family and moved to Ohio so Matthew could build his business, and we got Married in March instead of October, I always thought that fall weddings were beautiful. But I had a few demands, uh I mean requests of my own. We agreed on having a larger family, but I told him that since our dating experience was long distance (we lived 250 miles apart until a week before we got married), and we only saw each other on the weekends I wanted to be married for at least a year before we even talked about having kids. The other request- I wanted to go on one BIG vacation just the two of us. I knew once the kids came travel was going to be limited and difficult, and I have a bit of wanderlust that I was going to need to get out before allowing myself to be domesticated for a decade or so.
Matthew is a good sport, and for our one year anniversary, we took a 2 week trip to Europe, despite the fact that we were poor, had no savings, and could hardly afford the trip. We went to Madrid, London, Paris, and Venice. (Don’t go to Venice if you don’t have money). There were plenty of ups (Dinner in the Eiffel tower) and downs (nasty hotel in London complete with vomit on the stairs) but all made for great stories, memories, and of course there were many awesome food experiences.
Madrid was Matthew’s favorite city. Perhaps because he’s fluent in Spanish, or perhaps because we stayed in a quaint hotel right off of one of the little cobblestone streets with a balcony and a view of all the cute shops. It’s what you imagine Europe looks like. Very much like the U.S., there was a complimentary breakfast every morning waiting for us in a gorgeous dinning room that had padded chairs, chandeliers, and people attending to the buffet to ensure you’re meal was satisfactory. But the food options weren’t dried out bagels with miniature plastic tubs of cream cheese, cereal dispensed from plastic containers mounted on the wall, and overly sweet muffins. There was sausage, fresh pastries, piles of fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, and an omelet looking thing called Tortilla Española that I had never heard of before. It’s basically the Spanish version of a Frittata, and it’s fantastic.
Sorry, I got a little carried away sharing a few of our photos from Spain. Anyway….
Tortillas Española has become a common dish around our house. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and versatile. You can put whatever you want inside. The one thing that sets a Tortilla Española apart from Frittata, is that Tortilla Española always has squares of potato, making it a filling breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think traditionally they actually flip it in theirs over in the pan while I just cook it through. My recipe pays homage to Spain with some spicy chorizo, Spanish onion, and feta cheese (is feta Mediterranean or just Greek?). It’s a little spicy and sweet, a little creamy and salty, and a whole lot of delicious.
1/2 lbs bulk chorizo
1/2 Spanish Onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 large eggs, beaten
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 medium russet potato, diced, and boiled until just fork tender
(Don’t over boil your potato, you want it to keep it’s shape when making the tortilla)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cilantro to garnish (optional)
You do not need to grease your pan, the chorizo has plenty of fat. Place the chorizo in an oven proof skillet, and start on a medium heat, working up to a medium high heat as the sausage releases some of it’s fat. If you put it in a pan that’s too hot before there is a layer of fat, it will stick to the pan.
After the sausage is browned, add the onion and pepper and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. You want to keep the chorizo in there and let it render out as much fat, getting it as crispy as you can.
Meanwhile, beat your eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl, and set aside.
Once the onion and peppers are done, scoop them into the egg mixture making sure to leave the fat in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl of eggs, and stir together.
Make sure your pan still has plenty of fat, add some to the sides and base if it looks too dry, or pour some out if it looks like there is too much. You don’t want your eggs to stick, but you also don’t want them swimming in grease. When in doubt, err on the side of too much.
Reduce the burner heat to a low heat. Place the egg mixture in the skillet, and cover with a lid. Cook until the eggs have set. If the bottom starts to get too brown, remove from the stove and place under a the broiler (watching carefully) until the eggs have set.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then slice, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.