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Potato, Chorizo, and Vegetable Omelet (Tortilla Torcal)
From Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas

This is a wonderfully tasty tortilla that comes from the spectacular parador in Jaén and is sure to be a hit at any tapas party. It can be made several hours ahead and served at room temperature.


1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled, in small cubes 6 eggs
Kosher or sea salt
1 small onion, preferably Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1/4 pound chorizo sausage, preferably imported, skinned and diced
1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) diced Serrano ham or prosciutto
1/2 cup cooked peas
1/2 cup cooked baby limas
2 Tbsp minced piquillo pepper, or pimiento, home prepared


Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the potatoes slowly until they are tender—they should not color. (This could also be done in a deep fryer.)

Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly with the salt. When the potatoes are done, drain, reserving about 4 tablespoons of oil, and add the potatoes to the eggs, and let set 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil in the skillet and sauté the onion until it is wilted. Add the chorizo and ham and cook for another couple of minutes, until the chorizo begins to give off its oil. Stir in the peas, limas, and piquillo pepper or pimiento, and cook 2 minutes more. Add this mixture to the eggs and let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in the skillet until it reaches the smoking point. (It must be very hot or the eggs will stick.) Add the egg mixture, spreading it out rapidly in the skillet with the aid of a pancake turner. Lower the heat to medium-high and shake the pan often to prevent sticking. When the eggs begin to brown underneath, invert a plate of the same size over the skillet and flip the omelet onto the plate, or slide onto a dish, cover with a second dish, and invert. Add about 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan, then slide the omelet back into the skillet to brown on the other side.

Lower the heat to medium and flip the omelet two or three more times (this helps to give the omelet a good shape while it continues to cook), cooking briefly on each side and tucking in any rough edges with the back of the pancake turner. It should be juicy within. Transfer to a platter and cut into 8-12 wedges.

Yield: Serves 8 to 12


Other cooked vegetables, such as asparagus, green beans, green pepper, or mushrooms, may be added to the omelet instead of or in addition to the peas and limas.

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