Today, Justin Chapple (Food & Wine’s friendly neighborhood Mad Genius) shows us an easy way to make a staple of Spanish bar food: tortilla española. Don’t worry, you won’t need to go out and buy a tortilladora—this dish, also known as a Spanish omelette, is a tortilla in the literal sense of the word: a small torta. “Tortilla española is kind of like a potato frittata,” says Justin, an egg and potato cake “that’s cut into small pieces and served as a tapa.”
The hack comes from Jamie Bissonnette—2011 F&W Best New Chef, James Beard Award winner, Boston restaurateur and brains behind tapas joints Toro, Toro NYC and Toro Bangkok. Bissonnette’s method produces a killer tortilla with just three ingredients: eggs, olive oil and—wait for it—potato chips. Ambitious home cooks can make their own…but your favorite supermarket brand will do the trick. No peeling, slicing or boiling required!
To start, Justin beats some eggs until smooth, adding a pinch of salt and loads of freshly ground black pepper. He pours a bit of good-quality olive oil into a hot skillet and adds the egg mixture, folding in a pile of lightly crushed potato chips and leaving to cook.
After the sides begin to firm up (and the center is still wobbly) he pops the skillet into a 400F oven. Once cooked through, the omelette should slide easily onto a serving plate. Slice to reveal lovely layers of soft potatoes, the perfect textural contrast with the salty, crunchy top crust.
To make it a proper tapas feast, serve with other classic Spanish small plates like croquetas and papas bravas. For libations, try some Spanish wines—Galicia and Catalonia are great regions to start with—or check out our guide for pairing potato chips and wine.
Says Justin, “This tortilla española is all that and a bag of chips.”
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