Friday, April 09, 2010

Spanish Frittata

This is my favorite frittata in recent memory. To be honest, I usually end up declaring any frittata I've just made most delicious, most perfect, very favorite. I'm quite free with my superlatives when it comes to food. But really, this is a great one. It combines two similar and wonderful egg dishes, the Spanish tortilla and Italian frittata.

Potatoes, borrowed from the Spanish dish, are a great way to make your frittata more substantial. And if you roast them first, they add a lot of flavor. The other Spanish ingredient is piquillo peppers. Sold in a jar near the relish, they're slightly spicy with a unique, bright flavor. Caramelized red onion is my current favorite way to make practically any recipe more delicious, and Feta works great in frittatas. Though it's neither Spanish nor Italian, the firm, dry cheese holds its shape, add some salty tang, and is easy to find just about anywhere.

I made this frittata for a brunch party I threw a little while back, along with the mini goat cheese and lavender biscuits I told you about. It came out of the oven maybe 25 minutes before my first guests arrived. I had plenty of time to get it out of the skillet, and it was definitely room temperature by the time we ate it. Believe me, the frittata is ideal for this scenario. As it cools, the flavors just get better (if you eat it very hot, your taste buds can't take it all in). The texture won't suffer at all, and it looks awfully pretty sitting on the table to greet your guests.

No need to wait for a party either! The leftovers are great, and it's just as good for dinner as it is for breakfast. I did a very similar, slightly more Spanish version, of this frittata here. And if you've never made a frittata, check out this post for more tips and ideas.

Spanish Frittata

Serves 6 to 8

2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled
Cooking spray
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
1 red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
10 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup piquillo peppers, chopped
1/2 cup chopped Feta
Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and coat with cooking spray. Slice the potatoes as thin as you can, about 1/8-inch or less. A mandolin or V-slicer is ideal for this. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheets. Coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roast in the upper and lower thirds of the oven until browned and tender, switching positions halfway through, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over moderately low heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until very soft and golden, 20-30 minutes (if you rush this step, the onions will be browned/sauteed, rather than caramelized). Stir occasionally, and lower the heat if onions start browning too quickly.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste; whisk to combine. Stir in the piquillo peppers, onions and Feta. Preheat your oven's broiler to high and position a rack about 6 to 8 inches away from the heat source. Generously coat the empty skillet with nonstick spray and add potatoes in an even layer. Place over medium-low heat. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and cook until the eggs start to set around the edges. Tilt the skillet as you lift the edges of the tortilla with a spatula, letting the liquid egg run into the gaps. It's okay if you jostle around the potatoes and other fillings as you do this; just even it out before proceeding to the next step.

When most of the egg is set around the edges (this will take several minutes) transfer the skillet to the broiler. Cook until egg is just set in the center, about 2 to 4 minutes. The frittata should be lightly browned on top, but watch closely because it can start to burn fast. Remove from oven (skillet will be very hot!) and let it rest in the skillet for 10 to 15 minutes. Wearing heat-proof gloves, place a large plate over the skillet and, holding the plate securely, invert the skillet, releasing the frittata on the plate. Finally, put your serving plate over the frittata and invert again so frittata is right-side-up. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped parsley.


Joanne said...

I've always wondered what the difference was between an Italian and Spanish frittata/tortilla but then again my (Italian) mother always made her frittata with potatoes! She was cooking fusion cuisine and she didn't even know it!

Tv Food and Drink said...

I feel like I am not talented enough to make a frittata, but you spell out the instructions pretty well so I think, based on that, I'm gonna give it a shot. Thanks for this post. It looks delicious!

~~louise~~ said...

What a wonderful brunch dish, Julie. I'm sure everyone enjoyed it immensely!!!

Thank you so much for sharing...

Brett Sutcliffe said...

Oh my god your dish is amazing!! It looks so simple and yummy. Although u gave a such detail tutorial there, I still feel a lit bit hard to me to make it.

The Recipe Diva said...

This looks wonderful! I also love your Spanish tortilla recipe. I miss my days living in Spain but maybe it can bring me back, and with the addition of a few vegetables too!

anavar said...

It looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

bodyhacker said...

Your Spanish Frittata looks amazing! Quick question - do you think you can use egg whites instead of whole eggs? I think it should work and definitely would love to try it.

Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

Julie said...

bodyhacker: It might work, but egg whites a so different from whole eggs, and the results will probably not be the same, although possibly still good. Consider using 4 whole eggs and the rest egg whites. This dish is healthy even with 10 whole eggs, so don't stress about that, especially if you use just 4.