Back as a teenager in Uruguay a friend’s mother would often prepare this dish. Finding this recipe brought back fond memories of my youth. Where did I find it? Glad you asked! The Culinary Institute of America, aside from being America’s foremost culinary college, also publishes many books among them the At Home with the Culinary Institute of America series, for home cooks. The recipe below is from a book in that series, Healthy Cooking:
Tortilla de Papas
This flat Spanish-style omelet makes a great brunch or supper dish, or you can cut it into cubes to enjoy at room temperature as part of a tapas spread. Ideally the tortilla should be about an inch thick after it cooks, so choose your pan accordingly.
Makes 6 servings
2 cups quartered cooked artichoke hearts *
2 roasted red peppers, sliced **
2 roasted yellow peppers, sliced **
2 tbsp Vinaigrette-Style Dressing ***
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp thyme
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
4 tsp unsalted butter
8 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Spanish onions, sliced
6 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- Combine the artichokes, peppers, vinaigrette, parsley, thyme, and a pinch of pepper in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
- Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes, season with the salt and a pinch of pepper, and cook, turning them occasionally to cook evenly about 8 minutes. Add the onions and cook until the potatoes are tender but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes more.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and blend with a fork. Do not whip them to a foam. Add the potatoes mixture to the large eggs and toss gently to coat with the eggs.
- return the pan to medium heat and melt 2 teaspoons of the remaining butter. Pour the egg-vegetable mixture into the pan and cook without stirring until the bottom is set and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Tip the tortilla out of the pan onto a platter. Return the pan to the heat and melt the remaining spoon of butter. Slide the tortilla back into the pan, browned side up, cook until the second side is browned, 3 to minutes more.
- Serve the tortilla sliced into wedges, topped with artichoke and peppers and sprinkled with the goat cheese.
* Preparing Artichokes
Artichokes require some special attention before cooking. The barbs at the tips of the leaves are simple snipped away with kitchen scissors. Spread the leaves apart to expose the feathery “choke” and scoop it out with a teaspoon. To make hearts trim most of the leaves away from the base and the top of the artichoke. To make artichoke bottoms pull away all the leaves and trim the stem away. Reserve cut artichokes in water mixed with a splash of lemon juice, otherwise, they may turn brown.
** Roasting and Peeling Peppers
When peppers and chiles are charred over a flame, grilled, roasted, or boiled, not only are the flavors brought out, but the skins are loosened as well. If you have gas burners,, hold the the peppers over the flame with tongs or a large kitchen fork, turning to char them evenly.
If your grill is hot, char the peppers over hot coals or high heat. To roast or broil peppers and chiles in a hot oven or under a broiler, halve them; remove their stems, seeds, and membranes; and place them cut side down on an oiled sheet pan.Broil or roast until their skin is black and blistered. Once the entire pepper is evenly charred, transfer it to a paper bag or bowl and close or cover tightly . By the time the pepper is cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, steam will have loosened the skin enough that it peels away easily. Peel and rub it away with your fingertips or use a pairing knife if the skin clings to some places.
*** Vinaigrette-Style Dressing
This dressing can be flavored in a myriad of ways. Try adding mustard, chopped fresh herbs, capers, onions, garlic, or citrus zest. Fruit and vegetable juices can be used in placeof the broth for a more intense flavor. Special vinegars such as balsamic, sherry, or red wine will give the dressing distinct character. Oils other than olive may be used., including various nut and seed oils (peanut, sesame, or walnut), canola oil, or other mono – or polyunsaturated oils. Refrigerated, this dressing may be stored for up to a week.
Makes 2 cups
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup vegetable broth ****
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or as needed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or as needed.
- Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the broth to form a paste. Bring the remaining broth to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Remove the broth from the heat.
- Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the broth. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the broth has thickened
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vinaigrette, and cool completely. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
**** Vegetable Broth
Makes 2 quarts
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 pasnip, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli stems, thinly sliced
1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
12 cups of water,
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Saute until starting to release juices, then add the water. Cover the pot and stir occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Simmer for 1 hour.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!