Christmas and New Year falling on a Monday resulted in nearly 10 fun-filled yet exhausting days with the kids.
That type of schedule can take its toll on even the most patient of parents (after all how many times in one week can you watch the DVD of Cars ..at least 8 and counting if you are my little boy).
Thankfully, we were able to break the full-bore digital media assault with a few trips to the beach for very bracing walks and yes, a little bit of Gastrodad and Gastrokid cooking.
Our finest creation last week was a Spanish Tortilla for Zelda's first birthday. Dylan helped crack the eggs and stir the potatoes but I kept the tortilla flipping to myself (there's only so much egg on the face a toddler should be made to endure!)
I'm useless at judging the right number of potatoes and eggs needed for this meal so we ended up with a 14 inch monster tortilla that easily fed 10 people (just as well we were having a party). You could half the ingredients and use a smaller skillet if just cooking for one nuclear-ish family.
You can add all sorts of ingredients to jazz up a tortilla (red pepper, spinach and mushrooms are some personal favourites) but I've gone with the traditional old-school recipe here.
What You'll Need
10 medium sized potatoes (sliced thin using a mandolin for consistency, washed clean of starch, dried and salted)
One large Spanish onion
A dash of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
How You Do It
Tortilla is a staple in most Spanish homes and every Tapas bar. It's simple in its ingredients to make but a little technical in execution so don't be put off by the need to practice a few times in order to achieve the best results.
A tortilla is much like a frittata with potatoes and onions providing the filling. Unlike a frittata, tortillas are never baked in the oven, they are cooked in a skillet and flipped to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.
To begin, heat a liberal amount of olive oil or mix of olive and vegetable oil (yes you'll be using that much) in a large non-stick skillet/frying pan. Add the sliced potatoes and onion and cook first on a medium then low heat until the mixture is soft. Stir regularly as you DO NOT want the potatoes to burn or brown. Add salt and pepper for taste. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and dash of milk to make an omelette mixture. Add the potatoes and onion to the eggs and mix well together. The potatoes should saturate the mixture unlike a fritatta where the emphasis is on the eggs.
Remove all bits of potato from the skillet, then add more oil (your tortilla omelette needs to float in a thin film of olive oil in order for you to shape the edges into a classic rounded disc).
Over a medium heat, add the eggy potato mix to the skillet and cook as you would an omelette. As the sides of the omelette become firm, gently push them into the center of the omelette with a spatula to create the rounded edge that does not hug the side of the pan.
After about 5-7 minutes, the tortilla is ready to be flipped.
Place a large plate face down on top of the skillet. Using your stronger hand, quickly turn the pan upside down while keeping hold of the plate with your other hand. The tortilla will now be sitting on top of the plate (you can see what I mean about practice makes perfect with this dish). Put the pan back on the head and gently slide the tortilla back into the pan (use the spatula to help keep any undercooked bits in place).
Cook for another 5 - 7 minutes then flip again onto another clean plate. Let the tortilla cool and set for at least 30 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
We made ours in the morning and served at the afternoon party. Both kids and adults alike devoured it.
And Dylan could say he made his kid sister's birthday party food.