The long, lazy days of summer are drawing to a close and soon the back-to-school frenzy will begin. Forget relaxed BBQs and slow-cook dinners, food is needed pronto, somewhere between homework and bathtime.
And that’s just the adults! I’m serious: I don’t even have children, but as a new teacher about to start my first term, I can foresee a lot of busy evenings ahead as I prep lessons and mark work, and cooking is going to be the last thing on my mind. However, a hectic schedule does not have to mean ready meals; our #SundaySupper team are at the rescue with delicious recipes and fresh ingredients, giving you an arsenal of quick and easy meals in under 30 minutes. Our wonderful hostess this week is Nicole of Daily Dish Recipes.
I decided to share with you my version of Spanish tortilla which, just to be clear, is not the same as a Mexican tortilla. It is a type of omelette, and while studying in Spain, I used to eat it all the time. It is offered as a snack in pretty much any cafe or bar and it frequently provided a satisfying bite between classes, or as an evening nibble, alongside a glass of rioja. Oh, those were the days!
Spanish tortilla is a healthy, nutritious dish, and traditionally a peasant meal. The basic ingredients are therefore about as simple as you can get: eggs, potatoes & onion. Traditionally, it is cooked on the stove, very slowly. It has to be constantly watched, have oil added, be scraped from the edge of the pan so that it doesn’t stick. In short, it is hard work.
So this is a baked version – think of it like a quiche without the crust. It tastes just as good and is much quicker and easier to make. It provides a taste of Spain – and for me, a taste of nostalgia – as well as being a nutritious and comforting meal.You do have to be organised to get this in at 30 minutes, but it is very straightforward.
Baked Spanish Tortilla
Makes enough for 4, with leftovers for lunch
To maximise your time, make sure you:
Then, peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices. Put into the pan of boiling water and simmer for about 6 minutes, or until the potato slices are tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, whisk the eggs. Add the yoghurt/cream slowly, whisking all the time. Season with salt and pepper and set this to one side.
Put a little oil in the frying pan. Slice the onions roughly (think ‘rustic’!) and crush the garlic. Put into the pan and fry gently until the onions are just softening. Turn off the heat.
Drain the potatoes and lay about half of the slices in the pyrex dish. Top with half of the onion and garlic and a layer of Spinach. Pour over some of the egg mixture, keeping back more than half. Layer the rest of the potatoes, onions and spinach. You could add whatever else you have to use up – ham/bacon pieces work really well.
Pour over the rest of the egg mixture and put into the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are completely set and the top is just beginning to brown. If desired, slice a tomato and add the slices to the top after about 15 minutes into the cooking time.
The great thing is that when this dish goes into the oven, all the work has been done and you have some time to do all that ‘messy’ washing up without leaving it to groan over after dinner. It is a brilliant timesaver. It gives you time to get cleared up (or to delegate the children to do so!) and set the table, so that you can sit down to dinner with the minimum of stress.
Once the tortilla is ready, cut it into squares and serve warm with simple salad leaves and some crusty bread and butter. Any leftovers are great cold and popped into lunchboxes the next day.
So that’s a school-night dinner – and next day’s lunch – sorted and all you have left to clear up are a few plates and the pyrex dish. In my book, that’s a pretty good deal for healthy, fresh home cooking.
You can hardly say that you’re short of choice – just look at what the #SundaySupper crew have come up with this week! There’s enough recipes to see you through this term and into the next, so peruse and enjoy! Remember, you can join us for the live Twitter chat at 7:00pm ET – just search for the#SundaySupper hashtag and you’ll find us.