On Friday night two friends were arriving in from Cambridge in time for a late supper. They didn’t arrive until after 9pm, fortunately, as the previous night at Mackerel and an after-work engagement party ensured that I didn’t get home until around half seven. Walking home from town I nipped into Spiceland to pick up some pita breads and a tin of dolmades (rice stuffed vine leaves) and together with a few house basics – potatoes, carrots, chorizo, eggs – decided on a simple tapas-style meal with a Mediterranean flavour.
Once cooked, a whiz in the food processor turned the carrots into Spicy Carrot Dip, which I served with the pita breads and alongside some a bowl of natural yoghurt, sprinkled generously with ground cumin. The potatoes, chorizo and eggs all went into one of my current favourite dishes – a Potato and Chorizo Tortilla or Spanish omelette. I got over my long-term fear of the potato in New Zealand and now there’s often a bag of organic spuds in the shopping bag. They have to be waxy though, I’m not yet ready to move on to the beloved Irish floury potatoes! When there are potatoes in the house, tortilla – or, as it is known in Italy, frittata – is a great standby. It doesn’t take long to make and prefers not to be served hot, happily sitting around at room temperature until it is needed.
If you haven’t had a chance to cook the potatoes ahead of time and you’re boiling them as part of your evening preparation, make sure you spare yourself the washing-up and cook them the same saucepan as the carrots that you’re using in the dip.
By the time our guests arrived I would have been ready but, emboldened by my success at getting everything together, at the last minute I decided to make a cake…and that’s a story for another day!
No photos this time. The digital camera seems to have given up the ghost at the moment so we’re imageless. Hopefully we’ll figure out what’s ailing it soon.
Potato and Chorizo Tortilla
Red onions – 1, finely chopped
Chorizo – 200g, sliced
Garlic – 1 clove, sliced
Smoked paprika – ¼ teaspoon
Eggs – 6, lightly beaten
Cooked waxy potatoes – 750g
Olive oil for frying
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat some olive oil in a heavy oven-proof frying-pan and fry the onions and chorizo over a moderate heat until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and smoked paprika fry for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, roughly slice the cooked potatoes and add them to the beaten eggs along with some salt and pepper. Scrape the contents of the frying pan into the egg and potato mixture and fold gently together.
Heat a little more olive oil in the frying-pan over a medium and, when it is hot, pour in the egg-potato-onion-chorizo mixture. Give it 5-10 minutes on top of the cooker to lightly brown the bottom then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until set. Cool slightly, turn it out onto a plate and cut into wedges to serve.