Spanish Omelette 'Tortilla'

Spanish Omelette

Given that the Spanish were in S. America for such a long time, and that in Mexico they speak Spanish, I've always found it odd that 'tortilla' has a different meaning in each country. In Mexico, it's a flat-bread often made of corn, whereas in Spain, it's an 'open omelette' of potato and onion.

I was first introduced to 'proper' Spanish Omelette when I worked at a large Government Hostel for homeless men. I had never seen an omelette made with just onion, potato and egg, plus a little garlic. Others I'd seen looked as if they'd had the veg box emptied into them. Not that I recall ever having one of those either! David, the senior cook, made it for a buffet. He was married to a girl with Spanish heritage and had learned to make it the authentic way from her.

For that kind of omelette, I'd fry the onion and potato with garlic in olive oil until cooked through but not coloured. Add it to the egg and then fry the lot in more oil until it is nearly cooked. Then turn it over onto a plate and sliding it back into more oil to finish cooking on the other side.

I don't know why I'm telling you this, I'm on a diet so this isn't one of those omelettes; it's a reduced calorie version with approximately 800 calories in the whole omelette. That's only 200 calories for a large portion.

I've replaced some of the potato with courgette and tomato. As 80% of the calories in eggs are in the yolks, I've used 4 whole eggs and 2 egg whites instead of my normal 6 whole eggs. The oil content has also been reduced by using an oil sprayer. You can see it at the bottom right hand side of the picture. You can use any oil you fancy in it, and ten sprays of oil is only about 15 calories.

Lower Calorie Spanish Omelette

You can vary the ingredients to suit; red pepper's nice, as is spinach. For this version, I used:

390gm Potato (diced)
100gm Onion (chopped fine)
135gm Courgette (diced)
192gm Tomato (de-seeded & sliced)
3gm Parsley (finely chopped)
4 Egg yolks
6 Egg whites
3gm Oil
Salt & white pepper

I cooked the potato and onion, with a little water, in the microwave until the potato was just cooked. The eggs were mixed together with a fork until amalgamated, seasoned well, and the chopped parsley added. They were then mixed with the potato and onion. In the meantime the courgettes and tomato were fried in an 8 inch (20cm) non-stick frying pan until warmed through but still with some bite. I used 10 sprays of oil (1.5gm) for this. They were then added to the egg and potato before being put into a further 10 sprays of hot oil in the frying pan. After a minute or so I moved the cooked egg from the bottom and edges of the pan with a fork to allow some of the raw egg to take its place. The heat was reduce to low and it was left to cook until all but the top-most ¼ inch or so was cooked. It was then placed under a hot grill to finish cooking.

I thought that it'd be difficult to remove from the pan as so little oil had been used, but by running a knife around the edge, cutting it in half, and then using a fish slice to remove each half from the pan it came out without sticking.

Spanish Omelette

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