The Mediterranean coastline is long, indented, crenellated, waffled, and wavy all the way around the Mediterranean basin from southern Spain to northwest Morocco. Each of the 21 countries and many islands the sea washes has its own cuisine and culture. But regional blessings allow them to share the same ingredients: olives, fresh fruit and vegetables, wheat, grains, beans, rice, cheese, seafood, poultry, lamb, and pork. When animal protein is used, it is utilized as a flavoring and garnish rather than as the main item in a dish. Paella and risotto are just two good examples of this healthy way of eating.

Just looking at the place-names Marsala, Bodrum, and Alexandria evokes in me such taste-memory nostalgia for the cultures and cuisines I have experienced there! From time to time, Women’s Voices for Change will be posting my thoughts about utilizing the Mediterranean chef’s healthy—and delectable—approach to eating.

To get started, I suggest a simple traditional Spanish tortilla with a twist: onions, potatoes, and a touch of chorizo, bound together with egg, similar to an Italian frittata.

You can serve the tortilla as a light lunch or dinner dish accompanied by a fresh, lightly dressed salad and a glass of Rioja.


Ro’s Chorizo-Potato Spanish Tortillas

Yield:  Six portions.

Equipment: Measuring spoons and cups, shallow straight-sided pan, half sheet tray, colander, 12-inch sauté pan, medium bowls, wide rubber spatula, medium-long wire whisk.

2 cups ¼ to ½ inch diced potatoes

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped white onion

1½ cups ¼ to ½ inch diced dry, (cured or) cooked fresh chorizo

12 large eggs, beaten
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ teaspoons Spanish Pimentón Dulce (sweet Spanish smoked paprika—available form specialty markets)

½ cup minced parsley

Place the diced potatoes in a shallow saucepan filled with cold salted water. The water should just cover the potatoes. Cover the pan, allowing a small gap for the steam to emerge. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a medium simmer. If the water boils too vigorously, the potatoes will fall apart. When they are tender enough to withstand a prick with a skewer, drain them and spread them on a half sheet tray to cool. Do not shock them in cold water! Moisture will evaporate from the potatoes as they cool, allowing for the egg-starch osmosis to provide a happy binding of ingredients.

Heat a 12-inch sauté pan. When it is hot, add the olive oil. Heat to shimmering but not smoking. Add the chopped onions and cook through to translucent and lightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
When the onions are cooked through, add the diced chorizo. Spread all on a sheet tray to cool completely.
When cooled, combine them in a bowl with the beaten, seasoned eggs. Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
Pour into well-oiled mini-muffin tins (for an amuse) or a well-oiled, 12-inch hot sauté pan.
Place in a 350-degree oven and cook until set (10 minutes for mini-muffin tins and 20 to 25 minutes for sauté pan.) There should still be a little jiggle in the center.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. Residual heat from the pan will finish the cooking process.

This can be served hot or at room temperature. When ready to serve, cut or slice the tortilla. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley over all to brighten. Even a beautiful face looks better with mascara!
Offer a simple salad alongside and let guests help themselves.

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