Recipe: Tomato, pea and ham tortilla

Here’s my recipe for day three of British Tomato Week. Enjoy.

I love a Spanish omelette (tortilla). The fabulous potato, egg and onion base lends itself to endless additions, it’s the perfect dish to get creative with.

This one has plenty of stuff in it, so will make a substantial meal and it’s topped with halved cherry tomatoes, making it look bright and beautiful.

Tortilla is a wonderfully portable snack and tastes great cold and hot, so make a big one and you’ll have plenty of delicious leftovers to savour.

Tomato, pea and ham tortilla

Serves 4 as a meal

tortilla3

The beautiful tortilla ready to serve

400g potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm slices

150g fresh peas

4 tbsps vegetable oil

1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

6 large eggs

4 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped

200g cooked hock of ham, shredded

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and return to the boil. Simmer for about 5 mins until the potatoes are starting to soften. Drain and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsps of the oil in a 25cm non-stick frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 mins. Add the garlic and cook for another 3-4 mins until the onion is soft.

Add the potatoes and peas and fry, stirring gently for about another 10 mins.

Meantime beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley and ham and mix through.

Pour the egg mixture into the other ingredients in the frying pan. Make sure it is spread out evenly.

Dot the halved tomatoes evenly on top.

Cook on the hob on a low heat for 10-15 mins until the base is set.

Meantime preheat the grill and place the pan under it. Continue cooking until the top is set and golden brown.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently tip the tortilla onto a plate.

Serve with a salad.

tortilla1

The tortilla cooks on the stove top while the bottom sets

tortilla2

Finished off under the grill it comes out golden brown

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To find out more about tomatoes, visit www.britishtomatoes.co.uk

Recipe: Is it a frittata? A tortilla? Or an omelette?

So, we needed to come up with a dish to cook for friends who’re eating carb free. Terry had the idea for this and we decided it needed its very own name – so we’ve invented a word. Welcome to our recipe for a delicious fromilla.

It’s kind of a cross between a frittata, omelette and tortilla (okay they are all kind of the same thing…but I felt the need to make up a new word).

It’s a versatile dish that works served pretty much any time of day. Our favourites  are as a tapas course for dinner or for mid-morning brunch, served with a crisp salad. It also tastes delicious cold and would make a great packed lunch or picnic dish.

The fromilla always elicits sighs of delight when it's slid out of the pan

The fromilla always elicits sighs of delight when it’s slid out of the pan

Serves 8

16 eggs, beaten with the milk

100ml milk, beaten with the eggs

1 large onion, finely chopped

200g cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or grated

1 packet of ham, cut into thin strips

1 packet of asparagus tips

3 tsp dried oregano

Fry the onions until softened.

Heat a frying pan on the hob with vegetable oil and make sure the pan is coated thoroughly.

Keep the pan on a low to medium heat. Pour in half the eggs and half the oregano. Layer the fried onions evenly across the egg, then place a layer of cheese. Cook for about 2 mins until the base of the egg starts setting.

Pour the rest of the eggs over as the next layer and sprinkle the rest of the oregano. Allow 1 min to settle. Then layer the asparagus around the edge with the tips pointing into the centre. Place ham strips between the asparagus tips. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for about another 10 to 15 mins until it is almost cooked through but still slightly runny on top.

To finish off, place the frying pan under the grill for approximately 10 mins until the top is firm and browned.

Remove from the oven.

Loosen the edges with a spatula and slide, complete, onto a plate.

Slice and serve.

 

The Cook with Biltong Club: Biltong tortilla – fusing Spanish and South African

What a great idea, even if I say so myself. Sitting on the bus on my way home from work I was thinking biltong…and wondering what other exciting recipes I could come up with when I remembered making a lovely Spanish omelette with chorizo. Brainwave…use biltong instead of chorizo.

Spanish omelette (or tortilla) is an amazingly simple dish with very few ingredients, basically potato, onion and egg. So it’s the perfect match for something meaty like biltong.

This recipe makes 12 slices

6 medium potoates, peeled and thinly sliced

3 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced

12 eggs

200g wet biltong, cut into small pieces

Small bunch of parsley, chopped

2 tbps olive oil for frying

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the sliced potatoes and onions. Fry them on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are softening and the onions are starting to go golden.

In the meantime beat the eggs and stir in the biltong and parsley.

Put the potato and onion mix into a large bowl and pour the egg mix over it. Gently stir together.

eggy mix

The eggy mix in a bowl with the lightly fried potato and onion

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a deep frying pan and pour the mix into it. Cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the top of your tortilla feels fairly firm to the touch. Keep an eye on it while it’s cooking to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Turn on the grill to a medium heat and place your frying pan under it for about 10 mins so the top browns and the whole tortilla feels solid to the touch.

Remove the pan and leave to cool down a bit, for about 10 mins.

Take a large plate (bigger than the top of the frying pan) and place on top of the frying pan, then turn it all over and tip the tortilla onto the plate.

The key is keeping your tortilla all in one chunky piece. I have to admit I make it the cowardly non-Spanish way where I cook it on the stove top first and then finish it off under the grill.You’re supposed to tip it onto a plate from your pan and then slip it back in the pan the other way around so both sides cook evenly.

I’ve watched Spanish people flip it in and out of the frying pan with no effort at all but I reckon that takes plenty of practice. All I get when I consider it is the vision of my tortilla all over the floor. My way does work but I’ve been told my tortilla will never taste truly authentic…anyway, this was still delicious and all came out in one piece with no mess –  I was still holding my breath as I emptied it onto the plate, even though I’d opted for the “easy” way.

My whole tortilla which slid perfectly out of the pan

My whole tortilla which slid perfectly out of the pan

Tortilla is great served hot or cold and fits just about any meal…for breakfast with an egg, lunch with a salad, as an anytime snack or packed picnic lunch on its own. In Spain they even serve it in baguettes which is surprisingly good!

I just love the layers of potato, onion and egg

I just love the layers of potato, onion and egg

Join our club

I’m regularly going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.

And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).

Go to http://www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong

Tapas and Cava at Condesa in Covent Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to wander around Covent Garden with no agenda, taking in the sights and seeing what new delights I can discover. So yesterday when I had a Chinese cookery course there, I went in early and did just that.

I’m pleased to say that my favourite part of London is booming. The energy is amazing and on a warm October evening there were people everywhere enjoying all the things it has to offer, from street entertainers (some good, some very bad), coffee shops on every corner, bars, restaurants and great shopping, too. And then I happened upon my new discovery.

Condesa is a little tapas bar that serves a mix of Spanish and South American tapas, as you can see from the sign outside.

Welcome to Condesa

Welcome to Condesa

When I walked in it felt like a little taste of Spain. Welcoming staff and a lovely, intimate, low-lit  space that made me feel right at home.

bar

You can sit at the counter and tuck into tapas

There’s a blackboard of tapas specials behind the bar as well as a menu offering dishes like traditional jamon, manchego, chorizo, olives and almonds as well as pulled pork, chicken chipotle and ceviche.

Happiness is a perfectly chilled glass of Cava

Happiness is a perfectly chilled glass of Cava

To go with my Cava I couldn’t resist ordering tortilla Iberica. Yummy, mini Spanish omelette.

tortilla

A feast for the eyes and the stomach

Condesa has been open for 10 months – yes, it’s taken me that long to discover it. I really must organise some more time for Covent Garden wandering.

Condesa is at 15 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden WC2

Celebrate the British pea harvest

Last year’s dreadful, wet summer meant the UK pea harvest was a bit of a washout. Thank goodness this year is looking a lot better, so I thought it would be good to celebrate with some delicious recipes for a hot summer’s day. Boy are we having some of those at the moment!

Did you know that we eat 150 million kilogrammes of frozen peas a year in the UK? That’s a lot of peas. Well, I do find it extremely handy to have a bag of these versatile vegetables in the freezer at all times.

Pea, Spicy Chorizo and Potato Tortilla with Tomato Salsa

Pea, Spicy Chorizo and Potato Tortilla4

Serves 4-6

Waxy potatoes, like Desiree

6 tbsp rapeseed oil

120g of chorizo, diced into small pieces

1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced

8 eggs, beaten

200g of frozen peas, blanched

Sea salt and black pepper

Tomato salsa

4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and diced

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

 Peel the potatoes, slice them into thin rounds and place them in a clean tea towel. Rub  to get the slices as dry as possible. Heat 4 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil, in a non stick frying pan. Add the chorizo and onion and fry gently to release the oils from the chorizo. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the potato slices and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Turn the heat down, cover the pan with a lid and let the mixture cook slowly for 20 minutes, shaking the pan well from time to time. The mixture is not supposed to be brown, but gently stew in the oil.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs lightly in a large bowl, do not over beat them, and season with sea salt and black pepper and add the peas. When the potato mixture is cooked, quickly transfer them to the eggs in the bowl. Put the pan back on the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil and turn the heat to medium. Mix the potato and egg mixture well before pouring it all back into the pan and turn the heat to its lowest setting, this will take 20 minutes to cook. Every now and then draw the edge in gently with a pallet knife. When the mixture is almost set on the top of the tortilla, remove from the heat and place a plate over the pan and invert both, so that the tortilla is on the plate.

Ease the tortilla back into the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave for a few minutes in the pan to set. Turn the tortilla out of the pan onto a wooden board or plate and serve hot or cold. Cut into wedges and serve with the tomato salsa.

To make to tomato salsa, mix all of the tomato salsa ingredients together, stir lightly and season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Roasted Pea and Aubergine Dip with Toasted Pitta Bread

Aubergine Dip

Serves 6-8

2 aubergines

350g frozen peas

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

A handful of fresh mint leaves

½ red chili, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp of ground cumin

A good pinch of ground coriander

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp of plain Greek yoghurt

Sea salt and black pepper

6 pitta breads, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6

Place the aubergines on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Cool and cut in half; scoop out the flesh and place in a blender.

Meanwhile cook the peas in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, until tender, drain and refresh under cold water, drain well again, making sure all the excess water has been removed. Then place the rapeseed oil, garlic, mint leaves and peas into the food processor, along with the aubergine, and blend to a thick puree. Add the yoghurt and blend again, until the yoghurt is just combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the chili, cumin, coriander and lemon juice and season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl, toast the pitta breads and cut into fingers and serve warm with the dip – delicious!

This dip is also great with sticks of carrot, peppers, baby tomatoes, celery and nachos.

Look out for more great pea recipes at www.peas.org

Spicy pork wraps with Mole sauce

I’m continuing my series of recipes using special ingredients from different supermarkets. Today it’s Mole sauce from  Tesco. Mole sauce (pronounced Mol-ay) is a dark red or brown sauce from Mexico that’s generally served over meat. There are a few different varieties, based around one main ingredient – chillies, but basically it’s a mix of lots of different spices, nuts, vegetables and chocolate and pretty time consuming and complicated to make. So it’s fabulous that you can simply pop a little jar into your basket the next time you are in Tesco.

I decided on a fajita-style dish with lots of goodies wrapped in tortillas along with the pork steaks which I brushed generously with the Mole, fried and then sliced up thin to lay down the middle of the tortillas. Use your imagination and think of different stuffings, depending on your taste. This combination is just perfect though and the whole dish took about half an hour to prepare and cook! A real flavour sensation.

The tortillas and the fresh fillings

Serves 2

1 onion

300k pork steaks

2 tomatoes

1 avocado

100g of roast peppers

2 tortillas

About a quarter of a lettuce, thinly sliced

Slice the onion into long strips and fry on low for about 20 minutes.

Add the pork steaks to the pan, turn the heat up and brown on one side. Turn over to do the same on the other side and smear a large tsp of mole sauce onto the first side.

Turn over again and spoon a second tsp onto the second side. Turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes in the sauce.

Meantime get the rest of your fillings ready by chopping the tomatoes and peppers, slicing the lettuce and mashing the avocado. Place each one in a separate dish.

Build up your tortilla by layering the different ingredients down the middle like in these pictures.

Start layering with the pork, onion and sauce

Next add the peppers, tomato and avo

And finally, the lettuce. Then roll up and tuck in.

Mole

This recipe was a real success in my house…and one that’s got to go onto our list of favourites. You’ll love it.