Tortilla Espanola with Charred Red Peppers

A colleague of mine recommended this cookbook, and as I have attested, I love soup. How could I pass up another cookbook devoted to soup? Especially a vegetarian cookbook devoted to soup?

Yet the irony is that while I bought the book for the soup, the first recipe I made was for non-soup.

I had eggs. I had potatoes. I needed to use both. So Spanish tortilla became a siren sound, and here we are.

You might recognize the name Anna Thomas, as she also wrote Vegetarian Epicure (the bible for vegetarians in the 70s written while Thomas herself was in college) and The New Vegetarian Epicure. Back in my working in the bookstore days, I shelved both of those books many a times--even in Salt Lake City in the 90s, these vegetarian tomes were hard to keep on the shelf.

What's even more fun about Thomas is that in addition to being an accomplished cookbook author, she is also an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and acclaimed film producer--her most famous film being, perhaps, El Norte.

The Los Angeles Times wrote a nice article about her when Love Soup came out in 2009. The book went on to win a James Beard Award--the Oscars of the cookbook world. It seems as if Thomas hasn't lost her touch in either the film or the food world.  Lucky for us!

Anyhow, this tortilla, as most tortillas are, is a snap to make, and it travels well.  Not only did this serve as dinner, but I'll admit it served as a few other breakfasts and lunches as well.

The only flaw in this recipe is me.  When I tried to flip the tortilla, it stuck to the pan: 

Lesson learned:  Don't use a cast iron skillet for this dish.

However, cutting it into nice little squares hid my mistake easily.  What did Julia Child say?  "No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize."

See, I meant to do that.  What pretty little squares:

Anyway, happy tortilla eating from this soup cookbook written by a filmmaker. You don't even need a spoon.

One Year Ago: Pork Loin Braised in Milk Bolognese

Tortilla Espanola with Charred Red Peppers
Adapted from  Anna Thomas's Love Soup

Serves 6

1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1-1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 large bell peppers
8 large eggs

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Scrub the potatoes well, and cut them into a 1/2-inch dice. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick, oven-safe pan. Add the potatoes and chopped onions, along with a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the potatoes and onions are soft and browning, at least 25-30 minutes.  Taste for salt.

3.  Put the peppers on an ungreased baking pan and roast the peppers until their skins blister and blackened. Put the charred peppers in a paper bag for a few minutes to let them sweat, then peel, stem and seed them. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the potatoes and onions. Turn the oven to broil.

4.  Beat the eggs, adding about 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, and stir the cooked vegetables into the eggs.

5.  Wipe the pan clean and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Heat the oil, then pour in the egg and vegetable mixture. Turn the heat very low, cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are completely set, about 10-20 minutes.

6.  Loosen the edges of the tortilla with a thin, spatula, making sure it slides freely in the pan.  Put the pan under the broiler for 5 minutes, checking often, or until the top of the tortilla is browned and set.

7.  Remove the tortilla from the broiler and slide it onto a platter or invert it onto a serving plate. The tortilla can be served hot, warm, at room temperature, or cool.  Cut into wedges or squares.


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