I love the Spanish tortilla de patatas, which I first learned about in a tapas cooking course I took years ago before anyone knew what tapas were, and assumed you were talking about topless bars if you said something about tapas bars. My second encounter with these tortillas was in Spain, where I found Spanish food to be of wildly uneven quality, except for the tortillas de patatas, which were uniformly excellent.
So I was happy to have this Gutsy Cooks assignment. Except when I noticed that the recipe called for broccoli and peas. Broccoli is Jim's least favorite vegetable--it's the only trait he shares with George Bush the elder. He tolerates it as a vegetable, in its own place on the plate, but if it's mixed in with other ingredients, it pretty much contaminates the whole dish. So I omitted the broccoli. I love fresh peas, but frozen peas....not so much. I gave up on the green vegetables and substituted red peppers, which I sauteed in olive oil instead of boiling.
My stand-by recipe for a Spanish omelet requires you to gently poach sliced potatoes in olive oil. In a LOT of olive oil--like two cups. I didn't do that here, and the omelet suffered for it, in my opinion (although my supply of olive oil wasn't seriously depleted).
And I sliced the potatoes instead of dicing them because I've never eaten a Spanish omelet in Spain that didn't use sliced potatoes. (I've never eaten one with broccoli, either, but I'd already rejected the broccoli for other reasons).
Here's what I'd do differently next time. I'd just forget about adding vegetables. The red peppers were fine, but really just detracted from the classic potato taste. I'd slice the onions rather than cut them in a fine dice. It's both easier and the onion taste comes through better. I'd use Yukon Gold potatoes, which don't crumble as easily as baking potatoes. I'd use a cup and a half of olive oil to cook the potatoes. (It's not as crazy as it sounds--you end up draining most of the olive oil off, and you can save it for another time). And I'd use my 8-inch nonstick pan, in order to get more height.
Umm, I guess in other words I'd use my original recipe.
This, along with a green salad, was a whole meal for us, so I didn't make the cod in tomato sauce, but I'm hoping to make that later this week.
TASTE-O-METER RATINGS (0 to 10 scale)
Jim: "A 7. I don't dislike it, but I'm not crazy about it either."
Marie: "8. I'd give a different recipe at least a 9, but nothing with potatoes and eggs can be bad."