I’ve never really been excited by Spanish food. I say that knowing full well I’ve only been subjected to poor paella and limp tapas and the two times I’ve been it seems that we couldn’t get past tinned peas and carrots in tourist restaurants.
I want to be proven wrong. I love Padron peppers, charred and salty, good ham and fresh large garlic prawns.
I want someone to teach me how good it can be. I know saying “Spanish food” is like saying “Italian” or “Indian”. So many regions and so many varieties of cooking can’t be summed up in one word. So what is the defining characteristic?
I was thinking about all this the other lunchtime while making – a rare occurrence in this house – a tortilla.
I love eggs and happily eat them every day. This recipe, while it has a few stages is really simple, and delicious served with crisp gem lettuce leaves dressed in a sharp, mustardy, tarragon vinaigrette. I fed what we couldn’t finish to the children for their supper. They loved it.
5 large eggs
1 medium white onion, finely sliced
A large handful of cubed cooking chorizo
A bag of baby spinach leaves
1 medium Maris Piper potato, finely sliced, almost like crisps
A dash of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1: Wilt the spinach in a sauté pan then squeeze as much water out as possible and set aside.
2: Add some oil to the pan and fry the potatoes in batches until crisp and golden. Set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
3: In the same pan, sauté the onions very gently in oil until soft and starting to turn golden, then add the chorizo and cook until it starts to colour. De-glaze the pan with the sherry vinegar and swirl around well until it reduced a little. Pour everything into a bowl, chop the spinach a little and add this with the potatoes. Mix well.
4:Heat the grill. Lightly beat the eggs with a splash of milk, salt and pepper. Heat the pan again, add a little oil then pour in the eggs.
5: Gently add the mix from the bowl and leave to cook until the mix begins to set.
6: Put under the grill and cook for a few minutes more, until it begins to turn golden but still has a little wobble. Remove from the grill and leave to cool a little. It should be served at room temperature. Turn out from the pan and serve with a salad.