Here in Estonia we're finally getting to see episodes of Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home, the show which features him buzzing around his country house making delicious food and chatting about how fantastic everything in his garden tastes, showing off his gorgeous wood oven and superior chopping chops.
The episode on potatoes had him throwing together this utterly stunning-looking riff on a Spanish omelet, prepared more like an Italian frittata so it would puff up and expand in the oven. Spanish chorizo (which is cured and firmer than the Mexican kind) is seared with chunks of par-boiled potato, releasing its smoky red color into the oil, which imbues the whole thing with fantastic flavor.
This is Jamie Oliver cooking at its best—fast, with huge flavors, and just enough of a departure from something authentic to make it new again. The tortilla espanola is traditionally just potatoes and eggs, and it's flipped in a pan, not finished in the the oven. The chorizo is obviously not out of place, being Spanish—just make sure you distribute the chunks evenly throughout the pan, or you're liable to start a fight, like I did.
A simple salad of shallot, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil balances out the bold flavors. Its tart brightness really makes the dish sing.
- 4 small waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 4 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- 2 shallots, peeled and very finely sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, very roughly chopped
Bring a pot of salt water to boil and cook the potato chunks until very tender. Drain and return to their pot to steam dry. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat a large skillet (non-stick if you have one that's oven-safe) over medium-high heat and add the potato and chorizo chunks. Cook, tossing occassionally, until the chorizo has released lots of fat and the potatoes are beginning to crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.
In the meantime, beat the eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper and slice the shallots. Add them to a bowl and cover with the lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pinch with your fingers to dress and allow them to marinate, which will soften their raw harsh flavor.
Remove the chorizo and potato chunks, leaving the oil behind, and add in the rosemary leaves. Cook them over high heat until just begining to crisp, then pour in the eggs. Add the chorizo and potato chunks to the pan, distributing evenly, and slip the pan into the oven uncovered. Cook until the eggs puff up and are just lightly brown on top. Mix up the parsley with the shallots and scatter it over the pan. Serve immediately.