Spanish Tortilla Bites

April 22, 2008

This post has been a long time coming. As I went on (and on and on) about back in January, I helped my friend Patty cook for our friend Brynn’’s engagement party. With a Spanish theme, we cooked up an array of tapas. But after planning, prepping, cooking and eating all of tapas for the party, I kind of ran out of steam when it came to the photographing and blogging. Sure, I made it around to the cake (of course) and a few of the nibbles from the party, but one of my favorite tapas of all didn’’t make its way to this blog.

So, I was thrilled when Patty asked me to make that exact thing—Spanish Tortilla bites—for a wedding shower for yet another one of our friends (something in the water, I’’m pretty sure) last Saturday. In addition to allowing me to rectify my remissive blogging of yester-January, the tortilla bites also had the advantage of being make-ahead-able. This allowed me to hand them off to Patty on Saturday afternoon, since Kevin and I would be at his grandmother’’s Passover Seder that Saturday evening, making us a bit late to the shower.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

The only problem was that Grandma Delores is an incredible cook. At her seder, she lavished us with delicious haroset (scooped onto matzah, which, I must say, I love); savory chicken soup, studded with light-as-air matzoh balls; the most fall-apart brisket imaginable; decadent mashed potatoes; and a really interesting and incredible savory vegetable kugel. So, I wasn’’t exactly ravaging the buffet table once we got to the shower. In fact, I didn’t even have one of these little bites at the shower.

But, I must thank you dear readers. Because, it was with you in mind that I made a batch-and-a-half of the tortilla bites to ensure that I had some leftovers to photograph. And, as it turned out, to eat. They were every bit as good as I remember them being after the party in January. They might look like the kind of appetizer that should be served on doiley-lined platters and eaten gingerly, with one’’s pinky finger extended into the air. But these are so not pretentious. With their potatoes and onions and cheese and eggs, they’’re more hearty omelet than dainty canapé.

And while these tortilla bites are really, really good and I can now breathe easy that I’’ve finally blogged about them, I was still kicking myself at the end of the night on Saturday. I can’’t believe I didn’’t get any of the recipes from Grandma Delores. I’ll have to work on that. And, maybe next year, she’’ll even let me do a little spying while she cooks!

Spanish Tortilla Bites
Adapted from Gourmet

1 bunch scallions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
9 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
5 oz Manchego or white Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch baking pan or dish.

Finely chop white and green parts of scallions and reserve separately.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onions, garlic, white parts of scallions, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, then stir in potatoes and cover skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly.

Whisk together eggs, sour cream, cheese, scallion greens, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then pour into baking pan. Sprinkle potato mixture over eggs (some potatoes will stick out). Bake until custard is set, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack to warm or room temperature. Trim 1/2 inch off each side, then cut tortilla into 1 1/2- by 1-inch rectangles.

Cooks’ note: Tortilla can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Cut into squares, then bring to room temperature before serving or reheat to warm in a preheated 325°F oven.


3 Responses to “Spanish Tortilla Bites”

  1. Steph Says:

    Yum, these look so delicious! I will have to give these a try for sure!

  2. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Steph: Thank you! Do try them and let me know what you think! They’ve been a crowd pleaser for me.

  3. joejhorn Says:

    Nice, very cool. I just made them some out of a Donna Hay magazine this morning and was pretty happy. I’m going to make a more traditional version tomorrow. I liked the idea of sour cream and the cheese. Like a Frittata.

    Here’s my post if you are interested in reading it.


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