I love a good egg! My husband is a damn fine egg but I do also love the edible free range variety! Eggs are my answer to mid week dinner madness or for the Sunday night ‘let’s keep it simple’ dinner. If you have an egg in the house you have a great meal. A glass of wine and a good egg – I get excited just writing about it! The options are many when it comes to how they might be cooked and enjoyed. This week, I cooked up a lovely Spanish omelette with a green salad and some gorgeous seasonal asparagus. Easy, nutritious and delicious and for a non cricket loving girl, this is my idea of a hat-trick!
Before we get to the tasty omelette, let’s first cover some ‘egg-y’ facts:
1) When cooking with eggs, naturally fresh eggs are best. To tell if an egg is fresh, submerge it in cold water -if it is fresh, it will sink to the bottom. This is because the air cell within the egg is very small. As the egg ages, more air enters the egg (the shell is porous) and this means it starts to loose its freshness. An older egg, if submerged in water, will begin to float and stand upright.
2) Given the shell of an egg is porous, eggs can absorb strong odours. To avoid this, eggs are best stored in the cardboard egg carton you bought them in.
3) Eggs need to be stored in the refrigerator (not in the door but in the main body of the fridge). An egg stored at room temperature will deteriorate more in one day at room temperature than if it had been refrigerated for one week.
4) Take eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time, before cooking commences. It may take 30-60 minutes for an egg to reach room temperature. If you use an egg when it is still too cold, the shell will likely crack when placed in boiling water. Cold egg whites also do not whisk well and cold egg yolks will not blend well in sauces and mayonnaise. If you need to speed up the process of getting an egg to room temperature before using, you can place the egg in luke warm water for approximately 10 minutes.
5) The color of the eggshell (brown or white) is determined by the breed of hens and not their nutritional value. Their nutritional value is the same.
6) Leftover egg whites can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for approximately 7 days. They may also be frozen for up to one month. I like to freeze my leftover egg whites in ice cube trays. Zip lock bags are also great. Always label how many egg whites in each package. It just makes life a lot easier when a recipe might call for 5 egg whites. For the record, 1 large egg white = approximately 2 tablespoons or approximately 25 grams.
Leftover egg yolks, can be stored in the refrigerator, covered and with a small amount of cold water, for a couple of days.
We are looking at getting some Bantam chooks for our back yard but this is another post entirely. If you are my husband and you are reading this (hello), I admit that myself & the ‘apples of your eye’ might not yet have included you in these discussions (there’s an apology in there somewhere). This is the ‘surprise’ our youngest keeps tempting you about. I know it wont be the a Ha fabulous & lucky me surprise which you might be anticipating but does it help that I started this blog post with ‘my husband is a damn fine egg?’ Okay, so we’ll chat about this but fyi – I promise to make you this Spanish omelette that you soooo loved this week, any time your heart so desires!
TORTILLA DE PATATAS ~ SPANISH POTATO OMELETTE
I love eggs as a main meal. You just have to think a little outside the square sometimes for that extra ‘wow’ factor. This is a dish that developed in lean times when the need to cook using whatever ingredients you had on hand was essential.
Don’t skimp on the quality of the eggs here. A really great quality egg makes all the difference as to how great your tortilla can be and trust me, it really can be great. This has my family going back for more but if your family aren’t quite as greedy as mine are, this is super delicious the next day. Just wrap your leftover tortilla in some greaseproof paper and voila, you have a little slice of Spain in your lunch box!
I have added some lovely Sherry vinegar and just a touch of brown sugar to this dish which gives the dish a beautiful depth and richness. You can leave both these out if you prefer a more authentic dish.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
250g floury potatoes
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed or very finely chopped
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar (substitute for balsamic if need be)
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat your grill to high.
Cut the potatoes into very thin slices using a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Gently whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper and set aside. Place a large non stick frying pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the potatoes, stirring from time to time, for approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the potatoes are slightly golden. Add the sherry vinegar and sugar and stir for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and gently mix the potato and onion mixture in to the eggs.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the egg, potato and onion mixture and as it starts to cook, gently agitate the pan. After 1-2 minutes , cover the pan with a large oiled dinner plate, flip the pan and turn the tortilla out on to the plate. Gently slide the tortilla back in to the pan but this time with the uncooked side down. Turn heat down to low. After a minute, transfer the tortilla to under the hot grill and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until the top is set. It is fine for the tortilla to still have a little wobble to it. Keep in the pan for approximately 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Stunning on it’s own or served with a green salad and some seasonal asparagus with parmesan and lemon.
For the ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON AND PARMESAN : Bend each asparagus at the base of the spear until it snaps. This is a natural way of removing the woody end that you want to discard. Heat a barbecue or griddle pan on high. Put the asparagus in a bowl and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to coat the asparagus well. Cook the asparagus for a few minutes until they are cooked through and lightly charred. Remove from the heat, drizzle with a little more olive oil and pour over the juice and zest of 1 lemon as well as shavings of parmesan before serving.