Tortilla with Smoked Salmon & Saffron

This is my second Tortilla recipe, simply because one can never have too many tortillas! I love them, they are tasty, filling and they are as good cold as hot and just so easy to make! AND you can use just about any leftover to make them with. In this case, I had some smoked salmon left from Eddie’s birthday breakfast and some stray strands of saffron from a paella that still needs some work before I’ll subject you to it. I have used lard and pork crackling, but you can just as easily make the tortilla with duck fat, or olive oil and simply leave the crackling out. It will be just as nice. (Almost)

  • 600g potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 120g onion
  • 30g garlic
  • 70g oak smoked salmon
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • about 1 Tbsp chopped herbs (tarragon, majoram & parsley)
  • ¼ tsp Spanish smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp lard
  • 1 Tbsp pork crackling
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • salt & black pepper

Peel, wash and slice the potatoes to about 2-3mm thickness, then cut each slice into rough quarters. Put the potato slices into a bowl of water, wash and drain. Fill with water again. Add one tablespoon of salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Leave the potatoes in there for at least half an hour. Peel the onions, cut them in half and slice fine. Crush the garlic, peel and chop it not too fine. Pluck and chop the herbs quite fine and slice the salmon into strips.

Heat the lard in the pan and fry the crackling to heat and crisp up. Remove the crackling from the pan and fry the onions in the lard until lightly brown. Now add the garlic and when it starts to turn just golden, add the potatoes and the saffron strands. Toss to coat and then leave the potatoes alone to brown gently. I add about half the salmon at this point to infuse my potatoes with the flavour, but if you want to find chunks of salmon in our tortilla, you can add it all later. You may find that some slices are browning while others don’t. Don’t worry about that too much, just make sure your potatoes are properly cooked, but not mushy. Salt your potatoes lightly about halfway through the cooking.

Once the potatoes are done, turn off the heat, remove the pan from the fire and leave to cool for three minutes. Crack your eggs into a bowl large enough to accommodate the eggs plus all the contents of your pan. Do not choose too small a bowl, or turning the potatoes to coat them will be a nightmare. Salt your eggs with about 2-3 pinches of salt (remember you have the saltiness of the salmon in there as well), crack a generous amount of black pepper into the eggs, add your chopped herbs and beat with a fork.

Now add your fried potatoes to the bowl and turn to coat evenly. You want egg on all the slices, so make sure none of them stick together. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and heat to medium heat. Once hot, pour the potatoes and eggs into the pan and as soon as the sides start to bubble, turn the heat to low. Leave this to set on low heat for about 5 minutes. The top will still be slightly liquid, but the whole tortilla should be firm enough for you to flip it onto a plate.

How to flip your tortilla without flipping out: If you have a completely flat plate (or cake tray) that is just a little bigger than your pan, you’re all set. If not, you will have to improvise. A cake board saved over from a birthday party does very well, or even a chopping board can be useful. What you want is something that can cover the whole pan, leaving you with enough space to get a good grip on the pan plus cover, so you can quickly turn the whole thing upside down. I suggest you do this over the sink. Just in case. Oh, and don’t worry if you loose a few potatoes along the way.

Heat another tablespoon of fat and slip the tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side. High heat for about one minute will get this done easily. Slide the tortilla onto a big plate and leave it to cool for about 5 minutes before you slice and eat it. Serve with a side of stewed smoky beans and a few slices of chorizo and happiness is yours.

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