Saturday, February 2, 2013

Potato and Onion Frittata

Also known as ... "Another Excuse to Use Truffle Oil" Installment #3

So it's an early afternoon on a Saturday and it's cold and snowy outside. It's an early lunch and I haven't had any breakfast so a hearty egg dish sounds like a good impromptu plan (I know that's a contradiction in itself).

Sangria, a local restaurant that served Spanish fare and specialized in tapas, recently closed after a long successful run. I might be feeling a little reminiscent of one of their small plates that featured a cold frittata with a layer of thinly sliced potatoes and a dipping sauce with a mayonnaise base.

A frittata is basically an Italian version of an omelet, filled with anything from meats and vegetables, to cheeses and served open face. This Spanish version we are making is often called Tortilla de patatas and comes in many versions. Let's put on our twist on it today with some truffle oil. I will say that even without truffle oil this is very tasty and you can just use good olive oil.


1 regular potato, peeled and thinly sliced into disks
Sirracha Sauce
1 medium sweet onion, diced (I used about 1/4 of the onion)
8 eggs
Black Truffle Oil
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons ketchup
Sriracha sauce
Black Truffle Oil (just a smidge!)

Olive Oil and a bit of Black Truffle Oil
Slice the potato into disks. Some recipes will say to make them very thin. I like them a little heartier and it also make it easier to flip them over in the pan as they have a tendency to stick. Place this in a heavy skillet or frying pan with a little bit of truffle oil and some olive oil. On low heat, fry these potatoes gently along with the onion.

Don't worry about the onions, just golden potatoes
I should tell you that you need to use a heavy skillet that is completely metal and therefore oven proof as we will be putting this in the oven later. Because my only heavy pans that are metal are not nonstick, the potatoes need extra watching. I flip them a few times to try and make sure they don't stick. I also find the the pan does get some burned onions and some spots on the pan itself but don't worry. Focus on the potatoes. I actually get rid of the onions for the most part once the potatoes are cooked anyways. You get the flavor without the mess.

Once your potatoes are done, place them on plate lined with paper towel. Use another sheet of paper towel to blot off the excess oil that they may have on them. You don't want them super dry but you do want the extra oil gone. This will also lift most of the diced onions away that may have burned.
Using paper towel to drain, blot off excess oil and to lift off burned onions
 In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Potatoes back in the pan
Wipe out the frying pan and get rid of any little burned bits. You don't want to wash the pan, you want a little oil residue, especially since this is not a coated pan. Place the potatoes back into the pan arranging them in a single flat layer on medium heat. Pour the eggs over the potatoes and tilt the pan to make sure that the eggs get in between all of the disks.

The bottom of the eggs are set before going in the oven
Cook the fritatta so that the bottom is set, you will still see liquid on the top. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You should test to make sure the pan will fit and remove any racks that may be on the way. I typically take out the top rack and use the middle rack, as far down as it can go, so that there is room for the pan. The oven is what really sets this kind of omelet apart which you will see in a few minutes. I am just happy I don't have to flip the eggs on the stove. I have never been good at making a traditional omelet.

Puffing in the Oven - add a dusting of Parmesan cheese
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the eggs are starting to get golden on top. As you can see the oven treatment allows the eggs to puff and get a little more airy. This makes for a great texture. This is good stuff. The combination of the dense potatoes with the eggs will make for a hearty meal with complex flavors once we add our sauce. Good stuff, I say! Make it better by sprinkling Parmesan cheese on top. It's all about layering the flavors.

Time to Plate
 It's important to get the frittata out of the pan in one piece. Well maybe on second thought it really isn't but I want to take a picture of it for you so it is to me. I loosened the sides first and worked my way around with a wooden spatula. I then flipped it on to the plate. You have to make sure to get to the very bottom of the omelet so that nothing sticks. In the next picture you will see I missed a spot. . .as evidenced by the lack of golden brown on one section.

My goof for you to see!
See? I wasn't kidding. That left side is missing the very bottom but it does give you a good illustration of the bottom of our frittata and you can see that layer of potatoes. I am going to use that for my justification for not spending enough time to separate the eggy goodness from our pan. I won't matter when we plate it really. . . I just like things to be almost perfect!

Just a touch of sriracha sauce
I made a quick little dipping sauce with the mayonnaise and ketchup. Think of it as an almost remoulade. Just stir those two items together in a little bowl and then add a few drops of sriracha and tiny bit of the truffle oil. I really like sriracha sauce for a little bit of a kick. I used to use Frank's Red Hot but there is a slightly different flavor with sriracha. It's not too hot if you use a little but if you like super spicy by all means go ahead and add a bunch. However, if you do I wouldn't bother with the truffle oil. I used a tiny bit of the oil and it was really subtle. I think if you go heave on the sriracha it will overpower it. Chill the sauce.

Hot vs. Cold

Now here is the time for debate. . . and I know the elections are over. . . cold or hot frittata. You can go either way of course. I will tell you I prefer it chilled. I often make it the night before for lunch the next day. I store the wedges that I slice from the frittata in a Pyrex dish in the fridge. Today was impromptu so I plated mine and stuck it in the fridge for a quick chill.

Tortilla de patatas - Potato Frittata

I really like the end result. You can see those potatoes and the eggs just forming a magical bond. The truffle oil we added isn't overpowering but adds a nice smoky flavor that I think works well with the more bland flavors of eggs and potatoes.

Sometimes I do add other good things to my frittata like sun dried tomatoes or spinach but the eggs and potatoes are staples and can be seen as a foundation. Experiment. I'm sure you will find this a good start. Enjoy!

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