I’ve got a real thing for Spain (I told you this before).
The language, the small plates and brash flavors, the artisanal meats and cheeses, afternoon siesta, eating late- I love it all.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with roasting red peppers. Maybe it’s a yearning for the sultry heat of high summer? The weather has been quite pleasant here in Ireland, but it doesn’t feel like the blistering hot summers I’m used to. Whenever the sun breaks through the clouds I sprint outside and roll up my jeans to soak up a few rays and it feels like heaven.
I’ve never been crazy about roasted peppers, but the craving struck me and now I’m preparing them a couple of times a week. I slather the capsicums in oil and toss onto a baking sheet placed as close to the broiler as I can get it. In minutes their heady aroma escapes the oven and fills my kitchen, making my mouth water. Occasionally I open the door, turning the peppers so their skin blackens and blisters evenly. After about 20 minutes I pull them from the oven and drop into a large glass bowl, covering the peppers in plastic wrap so they steam. This makes it easier to peel the thin skins after the peppers cool. There’s something meditative about gingerly removing the outer casing to reveal their soft, meaty insides. It’s a fiddly task, like peeling a hard-boiled egg, but I take my time and marvel at the beauty of it while carefully scraping out the seeds. When I think of roasted red peppers I think of Spain. I think of Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco Sauce, marinated red pepper salads, and gazpacho. If you follow La Domestique on Instagram you may have noticed I cook a Spanish tortilla about once a week. From what I understand, this large, flat skillet “omelet” is traditionally made with just onions and sliced potatoes, but it occurred to me that roasted red peppers would be delicious in a tortilla with smoky Spanish chorizo and savory Manchego cheese.
This Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers, Chorizo and Manchego is filling without being oppressive, as the spicy sausage and sweet peppers cut through the richness of egg and the hefty potato. A restrained sprinkling of cheese over the top is just enough to create a caramelized, bubbling crust. Serve slices of tortilla warm from the oven with plenty of ketchup and a robust glass of red wine.
Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers, Chorizo and Manchego
You may have seen the precarious flipping technique in which the skillet is inverted on a plate to turn the tortilla over and cook both sides. This recipe takes inspiration from the rustic peasant dish to create an eggy casserole that’s started on the stovetop and finished under the broiler. I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra for roasting the peppers
- 2 red bell peppers
- 8 ounces boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or new potatoes
- 4 ounces (1 cup) chorizo, sliced
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ounce (1/2 cup) grated Manchego cheese
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Roast and peel the red bell peppers. Drizzle a little olive oil over the peppers and rub it all over. Blister the skins by placing the peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler, very close to the heat. Cook, turning about every 8 minutes until the skin is blackened and blistered evenly. Do not overcook the red peppers to the point where they completely collapse and turn mushy. Alternatively, the peppers can be roasted on a hot grill or held (with tongs) over the flame of a gas stovetop. After the peppers have finished roasting, place them in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle. This technique allows the peppers to steam, loosening the skin and making it easier to remove. Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel off the skin, remove the stem and scrape out the seeds. Chop the roasted red peppers into bite-sized pieces and set aside. The peppers can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight before cooking the tortilla.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil, cooking till just tender. Drain the potatoes and once cool enough to handle, slice into bite-sized pieces. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
Make the tortilla. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high in a large, high-sided, oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan. Add the chorizo slices and cook for 1 minute. Flip the chorizo slices over and add the saffron, roasted red bell peppers and sliced potatoes. Stir the mixture and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Beat the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pour over the chorizo, bell pepper and potato mixture in the skillet. Gently stir to evenly distribute the ingredients throughout the eggs. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the tortilla for 8 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and the edges begin to set, pulling away from the sides of the skillet. It’s important to cook the tortilla gently to avoid burning the bottom. While the tortilla cooks on the stovetop, turn on the broiler to heat up the oven. Once the eight minutes on the stovetop is up, sprinkle Manchego cheese over the tortilla and transfer the skillet to the top rack of the oven under the broiler. Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the eggs are puffed up and set. It’s very easy to overcook the tortilla, resulting in a tough, dry texture, so monitor it carefully. The tortilla is best served warm from the oven with ketchup, but a little slice of leftover tortilla heated briefly in the microwave the next day is a nice treat.