Chorizo, Pepper and Potato Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)

This chorizo, pepper and potato tortilla (Spanish omelette to the uninitiated) is the perfect dish for one of those nights (or lunchtimes) when you don’t have much of anything to make a meal out of.  Due to extensive flooding, we found ourselves delayed in being able to get to the supermarket this week, but thankfully we have the remains of a large sack of potatoes kicking about, and we always try to keep eggs, peppers and chorizo in the house (among other things like onions, sweet potatoes and garlic) so we came up with this creation.  Neither of us has had a Spanish Omelette/Tortilla before, but as far as we’re concerned, you can’t go far wrong with chorizo, peppers and potatoes so it was most definitely worth a shot.

I did a quick bit of Googling, and of course there are a number of schools of thought as to how one of these should be made, most of which involved cooking it entirely on the hob, flipping it over halfway through, and knowing how useless I am when flipping pancakes, the grill option seemed to make much more sense.  And we’re all about making things easy.

So here it goes: dig in and let us know what you think.

Chorizo, Pepper and Potato Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)

Chorizo, Pepper and Potato Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 cooking chorizo or about 1/3 of a cooking chorizo ring
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • grated cheese, optional but delicious
  • 1 tbsp or so olive oil

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes - not too finely, and chuck the slices into a large frying pan, covered with salted water. Let them simmer, topping up the water if it dries out before the potato slices are nice and tender.
  2. When cooked, remove from the pan and add the oil. Now fry the potato slices, half at a time, until lightly golden. Remove and set aside for now.
  3. Slice the onion and fry until soft, then set aside.
  4. slice the chorizo into pound coin sized pieces and half each piece, then fry those off until just turning crisp.
  5. Mop up some of the fat, and beat the eggs together in a jug along with parsley and seasoning.
  6. Layer the potato slices in the pan with the onion, chorizo and pepper slices (they'll cook enough in the pan) then gently pour over the egg, letting it fill in the gaps. Turn your grill or oven up high.
  7. Let the pan sit over a low to medium heat, letting the egg gently set, like you're making a regular omelette.
  8. Slide the pan under the grill while the egg on top is still raw. Leave it there for a couple of minutes then remove and sprinkle on the cheese. Put it back under the grill until the cheese is melted and turning golden then carefully remove and set the pan on a worktop saver. Try not to leave it under the grill for any longer than you have to, as the eggs will turn rubbery.
  9. Slice up and serve with peas or salad and enjoy!
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Campfire Brownies

The colder and darker it gets, the more I hanker for a mug of something hot and a slice of something sticky, and these campfire brownies are just the ticket.  Dark, sticky and just sweet enough, these guys will beat smores hands down.  I baked these on Bonfire Night instead of my usual Bonfire Night Cupcakes, and they went down rather too well.  They’re not great for the waistline but the dog walking will make up for that (we hope!).

There seem to be recipes for brownies everywhere these days, in all shapes, colours and varieties, some an improvement, some, well, not so much, but trust me when I say that these really are quite delightful (if I do say so myself).  I haven’t called them smores brownies because a) Starbucks has done that b) we don’t live in America and c) they don’t have a solid cracker base, but the toasted marshmallow on top gives just enough of that campfire vibe.

Campfire Brownies

Campfire Brownies

Ingredients

  • 175g salted butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 75g plain flour
  • 7 chocolate digestives
  • mini or regular marshmallows, enough to cover the surface area of the tin

Instructions

  1. Place a medium pyrex bowl over a small saucepan (get the two sized so the bowl will balance inside the rim of the saucepan, so it can be suspended over water) and add some boiling eater to the base of the saucepan (not so full that it touches the bottom of the bowl but no so empty that it could boil dry). Weigh the butter and chocolate into the bowl and set over the simmering water, which should be set over a low to medium heat on the hob. Stir gently until both have melted and combined, then carefully remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. While that's cooling, line and grease a 9 inch square loose bottomed cake pan and break up 8 chocolate digestives into small uneven pieces (but not crumbs!). They're going to be mixed into the brownie mixture to add another texture so think of them like large chocolate chips or nuts.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until fluffy.
  4. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, fold it into the eggs and sugar.
  5. Add the cocoa powder and mix this in well, followed by the flour. Once the flour is in, mix until just combined, then mix in the broken digestives. Don't over mix!
  6. Scoop into the tin then top with as many mini or full size marshmallows as you fancy, pressing them down slightly into the chocolate mixture to make sure they'll combine.
  7. Pop the tray into the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until there's no wobble when you shake the pan a little.
  8. Allow to cool then remove the while lot from the pan as a slab, either by loosening the loose bottom or just by lifting out the greaseproof paper. Cut into squares and enjoy with a mug of tea and coffee!
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Why don’t you check out some more of our tasty bakes like these Honey and Lemon Madeleines or these Chewy Oat and Sultana Cookies?

Cottage Pie

Another page in the calendar has flipped over and the clocks have hopped back an hour, so it’s definitely time to dust off the casserole dish and make a hearty cottage pie. If you don’t know what a cottage pie is, it’s basically a shepherd’s pie, but made with beef mince instead of lamb – because for some reason or another, lamb and I just don’t get on.  The beef version is every bit as tasty, in my opinion, and it’s a little bit cheaper to make.

I’m sure most people have an old family recipe for cottage pie, or at least their own way of doing it, but I made one recently and thought I might as well throw my recipe into the ring.

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 large packet beef mince
  • 2 onions
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Knorr beef stock pot
  • salt and pepper
  • a pot of good mashing potatoes, such as Maris Pipers
  • knob butter
  • splash milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • 200g mature cheddar

Instructions

  1. In a large frying pan on a high heat, brown off the mince in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan and risking it boiling. Colour = flavour! Reserve each browned batch in a bowl or plate to the side for the meantime.
  2. Finely chop the onions, grate the garlic and chop the carrots into quarter discs, and cook these off over allow to medium heat in the pan, until the onions have started to turn translucent.
  3. Transfer into a large saucepan or casserole pot and add the tomato puree. Cook that out for a couple of minutes, mixing into the vegetables.
  4. Add the mince back into the pot and add the herbs, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and stock pot, plus enough water to just cover the mince. Put a lid on the pot and allow to simmer over a low heat, stirring every now and then. If it's getting too dry, add a little more water, but we're not going to add anything to thicken it later, so don't go too mad.
  5. The amount of mashed potato you will need for the top will depend how big your casserole dish is and how deep you like your potato, so it's easiest to work that out by eye. Just start peeling and quartering your potatoes and stop when you think they'll make enough mash. It's not very scientific I'm afraid but it's how I do it!
  6. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender when prodded with a knife. Drain the water out then add the butter, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard and mash until creamy and lump-free. That can be set aside with the lid on until you're ready to construct the pie.
  7. The mince should be given at least 45 minutes to simmer, but an hour and a half would be better.
  8. When you're ready to construct the pie, preheat the oven to 200c and grab a nice oblong or square oven safe casserole dish. Spread the mince into the bottom then carefully layer the mash on top, smoothing it out gently with a fork.
  9. When it's all nice and smooth, drag a fork through the top in furrows like a ploughed field. This helps to make the pie nice and compacted, but also gives the surface of the mash some texture, which will help it to crisp up in the oven.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese on top and then put back in the oven for at least half an hour, or until the mince is bubbling and the top is turning golden brown.
  11. Serve up with some lovely green vegetables and maybe some Branston pickle!
  12. Enjoy!
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If you liked this British classic, why not try Charles’ Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings?