Traditional Spanish Tortilla

While living in Spain during my study abroad semester I traveled, became comfortable communicating in Spanish, deepened my independence, made new friends, discovered new joys and interests, and got very homesick. One of the things I had a difficult time with was the food. While the food in Spain is delicious, it lacked the variety that I have become accustomed to living in Southern California, not only was I used to having Mexican, Italian, Chinese, American, and Vietnamese food all within a few days, it’s also hard to beat the variety of fresh and organic produce available here. I cooked occasionally for my host parents, but I discovered that the food I missed most were dishes I did not know how to make. Things that mom and grandma always made for me like grandma’s Pho, and mom’s spagetti. I began searching for a new comfort food, something that would be the chicken soup of my Spain experience.
Traditional Spanish Tortilla | Glitter It Gold
Traditional Spanish Tortilla | Glitter It Gold
It is ironic that the food I found to be my new comfort food is a very traditional Spanish dish with nothing American about it- tortilla. I find it funny that while in Spain I was homesick for America, but now that I have been back for 5 years, I find myself sometimes feeling homesick for Spain. Homesick for the food, the culture, the history, the architecture, the excitement of living somewhere foreign and having probably fewer worries than I will ever have again. The same food that comforted me in Spain, continues to comfort me and remind me of that wonderful time in my life.Traditional Spanish Tortilla | Glitter It Gold
The ingredients and preparation seem simple enough, but the key to making tortilla as good as my host mom did is in the details. You may be tempted to slightly alter the recipe, or maybe skip or change a step that seems unimportant, but don’t. The results just won’t be the same, trust me on this. I have been trying for 5 years to make this with less olive oil, without letting it rest, slicing in cubes using a sharp knife and a cutting board, and I tried boiling the potatoes first, don’t do it. Just follow the steps my host mom gave me to a “T.”Traditional Spanish Tortilla | Glitter It Gold
One of the steps I regularly skipped until I realized it’s importance is the way the potatoes are cut. I used to watch my host mom make tortilla and think “why doesn’t she use a cutting board, and WHY is that knife so dull?” I knew they couldn’t afford nice kitchen ware, but it seemed a little too simplistic and even outdated to me to do it like that. But, as it turns out, there’s a method to the madness. I could go on explaining the chemistry of starches and how this makes sense, but, to make a long story short, creating the roughest edge possible on the potato is key to getting the right texture so that it crisps slightly but doesn’t brown and absorbs some of the egg. Why do you not want the potato to brown? I DON”T know, but my host mom said so, and I have learned through trial and error to just take her word for it when it comes to making tortilla. This seemingly simple dish is nothing but simple. The method has been refined over decades, and some things are just better left as they are. Delicious.
Traditional Spanish Tortilla
Print Recipe
A very traditional Spanish Tortilla with potato and egg. The perfect comfort food for when I get that homesick feeling for Spain.
Servings Prep Time
1 5
Cook Time Passive Time
10 20
Servings Prep Time
1 5
Cook Time Passive Time
10 20
Traditional Spanish Tortilla
Print Recipe
A very traditional Spanish Tortilla with potato and egg. The perfect comfort food for when I get that homesick feeling for Spain.
Servings Prep Time
1 5
Cook Time Passive Time
10 20
Servings Prep Time
1 5
Cook Time Passive Time
10 20
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Using a dull knife (if a butter knife works, then great) slice part way into the potato then rotate the knife to break off a chunk of it, about 1/2" cubish. The pieces should all be odd shaped and have rough edges. Salt generously.
  2. Place the potatoes in a non stick skillet and just barely cover with olive oil, bring to a simmer. After a few minutes, add the onion. Cook until the potatoes are soft but NOT brown.
  3. Drain the potatoes and onion, reserving the oil. My host mom strained the oil through a paper towel and saved it in the fridge for use in another dish, just remember that the oil now has salt in it. Let the potato and onion sit in the colander draining and cooling for about 10 minutes. Take a taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. Meanwhile, scramble 3 eggs with the water. Gently mix the potato and onion into the egg and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  5. Check the mixture, some of the egg will have been absorbed into the potatoes, so add another if needed to get your preferred consistency. I like mine not as eggy.
  6. Pour about 1 TBS of olive oil back into the skillet and set to medium-high heat. Fill the skillet half way up with potato mixture and cook until halfway set and the bottom is just beginning to brown. Place a plate on top of the skillet and very carefully flip the skillet over and the mixture onto the plate. Slide the potatoes back into the skillet with the uncooked side down and continue to cook until the bottom browns and the egg is cooked. The center should still be slightly soft. Slice into wedges and serve warm.
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Spicy Cranberry Sauce and Cream Cheese Dip

This holiday season feels so chaotic to me. I don’t feel prepared for it at all, even as it is happening all around me it still doesn’t feel real yet. Even our annual Rowland family Christmas party didn’t really make it sink in that Christmas is 5 days away! What the heck? It was JUST Thanksgiving like a week ago. I was planning on sharing all these holiday things with you, but time has really just gotten away from me. Finally, though, I have a minute to share at least this one appetizer recipe with you.Spicy Cranberry Sauce Appetizer | Glitter It Gold

For the family Christmas party I was put in charge of coordinating all the appetizers so I felt compelled to make sure the ones I contributed were good ones. This recipe is from my Aunt Lisa and is one of my favorites. It’s cool and spicy and bright and tangy, delicious and addicting. Seriously, if you want to stop eating it you either have to finish the whole thing or go to a completely different room. You could use canned or pre-packaged cranberry sauce for this and skip 1 below, but the fresh cranberries are prettier and taste much better. Jalapenos vary so much in spice level, sometimes I use 2 and sometimes just 1. This last time I only used 1/2 because they were so spicy so add a little at a time and taste test until you get to the spiciness level you like. I also really like the red onion, but feel free to cut back on it if it’s too much for you. Spicy Cranberry Sauce Appetizer | Glitter It Gold

 

Spicy Cranberry Sauce Appetizer | Glitter It Gold
Spicy Cranberry Sauce and Cream Cheese Dip
Print Recipe
This ultra flavorful cranberry sauce turned dip is a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or any party or gathering.
Servings Prep Time
1 platter 5 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 2 Hours
Servings Prep Time
1 platter 5 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 2 Hours
Spicy Cranberry Sauce Appetizer | Glitter It Gold
Spicy Cranberry Sauce and Cream Cheese Dip
Print Recipe
This ultra flavorful cranberry sauce turned dip is a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or any party or gathering.
Servings Prep Time
1 platter 5 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 2 Hours
Servings Prep Time
1 platter 5 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 2 Hours
Ingredients
Basic Cranberry Sauce
Dip
Servings: platter
Instructions
Basic Cranberry Sauce
  1. Wash cranberries and place them in a saucepan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Assemble the Dip
  1. Place the whole jalapeno in a pot of water, covering completely. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove and let cool.
  2. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos (you may want to use gloves) and mince them.
  3. Add cranberry sauce, cilantro, jalapenos, lemon juice, green onion, and salt to a bowl and mix well. Let sit for 2 hours or so in the fridge for flavors to incorporate.
  4. Pour over 1/2 the sauce over a block of cream cheese, serve with pita chips.
Recipe Notes

I like to make this cranberry sauce an appetizer by pouring it over a block of cream cheese and serving with pita chips, but it would also be delicious on turkey or even wrapped up in baked brie. If you find a new use for it, please share with me!

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Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon

My husband and I moved into our current home in the middle of summer. It was a huge upgrade for us coming from a tiny apartment on the third floor to a house three times the size of the apartment with a backyard, a garage, and a GRILL! I never realized how much I would really miss having one until I got one. We grilled all summer. It was glorious. Some of my favorite things to grill are corn on the cob, fancy burgers, zucchini, and cedar plank salmon. I absolutely love cooking on the cedar plank. All summer I was using the McCormick Grillmates Smokehouse Maple seasoning as my go to grilling seasoning even if I wasn’t using the cedar planks. (Sorry for my inability to focus, but if you sprinkle that stuff on sweet potatoes and roast them then puree them into a soup it is supremely delicious). Then, in fall I made a discovery that would change my life forever. Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic. But maybe I’m not. Maple Bacon Salt is very possibly life changing, at least in my home. Anyways, I decided to make my own smokehouse maple dupe using the Maple Bacon Salt I had made. Eric said it was the best salmon he has ever tasted and there was only a little bit of wine involved. He calls the Maple Bacon Salt “cheater dust” because it makes everything that I put it on so good. (I also catch him sneaking little pinches of Maple Bacon Salt, so maybe that explains a little bit…)Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon | Glitter It Gold

If you chose not to make the Maple Bacon Salt you are truly missing out, but you could use the McCormick Smokehouse Maple instead of my seasoning blend. Just remember, you don’t realize how blind you are until you put on glasses….same goes with Maple Bacon Salt. You just don’t know what you’re missing. (And in case you are wondering- those corn cobs below basted with miso butter just before they were done. Another thing you should try)Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon | Glitter It Gold

Now that I have you hooked on cedar planked salmon and Maple Bacon Salt, let me let you in on another little secret. I pre-soak then freeze cedar planks so that I don’t have to plan in advance to make cedar planked whatever. Eric can tell me at 5pm that he would like cedar plank salmon for dinner and I can stop at the store on my way home and pick up salmon. Then pull the wood from the freezer to thaw while I prep veggies and heat the grill and we are ready to grill. All you do is soak like you usually would, put the plank in a zip lock freezer bag and stick it in the freezer. Life changed. Also, cedar planks can be expensive, so I buy them on Amazon- Cedar Grilling Planks – 12 Pack (affiliate link).
.Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon | Glitter It Gold

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBS pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Maple Bacon Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1.5 lb of salmon, skin on
  • 1 12×5 cedar plank

Method

  1. Prep cedar plank (or just whip one out of the freezer) by filling a shallow dish with water, put the plank in and put something heavy on top to keep it submerged. It should soak for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Heat the grill to medium heat. While grill is heating, season the salmon by combining first 6 ingredients into a thin paste and rubbing on salmon.
  3. Put the plank on the grill (without salmon) for about 5 minutes with the lid closed.
  4. Then add the salmon skin side down. Close the lid and cook 15-20 minutes until the salmon is light pink and cooked to your taste. Try to open the lid as little as possible to keep the smoke in for best smokey flavor.