A Spanish Omelette Plus!
By Dennis Linden
This month’s featured recipe was submitted by David Sway of Melissa’s Finance Team. Tortilla Española has been a traditional dish of Spain since the early 16th Century when the conquering conquistadors “discovered” the potato. That is, they observed the tuber being enjoyed by those foodie Aztecs in a dish they had been preparing for centuries that combined potato slices mixed with eggs and a few veggies. Like many other culinary delights that can be traced back to that ancient South American culture, the Spaniards were the first to adopt and introduce the potato to Europe. One of them must have copied that Aztec recipe of potato ‘n eggs, added in a little onion and called it his own!
“My wife and I were traveling in Spain, having the best time eating our way through that country,” recalled David. “We had this dish at a food hall/marketplace in Madrid that was really incredible. What I love about Tortilla Española is its simplicity and that the Spanish serve it for dinner rather breakfast as we might do here. Actually, potatoes and eggs any time of the day are great in my book!”
While David’s version of Tortilla Española does contain the traditional three required ingredients of potatoes, eggs and onion, he has tweaked this dish for the better with the addition of Melissa’s flavorful Soyrizo. This tasty product has all the distinctive flavors of chorizo, the paprika-based Spanish pork sausage, without the heart-clogging saturated fats, sodium and calories that come free of charge with the real thing! Confessions of a chorizo-head: this writer used to do a lot of forest camping, partly as a good excuse to enjoy a favorite breakfast of chorizo & eggs cooked over an open campfire wrapped in a tortilla, fully aware that this combo was as unhealthy as it was delicious! Since discovering Soyrizo my campfires have be cholesterol-free while STILL being able to enjoy the same great taste! So I guess my only critique of David’s tweak would be to double up on the Soyrizo-to-potato ratio. It’s a great component without all the heart clutter and/or flutter!
With only four ingredients, even the most novice cook will have no trouble following David’s simple and layered cooking instructions that will produce a plating that looks a lot harder than it really was to prepare. I used a mandolin to quickly cut the Dutch Yellow® potatoes into uniform slices. Then cooked David’s first component, the potato-Soyrizo mixture, in my best stainless deep pan; however, for the second sauté with the eggs added, I switched to a non-stick to facilitate the “flipping” process. When finishing off this dish with a third visit to the pan, I found that just a quick, one-minute sear at high heat to what will be the “top” of the round did the trick before the final bottoms-up flip onto the serving dish.
David Sway has been a member of Melissa’s Finance Department for six years. As one might expect in such a multi-faceted company like Melissa’s, David’s role involves a lot of analytics that he shares by working closely with a broad cross-section of the organization from the company’s Food Service & Sports Venue teams to Marketing and Accounting as well as the Procurement and Sales Teams.
“One of the areas that I spend significant time on daily is working with our sales teams out in the field,” David explained, then continued. “We have eyes in stores all over the country, people sharing compelling articles, books, food and business podcasts, videos etc. I review the numbers, pictures and info that our teams send back to the office in order to find opportunities, benchmarks, best practices, social media and marketing trends so that we’re constantly maximizing new information into successes. From the office I have the unique perspective of being able to watch and review all the unique ways that both individuals and teams really come together to make it all happen cohesively every day here. The more that we can utilize information, the smarter we all become.”
When not at his desk minding the store’s numbers, so to speak, David and wife Misha explore a passion that is shared by many Melissa’s staffers – deep dives into the seemingly limitless cuisine selections offered by the Southern California restaurant scene. In answering the outside interests question David did make mention of the usual “sports-music-movies” trio that most claim, but it was obvious that celebrating of the culinary arts with a fork & spoon is David’s primary thing.
“I like to think of myself as a resident foodie, constantly on a mission to find the best dishes at the best restaurants, taco trucks, pop-ups, stands etc.,” said David, explaining. “Right now, Los Angeles is at the heart of the culinary revolution. A wide range of ethnic restaurants in many neighborhoods have moved away from white tablecloth presentations and, instead, are offering a much wider swath of flavor profiles with menus of international cuisines. Misha and I are trying to experience as many as we can!”
I should add that I can attest to David’s claim of the anytime-of-day serving flexibility of his recipe. I tried his Tortilla Española piping hot out right out of the oven the day of prep for dinner; reheated another slice the next day for a very satisfying lunch and then a few days later enjoyed it cold in only the light of a refrigerator door at midnight. And I must say that the dish seemed to get better with each tasting no matter the time of day. So enjoy…whenever!
Tortilla Española with Soyrizo
1 Cup Olive Oil, divided
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
24 Oz Bag Melissa’s Dutch Yellow® Potatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
6 Oz. Melissa’s Soyrizo (one-half package)
Salt & Pepper
Sauté the onion and ½ tsp. of the salt in half the olive oil cook in a deep pan until onions turn translucent. Then add in the potatoes, flipping with a spatula until they are cooked through on both sides, but not brown. Next add the Soyrizo and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thoroughly mixed in.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer sautéed potato mixture into a large bowl with the eggs. Reserve the oil left in the pan from the potato mixture. Gently combine the potato mixture and the eggs without over-mixing. Season generously with salt and cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
Heat retained oil in nonstick pan on high heat, then gently add back the potato and egg mixture from the bowl. Cook for 1 minute before reducing to medium heat and simmering for a few minutes until top of round is almost cooked through. Place a large plate over pan and with a firm grip on the handle and pressure on the back of the plate, quickly turn plate and pan over, so tortilla falls inverted onto plate. Add another teaspoon of reserved oil to pan back on high heat, slide tortilla back in (uncooked side down) and sear on high for 1 minute.
PLATING: After the final sear, flip the pan onto a large platter, cut into wedges and serve hot. Note: This dish is great reheated later or even the next day.