Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Single Guy's Tortata

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

5 eggs
1 red bell pepper
4-5 fresh basil leaves
4-5 red potatoes, thinly sliced
6-8 oz. crème fraiche (or sour cream)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Start by roasting your red bellpepper, remove skin, cut into 5 to 6 strips, and then set aside with basil leaves.

Thinly slice your potatoes and place them in a large saucepan filled with water to pre-cook. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes covered until tender (about 12-15 minutes). Be sure to add salt to the water. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix your eggs with the crème fraiche and cheese. Add the potatoes to the egg mixture, making sure all the slices are coated. Add salt and pepper for taste (about 2 teaspoon of each or how you usually salt your eggs).

In a 10-inch non-stick saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium high (making sure not to burn your garlic). Then arrange your red bell pepper slices and basil leaves into a pattern of your choice. Pour in your egg and potato mixture, using a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the potatoes are evenly distributed throughout the pan. Cook for about a minute on medium high heat before reducing it to low medium heat. Cook for another 12-15 minutes until the egg mixture seems firm when you shake the pan. (It should have a slight jiggle but shouldn’t be like Jello nor stiff like a cake.)

Then place entire pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes to complete the cooking. When done, let cool for about a minute. When ready to serve, place a plate over the pan and flip it over to release your tortata.

Makes four to six servings. Serve with a mixed green salad.

Serve with a mimosa or other Champagne cocktail.

TIP: When slicing your potatoes, you want them really thin because as they’re layered in your pan, you want to be able to cut through them easily with your fork. Use a mandoline if you have one or a sharp chef’s knife to slice your potatoes. (You can peel your potatoes or not, depending on your preference. The skins of red potatoes are usually thin so I don’t mind eating them, but if you don’t like the look, you can peel your potatoes first.) Traditionally, the potatoes are cooked in the pan to brown it slightly and then the egg is added to the pan. But because I’m creating a pattern with the basil and red bell pepper on the bottom, I pre-cook my potatoes separately because cooking them in the pan would mean removing them in order to lay your pattern down. When you’re pouring the eggs and potatoes into the pan and on top of the pattern, you might want to place a few potato slices on top of your design first to make sure the egg liquid won’t mess up your pattern as you do the pour.

SEAL IT: Even though you’re using a non-stick pan, you want to make sure your eggs don’t stick to the bottom when you flip the pan. That’s why I suggest using some olive oil and why it’s important to pour your eggs into a hot pan. The heat will create that initial seal that will keep your eggs from sticking. But only leave it on high for a minute or so because any longer will start to burn the bottom of the pan and you’ll find a dark brown mess when you flip your tortata onto a plate. You know best the temperature of your stove top, so you want it initially high enough to create the seal but then low or medium low to cook the eggs without scorching the bottom.


Susan said...

This is beautiful and the closest recipe I've found yet to a layered egg dish I had two summers ago at The Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May, NJ. They called it a "Torta." I call it "I can't wait to try it this weekend." This is a perfect brunch dish. Thanks.

Chef Ben said...

It's funny how there are so many ways to call this potato egg dish. Tortilla. Frittata. Torta. But don't forget, tortata. :) Happy brunching!