Tasty Courgette and Mixed Peppers Tortilla

Not to mistake this Spanish tortilla with the Mexican wheat flour or corn tortilla that’s an unleavened circular flatbread, this version is based upon an omelette and usually consists of onions and potatoes, with other ingredients being used if and when required.

DSCI3503Dawn: Yes, and in this recipe, I’ve omitted the potatoes and opted for courgette and mixed peppers. This simple recipe makes a great tapas dish to serve at a picnic or add to a salad at home while also making for a nut!ritious lunch box addition and a tasty mid-afternoon snack – a great, all-round favourite at the Love Food HQ!

Ingredients

Serves 4

1tbsp vegetable oil

1 Large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 Red pepper, washed, cored and sliced

1 Yellow pepper, washed, cored and sliced

1 Courgette, washed and sliced

7 eggs, beaten

1tsp Oregano (fresh or dried: if former, washed and finely chopped)

Salt and pepper

 Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C electric.
  • Pour the oil into a large frying pan that’s safe to put in the oven, and heat the oil on a medium heat hob, adding the onion and stirring frequently to avoid the onion sticking to the pan.
  • Next, add the mixed peppers stirring them for 5 minutes as you watch them begin to soften in texture. Add the sliced courgette and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring as the ingredients cook.
  • Add the oregano and stir this herb into the mixture. Next, add the beaten eggs swishing them around the pan to make sure all the ingredients are covered in this glistening yellow loveliness. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on the hob until the mixture looks to be setting and you can lift the tortilla away from the pan base with a flat spatula.
  • Place the pan in the pre-heated oven and cook until the tortilla has risen, is golden brown and set.

Dawn: If you prefer, you can finish cooking the tortilla under a medium heated grill and do make sure that you watch it as it cooks to avoid it burning.

  • Cut the tortilla into 8 even pieces and serve either warm or as a cold dish with a salad of your choice.

Dawn: Another simple to make and easy to follow recipe from Love Food! Let me know how you get on with any of the recipes on this website, please. 

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo, follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.comYou’ll also find us on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!

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Perfect Paella

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Paella! Wonderful for a family meal, or in larger quantities for a party. The perfect dish for a New Years Eve gathering!

Andrew: I have two paella pans, one for four people and a larger one that serves six.

Dawn: I’ll be there at 8  then! Perfect paella? Is that possible?

Andrew: Listen to the waiters in my favourite Spanish restaurant and they all say their paella is the best! Spain is made up of a number of regions, all fiercely proud of their culinary traditions.

Dawn: So they argue, do they?

Andrew: Fiercely! Do you remember the episode of Fawlty Towers when Manuel and Terry are fighting in the kitchen, and Manuel complains about Terry’s ‘Stinking Cockney Eel Pie’? A bit like that!

Ingredients

Serves 6

Splash of olive oil for cooking

1 small red or white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed

1 of each – red and yellow pepper, halved, deseeded and cut into strips

2 chicken breasts, cubed

300g raw prawns (if they come unpeeled, leave them like that)

2 small chorizo sausages, skin removed and chopped into approx 1cm slices

2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 tsp pimenton (Spanish paprika – if you can’t find this, use ground paprika)

Pinch of saffron threads

500g paella rice or long grain rice

1 medium sized glasses (125ml) dry white wine

A handful of frozen peas

Jug of warm water or chicken stock

Salt and pepper to season

Lemon wedges

Dawn: That is a mightily long list of ingredients. 

Andrew: It is, and it is vital that all the preparation is done beforehand. It is a simple dish to prepare but it requires patience and a little care. 

Method

  • In a paella pan, or the widest frying pan you have, add a drizzle of olive oil over a low heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the garlic and then the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes so they soften.
  • Add the cubed chicken and keep it moving so it is coloured and sealed.
  • Next, add the prawns so they turn from grey to pink.
  • Immediately after the prawns have changed colour, add the chorizo to the pan. This will release the colour into the dish.
  • Now put the tomatoes into the pan , and the pimenton. This adds a smoky flavour.
  • The saffron threads can be added at this point, too.

Dawn: It is worth pointing out here that you can buy very good prepared paella spices.

Andrew: I had some with my first paella pan. Saffron is very expensive and it is so easy to be wasteful of it.

Dawn: Saffron can be more expensive than gold! What alternative spice can people use, Andrew?

Andrew: Tricky! Turmeric will give you the correct colour, but will change the flavour. I have seen suggestions of a little yellow food colouring. Powdered saffron is available too. The flavour it provides though is quite unique!

  • At this point, add the rice to the pan and stir to ensure it is mixed with the ingredients and has a good coating of the oil and colours from the chorizo.
  • Pour in the wine, and turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  • The rice should take 20-25 minutes to cook. Keep gradually topping up the liquid with the warm water/chicken stock so the pan doesn’t dry out, but equally so it doesn’t ‘drown’ in liquid.
  • 5 minutes before the rice is finished, add the frozen peas.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Hang the lemon wedges from the pan and allow your guests to dive in!

Dawn: Fabulous! I can’t wait to try it. I have some vegetarian friends. What options would they have?

Andrew: Any vegetables that keep their shape would be great: broad beans, green beans, courgettes. Chick peas would be a tasty addition, too. 

Dawn: Chick peas are an excellent source of protein, too. And what about seafood as an alternative, Andrew? Clams, mussels, scallops and squid?

Andrew: Absolutely, Dawn. Valencian paella features snails! For heavens sake don’t use your garden snails, please!

Dawn: I will leave that one! Great for New Year though!!!

For more tasty, delicious meals and perfect puds, follow us over at @Love_Food_UK.