Tortilla Española or Spanish Omelette
The quantities given here are for my favorite trail pan, which is small—only 9 inches in diameter. You will have to scale up for a larger pan, but this is one of those recipes that is made by intuitive judgement rather than micro measurement. It is wonderful as part of a lunch in a fixed camp, served with salad, pickled ingredients and cold meats. No doubt you will improvise with what you have. If all that is available to you is tinned meat, this tortilla will elevate the whole meal. The tortilla itself can be made with reconstituted egg powder if push comes to shove, but it is a poor second to real eggs.
1 onion (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
2–3 eggs (depending on the size of your pan)
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Peel and finely chop the potato and onion. While the onion lends flavor, it is not essential to the omelette.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a wide billycan or frying pan over a medium heat, then add the potato and onion, if using. Shallow-fry for about 15 minutes, until soft. (I use a billycan as the frying pan I carry is not deep enough to shallow-fry the ingredients safely.)
- While the potato and onion are cooking, beat the eggs and add the seasoning to the bowl.
- Once cooked through, drain the potato and onion with a slotted spoon and add to the egg mixture. Fold them in well.
- Heat your frying pan or billycan lid over a low heat, add the remaining oil and, once hot, pour in the egg mixture.
- Cook gently. The aim is to cook the tortilla two-thirds through without scorching the base. Beware the ultra-thin pan!
- Once the tortilla becomes sufficiently solid to turn over, place a plate over the pan, then invert both together. All being well, the tortilla will be sitting on the plate and can be slid back into the pan to complete cooking.
- When finished, place a clean plate on top of the pan and flip it over to turn out the finished tortilla.
Variation: Alternatively, the potato can be grated and fried in less oil in a frying pan. This is a method that suits cooking on a hike stove as less fuel will be consumed.
Omelette in a Scruffy Pan
More often than not, our pan has seen hard service and is unwilling to work subtle miracles of French gastronomy, so here is a country recipe to irritate the perfectionists but delight your fellow diners. Most importantly, it will work in most pans within sensible reason!
flavor ingredient, such as cheese and/or ham and/or mushrooms
1 tbsp butter, plus extra for frying
2–3 eggs (depending on the size of the pan)
pinch each of salt and ground black pepper
- Finely grate the cheese and/or dice the ham and/or wipe, slice and sauté the mushrooms in a little butter.
- Whisk the eggs until well aerated, then add a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper and the main ingredient and fold into the eggs.
- Heat the pan over a medium heat, then add 1 tbsp butter. Once foaming, pour in the egg mix and cook gently, moving the mixture with the back of a fork.
- As soon as the omelette starts to come together, remove from the heat and rely on the pan’s residual heat to finish off. If the cooking slows, tickle the pan with your heat source. Do not overcook the omelette: remember, it's a light dish.
- Fold the omelette and slide it onto a plate.