I have long coveted my mom’s tortilla de patata “cheat’s” pan. It basically looks like two frying pans stuck together, mouth to mouth, with a hook to attach them to each other. Although most likely frowned upon by tortilla de patata purists, it effectively eliminates the perilous technique of making a real tortilla. Now, I am certain could, if pushed, manage to flip my tortilla to a plate, the insides still jiggly and uncooked, hot pan dangerously near my fingertips, then successfully slide this wobbly egg and potato structure back right smack in the middle of my pan to finish cooking. I am sure I could. And I’m sure I will…one day. But this was not that day.
I was tired and achy and craving tortilla de patata. Not only did I not have the awesome skills of traditional tortilla flipping, I didn’t have my mom’s cheat’s pan either. So I had to make do with this.
This is, essentially, a cheat within a cheat. My sneaky way of satiating my egg and potatoes craving (why oh why can’t I crave things like pink chiffon, working out, and trips to the dermatologist?), without having to go all the way towards making a full on tortilla de patata. It may not be the best, or noblest, thing to do, but when you’re feeling under the weather, and you are in desperate need of earthy potatoes in an eggy blanket, this does very nicely.
And the sriracha? When you are finding yourself a bit slow on the ignition, but still have a mountain of work to plow through, I find that nothing gets my motor running quite like a spicy breakfast.
Potato Omelet with Sriracha
- A couple of glugs of olive oil
- 1/2 cup cubed potatoes, cut in 1-cm cubes or smaller (the bigger the cubes the longer they will cook)
- 1/2 a white onion, sliced
- 2 eggs
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a small non-stick skillet. Add the oil – you want a nice, generous coating. This isn’t to avoid sticking (as I use a non-stick skillet) but because your potatoes and onions are going to slow-cook in this.
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until softened. Once onions are soft, add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are soft and the edges are golden, and the onions have taken on a burnished hue. This may take some time. Be patient and toss the potatoes occasionally so they don’t scorch.
- While the potatoes are cooking, break the eggs into a bowl. Beat with a fork until a uniform layer of bubbles appears on the surface. Like this.
- When the potatoes and onions are done transfer them to another bowl and place the skillet back on the heat. Add a swirl of oil if the pan is dry.
- Add the eggs to the pan. As the bottom sets, push the sides of the egg a bit so the uncooked egg runs underneath. When there is just a thin layer of wet egg left on top add the potatoes and the onion to one side of the egg. Flip the other side over the potatoes. Cook a few seconds more then transfer to a plate. Drizzle with sriracha and enjoy immediately.
I have an 8-inch non-stick skillet that I use especially for eggs and this is what I use here, so these quantities are suited for that size. I find that a 2-egg omelet cooked here makes the perfect hearty breakfast for one. You want your potatoes completely soft inside and slightly crisp along some edges, and your eggs just done. The sriracha is a fantastic condiment for mild yet stalwart flavors like egg and potato. Plus, as I mentioned, a spicy breakfast can be just what the doctor ordered.
I see nothing wrong with taking shortcuts and opting for the quick route sometimes, as long as you don’t sacrifice overall healthfulness. What are your favorite “cheat’s”?