Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
on Weekend All Things Considered
"Tortilla" -- Spanish Omelet with Potatoes and Leek
A 10 inch omelet, for 4 servings
1 medium leek, trimmed of tough green parts, split lengthwise and well rinsed
2 medium potatoes (about 10 or 12 ounces), Yukon Gold or other all-purpose variety
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 to 3 TBS olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A dozen large eggs
Drops of Tabasco sauce
4 to 5 TBS chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
Olive oil, extra-virgin, for serving
A non-stick frying pan, 10 inches top diameter or a sauté pan with ovenproof handle, a round serving plate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the leek lengthwise into narrow strips and cut again crosswise into ¼ inch pieces (to make about 1 cup total).
Peel the potatoes and slice crosswise into thin slices, no more than 1/8 inch thick.
Set the skillet over medium heat with the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is sizzling, put the potato slices in the pan and spread them out, flipping and turning them to coat evenly with oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook for about 7 minutes, turning occasionally. The slices should be barely soft and still intact; if still firm, cover the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl, season with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and drops of Tabasco to taste, and whisk until well blended.
When the potatoes are just tender, scatter the leek, onion, and garlic over the slices and toss to mix. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring and tossing, to soften all the vegetables.
Pour the beaten eggs all at once over the potato mixture. Allow to set in the pan for about a minute, then stir the eggs and vegetables together gently, and continue to cook over moderate heat, until the eggs have begun to solidify, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat if eggs are cooking rapidly.
Place the pan in the oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes. The eggs will be fully set, slightly puffed, and shrinking from the sides of the skillet. Remove to the stove top -- remember the handle is hot! -- and set over medium heat for a minute or two to brown the bottom. While cooking drizzle a spoonful or so of olive oil all around the outer edge of the omelet, and swirl the pan gently to loosen it.
Slide the cooked omelet out onto the serving plate to present the top side with the vegetables visible (or invert onto the platter to show the browned bottom).
Serve immediately, or, for a Spanish-style tortilla, cool to room temperature, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the top, and cut into wedges.