One of my favorite blogs, written by Deb Perelman, is Smitten Kitchen. Her conversation is perky, the food is varied, and her food photos will make you drool! Last week she posted her rendition of okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake that can be made small or large, and is served with a special mayonnaise sauce. I’ve made something similar to the little cakes, carrot and zucchini latkes, but when she said that okonmiyaki are also made into large pancakes in certain areas of Japan, right away I thought, “OK, tortilla española.” The Spanish omelette, known as the tortilla española, is traditionally made with potatoes, onions, and eggs. Other ingredients it might have are bell pepper, chorizo, ham, sardines, or tuna. Less common are vegetable tortillas, which are starting to come into fashion as people try to eat healthier. The main vegetable ingredients for the Japanese pancakes are the same vegetables common to Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine: cabbage, onions and carrots. So, I thought why not make okonomiyaki a la española with Romesco sauce? However, being that the main ingredient was cabbage, I did have some doubts about whether my boys would like it or not, but it was an all round hit with everyone. The sauce really made the dish!
Servings: 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Tortilla:
5 to 6 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 small onion, very thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for Sauce:
Vegetable Pancakes with Romesco Sauce
1 tablespoon garlic
1/3 cup almonds
1 red bell pepper, (may be fresh or roasted)
1 tomato (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
1 ounce fresh French bread
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Use a potato peeler to cut the carrot into strips, and then cut the strips into lengths about 3 or 4 inches long, and about ¼-inch wide. Add the carrots to the shredded cabbage, chopped onion, and the shredded bell pepper.
2. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 10-inch pan. Add the vegetables, stirring frequently until they are tender. When they are ¾ of the way cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Put the vegetables in a medium bowl and let them cool for 5 minutes.
3. Beat the eggs until they are well mixed, and then add them to the vegetables along with the kosher salt. Sprinkle the pastry flour over the eggs and vegetables and stir well.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, and when it is hot pour the egg mixture into the pan. Set the heat to medium low. After about 6 to 7 minutes you should see the egg starting to set up. If you stick a spatula under the tortilla and it holds together well, then it’s ready to flip. If is not ready, continue cooking until it holds together better.
5. Place a plate over the frying pan. If you are right-handed, hold the frying pan by the handle with the right hand and place your left hand on top of the plate. Quickly flip the pan over 180 degrees. Now your left hand will be holding the plate from underneath. (Reverse the process if you are left-handed. Your left hand will hold the panhandle and the right hand will be on top of the plate, and then you will flip the pan over).
6. If the pan is dry add about 2 tablespoons more oil and spread it around. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and allow it to cook it about 7 more minutes. Use a spatula to push down the sides so the edges become more rounded. If the top of the tortilla is uneven, pat it with the spatula to even it out. You don’t want a lumpy tortilla. Flip the tortilla out onto a serving platter when it is done. (*Note – if you have a thermometer you can use it to check if the tortilla is done. The center of the tortilla should reach 145°).
7. To make the sauce, place the garlic and the almonds in the food processor and let the machine run for a few seconds to break up the nuts. Add the remaining ingredients: bell pepper, tomato, French bread, vinegar, olive oil, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes. Process until the sauce is smooth and store it in the refrigerator.
This recipe is linked to the Pennywise Platter