A couple of Sundays ago Brenda was sitting there rather bombed out and, although this may be her usual state when seen through the eyes of a casual onlooker, to those of us who have the misfortune of observing her at close quarters, I could tell she was in a state. Was it the vapid, slack-jawed expression? Or the slumped posture? No, these are quite usual for her.
It was the fact that, with the changing of the clocks, we were now officially into autumn. I hear the cries of “Well that’s her favourite time of year! …and that therefore this ought to have improved her mood – the opportunity to wear even more padding than normal, thereby avoiding the necessity for depilation and plucking; and not bothering with her maquillage because it’s darker, so she doesn’t frighten so many people without it.
In fact the new season meant she had to do some work! One of Brenda’s very few talents is pie-making and it dawned on her that, with Britain’s bounteous harvest of autumn fruits, she had to make one. I thought it was quite normal that she filled herself with her favourite fruits all year round, but she doesn’t like discussing her private life. However you will find details of her gorgeous Blackberry, Blueberry and Apple pie here.
That set me to thinking what equally ordinary ingredients I could transform into a midweek supper. Having initially despaired at a bowl of cold, boiled potatoes, leftover from one of Brenda’s earlier meals (I go on strike a few times a week, forcing her to attempt something, which I nearly always regret). It occurred to me that with a few eggs and some fried onion, this could be transformed into something really delicious, and yet simple and quite quick. Traditionally, Spanish omelette is just five ingredients (potato, egg, onion, olive oil and parsley) but I’ve added a few extra ingredients which I happened to have and which fitted well with the basic recipe.
about 500g cooked potatoes - sliced about 1cm thick
1 large onion - medium sliced
1 clove garlic – roughly chopped
1 red chilli – finely sliced
sprig of fresh rosemary – leaves stripped and roughly chopped
about 100g chorizo, sliced into rounds about 1/2cm thick
2 medium tomatoes – halved
about 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
small bunch flatleaf parsley - roughly chopped
6 eggs - loosely beaten
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium low heat, add the onion and garlic and fry gently with a lid left open a fraction, stirring occasionally. You want them translucent and turning golden but you don’t really want too much colour, so half an hour should be more then enough.
When ready, take out the onions, add the rest of the olive oil and fry the chorizo “coins” and tomato halves for a few minutes each side. The oil will turn fragrant and red from the paprika-spiked chorizo. Remove them and set aside with your onions – and now add the potato slices and rosemary to the same paprika-fragranced oil, turn up the heat to medium high and fry for about 5 mins. After this time, turn them and add the onion, chorizo and tomato – plus the chopped chilli – back to the pan while the other side fries.
Meanwhile, switch on the grill to high and beat the eggs in a bowl to which you add the chopped parsley and a few good pinches of salt and pepper.
Turn the heat on the hob back to low, pour the seasoned egg/parsley evenly into the potato mix and let sit, cooking very gently, for about 10 mins.
Then transfer to the grill for 5 mins max to finish. Put a plate on the top of the omelette and invert, so what was on the bottom, is now on top! Give it ten minutes or so to cool a bit (it’s nicer warm than straight from the heat – and can be eaten cold), sprinkle with some more chopped parsley and serve tasty slices to your eager guests…..