An English Tortilla

Posted By Kerri

I’ve been wanting to do something with asparagus, bacon and English cheese for a while. I like the popular Italian combination of asparagus with grated parmesan wrapped in Parma ham but with something so typically English like asparagus, it seems a shame to rely on Italian accompaniments and not celebrate other good, English ingredients.

Of course, I could have just grated the cheese over the asparagus and then wrapped it in bacon before grilling but I wanted something more substantial. The addition of potatoes was obvious and thus the English tortilla was born. Perhaps I should have given more thought to an English sounding name for the dish but I got stuck on “pie” which this isn’t really.

This wasn’t a risky dish, everyone knows that bacon + cheese + potato = good but I’m still pleased that it turned out so well. The first slices were severely lacking in bacon though, the bacon pieces had made their way to the other side of the frying pan and stayed there meaning one side was salty and full of bacony goodness while the other was a little under-seasoned and verging on vegetarian. We compensated for this by eating from the other side too which wasn’t exactly a hardship but I’ll be careful to mix the ingredients more thoroughly next time.

To balance out the sweetness I knew would come from the caramelised onions and Lincolnshire Poacher, I added a salad of chicory and radicchio with a few walnuts, some more cheese and a dressing of oil and lemon juice. It did indeed provide a good contrast but I think the cheese would have been better grated on top of the fritatta before it went under the grill.

Asparagus, Bacon and Lincolnshire Poacher Tortilla
Serves Two (generously)

1 bunch asparagus
1 packet lardons
Olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 medium potatoes, finely sliced (I use a mandoline for this)
4 eggs
100g cheese, grated
Handful parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Cook the asparagus until it is just tender, drain and rinse under cold water to prevent it cooking any further.

In a large frying pan, fry the bacon until the fat has rendered, remove from the pan and blot on some kitchen paper. Drain and discard the excess oil

In the same pan, add a little olive oil and caramelise the onion; I do this by frying them for a few minutes on a high heat so they start to brown and then turning the heat down and cooking slowly until they are golden all over – this takes about 15 minutes.

Remove the onions from the frying pan and add to the bacon. In the same pan, add some more oil and cook the potato slices slowly over a low heat – about 20 minutes. Remove (scraping up any stuck-on, browned pieces) and add to the bacon and onions.

In a large bowl, gently mix together the eggs, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper until the egg yolk is just broken down. Add the potatoes, onion and bacon and combine gently.

Pour the whole lot back into the frying pan (after adding a little more oil) and then add the blanched asparagus. Cook for about 20 minutes and then put the frying pan under the grill to brown the top.

May 25th, 2010

9 Comments to 'An English Tortilla'

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  1. Love how you have arrayed the asparagus on top – it looks very cheffy (and delicious)
    .-= gourmet chick´s last blog ..Lemonia =-.

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks, GC. One of the reasons I was so keen to make this was so I could play with the asparagus! I think it might have been good chopped up and mixed in with the potatoes and onions but it wouldn’t have looked as pretty 🙂

  3. Lizzie said,

    Gorgeous looking dish – I need to get more asparagus down me while I still can!
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Hainanese Chicken Rice =-.

  4. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Lizzie. I’m going to have some more tomorrow if I can find any, I reckon the season must almost be over now 🙁

  5. Jonathan said,

    Looks fantastic. I can imagine taking a slice with me on a picnic whilst wolfing down some very cold cider.

  6. baby bro said,

    Hi sis, if you wanted fresh veg, I can help you in a few months, me and 1&2 have a veg patch growing! brussels, lettuce, brocooli, beans, toms, spuds, pack choi. and the trusted sunflowers. What can you do with that!!

  7. Kerri said,

    Sounds good, I would be more than happy to relieve you of some vegetables. I can’t think of a recipe for sunflowers but I’ll happily take some and put them in a vase 🙂

  8. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Jonathan. A glass of sparkling wine would be my choice.

  9. Mmm, I LOVE this! Lincolnshire Poacher is a good enough reason to emigrate to this country, and now that it’s asparagus season, all is well with the world!
    .-= Jeanne @ CookSister!´s last blog ..Saturday Snapshots #94 =-.

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