British Spanish Omelette

A recipe by Gary Rhodes.

Spanish omelettes are just potatoes and onions blanched in oil, mixed with egg and cooked like a flat omelette – the texture is wonderful. This recipe is similar but gives you almost unlimited options.

Gary used a simple combination of cooked new potatoes (you could also use cold roast ones), onion, eggs and Cheddar. But this basic recipe can become a potato pizza using peppers, mushrooms, olives or whatever you like. The most important thing is to use a good omelette or frying pan.

Serves: 1 – 4

5 or 6 new potatoes, cooked
1 onion, butter for frying
3 large sized eggs
1 level tsp freshly chopped parsley, optional
Salt and pepper
2-3oz (50-75g) cheddar cheese, grated

Step One : Cut the potatoes into ¼ in (5mm) thick slices. Slice the onion.  Heat 6 in (15cm) omelette or frying pan, add a small knob of butter and allow it to melt.  Add the sliced onion and sauté for a few mins until golden brown.

Step Two : Beat the eggs together, adding the freshly chopped parsley, if using.  Add the onions to the egg mixture and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step Three : Reheat the omelette or frying pan, adding another small knob of butter and allowing it to melt.  Lay the sliced potatoes in the frying pan, so that they cover the base. Gently fry the potatoes on one side only, until they are a nice golden brown.

Step Four : Pour the onion and egg mixture on top of the potatoes and continue to cook on a medium heat.  You will notice the egg beginning to set. After a few minutes, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese evenly over the omelette. Place the pan under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown, which should take only about 1 or 2 mins.

Variation : Before grilling the omelette, thinly sliced tomatoes can be placed over the cheese.  Arrange tomatoes so that they overlap and completely cover the top.  The omelette can then be grilled until the tomatoes are cooked.

Step Five : Transfer the omelette to a serving plate and dish up immediately. This omelette can be for 1 or 4 people, depending on everyone’s appetite.

Some other Autumn / Winter recipes can be found in Gary’s book here

Luxury Shepherd’s Pie

Turn a humble shepherds pie into an extra-special supper by adding red wine and fresh herbs to the lamb mince, then top with a really rich and creamy mashed potato. To make cottage pie, use lean good-quality beef mince instead.

Serves: 6; Cost £7.70; Time to prepare: 40 mins; Time to cook: 1 hr 20 mins; Cals per portion: 685

Ingredients: 15ml (1 tbsp) oil; 1 large onion, chopped; 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 900g (2 lb) minced lamb; 225g (8oz) carrots, diced; 2 leeks, trimmed and chopped; 15ml (1tbsp) freshly chopped oregano; 30ml (2 tbsp) tomato puree; 30ml (2 tbsp) worcestershire sauce; 150ml (1/4pt) red wine; 300ml (1/2 pt) lamb stock; 100g (4oz) mushrooms, sliced; 1.3kg (3lb) potatoes, peeled; 75g (3oz) butter; 90ml (6 tbsp) milk; 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until golden brown. Add the minced lamb to the pan and fry until browned all over, stirring all the time. Drain off excess fat then add the carrots and three-quarters of the leeks.
  • Stir in the oregano, tomato puree, worcestershire sauce, red wine and stock, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 40 mins, stirring occassionally. Add the mushrooms to the pan after 20 mins.
  • Meanwhile cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 mins, until tender. Drain well, then mash the potatoes with the butter and milk until smooth and creamy. Taste and add a little more seasoning if necessary.
  • Spoon the mince mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Top with mashed potato. Fry the remaining leeks in half the olive oil for 2-3 mins, then sprinkle the rest of the olive oil over the mash. Bake at 200oC, 400oF, Gas 6 for 30 mins until golden.

TIP: To freeze, spoon the mash on top of the mince, then leave to cool. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen at 190oC, 375oF, Gas 5 for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until piping hot.