[Post #22 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
Happy Mother’s Day!
Confession: I almost took today off from posting. It is partly because it’s Mothers Day, but more to do with the fact that today was day two of tournament baseball for my son (two games yesterday, three games today. They came in second!). It’s been fun, but I’m pooped.
But common sense reigned, and I decided I had to keep on pucking; I’m three weeks in, I can’t stop now!
Equally important, I wanted dinner ready when we got home. Together with a giant green salad and wine (for us, apple juice for Nick!) my vegan interpretation of Tortilla Espanola made a pretty idyllic end-of-the-weekend supper.
Tortilla Espanola is what most of us think of as a frittata; it is also happens to be iconic fare throughout Spain. At it’s most basic, it is simply potatoes and onions, fried in plenty of olive oil, and then completely surrounded by beaten eggs. The ensemble finishes cooking in the oven, or on the stovetop, just until the eggs are set. Once cool, the tortilla is inverted from the pan and cut into pieces, which can be eaten out of hand (portable!) or with a plate and fork, whatever suits the occasion. It’s simple, but utterly addictive.
So how about a vegan version? Given that chickpea flour can be used to make egg-less quiche, I decided to try my hand at making egg-less tortilla Espanola. Chickpeas are similarly a popular food in Spain, so it seemed particularly fitting to give it a whirl in portable, power puck form.
The results of my little experiment are in: FANTASTICO!
Besides the radical swap of chickpea flour batter for the eggs, I kept the recipe true to the original. I did add some red bell pepper to the onions and potatoes, to further pump up the flavor, plus a dash of smoked paprika (pimenton), one of my favorite spices ever. If you don’t have it, don;t worry; either leave it out or substitute an equal amount of ground cumin or chipotle chile powder for a similar smokiness.
I was generous with the olive oil, which made the finished chickpea batter especially tender and egg-like, and I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to lend the finished pucks extra puff.
In traditional Spanish fashion, you can serve these warm, room temperature or cold. They make even better travelers than the egg version and. according to my 9-year-old, are even more delicious. Enjoy!
- ⅔ cup chickpea flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (more or less to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton--hot or sweet)
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup peeled diced (1/4-inch) Gold or red-skined potato (about 1 medium)
- ½ of a medium onion, chopped
- ½ of a medium red bell. seeded and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 450F. Grease or spray 6 cups in a standard size muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt and smoked paprika; slowly whisk in water (this helps to avoid lumps) until blended and smooth. Whisk in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Let stand while preparing vegetables.
- Place the potatoes in a medium-large skillet and fill with enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; cooked for 10-12 minutes, stirring once to avoid sticking, until fork-tender; Drain in a colander,
- Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in same skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper. Cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables are somewhat softened. Add the potatoes; cook and stir for 30 seconds longer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the vegetables between the prepared cups. Whisk the baking powder into the batter, then divide the batter over the vegetables.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 18 minutes until the centers are set, the edges are golden brown, and the surface of the pucks appears dry. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.