Does this look like an 'eggy' slice of tortilla, or what? Eating this, I think I have died and gone to vegan tapas heaven. Yes, I am pretty damn impressed with this Spanish 'omelette' that I have made, even if I say so myself.
I bet that if a non-vegan came round for a glass of rioja, and a 'little bite' of this, they would have no idea they were being served vegan food (unless they knew I was vegan, of course). Really - it is that good, and so similar to the traditional version (at least, the traditional version that you would get on your plate in the UK! I know in Spain it wouldn't have quite the veg in like this), that any vegan eating this would probably chuck it right back at me for thinking it was not vegan.
I picked up the chorizo from a vegetarian food store in Manchester last week. I don't often use shop-bought, meat alternatives in my cooking, but I have been wanting to see what vegan chorizo is like since I heard about it a couple of months back. And it's actually pretty good.
I have always been quite a fan of Spanish tortilla. Before I was vegan, eggs were something I cooked with a lot, and vegetarian Spanish omelette variations were a standard meal for me of a week-day evening - a stand-by meal, really. So it is pure joy to see that I can recreate it, and very closely to what I remember it being like.
It's the gram flour batter in this recipe which really gives the look, taste and texture of egg omelette. It's been a huge discovery for me since I started to make vegan omelette with it for breakfast. Also - it's a good way of getting the 'eggy effect' without using tofu, which tends to be the usually 'go to' ingredient in vegan, egg-like dishes, I find.
And gram flour is sooo cheap. A 1kg bag cost me £1.30 from my local Indian grocery store, and you use only 125 grams for this large tortilla. Think about the price comparison with eggs! So as well as being a kinder choice, it is a budget choice.
Just to say regarding my recipe, as you'll probably guess looking through my site, I do like a bit of spice. Chilli is one of my favourite additions to any food. Combined with the peppery chorizo and the pimenton, this tortilla will get your eyes watering and your nose running. If you don't like so much heat, take out the red chilli or use less.
This tortilla great served hot or cold, so it makes a good picnic food, or take leftovers to work as lunch the next day. In fact, I'm still trying to work out if it actually tastes better the next day. It might just!
As for La Tasca and other tapas chain restaurants, eat your artichoke out! You'll go out of business once people get wind of this recipe.
Vegan Chorizo Spanish Tortilla
Serves 8 as tapas, 4-6 as a main course with salad
1 cup / 125g pack of vegan Chorizo (I used Redwood)
2 cups / 250g cooked, diced potato
1 cup / 125g chopped broccoli
2 spring onions, sliced
1 leek, sliced
½ green bell pepper, chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup / 125g gram flour (chickpea flour)
1¼ cup / 280ml unsweetened soya milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon Spanish 'pimenton picante' pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Olive oil for frying
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan, heat some olive oil on a medium heat and fry the leek for a few minutes, before adding the green pepper, spring onions and broccoli.
2. Stir-fry the vegetables on a low to middle heat for about 10 minutes, and while they are frying (with some occasional stirring), make the gram flour batter for the 'omelette'.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the gram flour with the yeast flakes, salt and pimenton pepper. Gradually add the soya milk, using a whisk to ensure all the lumps are gone and it is smooth. Set aside.
4. To the frying pan, add the chopped chilli and minced garlic. Sauté for a couple more minutes. Add some more olive oil if required, then stir in the cooked potatoes and the vegan chorizo.
5. Now, pour the gram flour batter evenly around the pan. Tilt the pan so the batter coats all of the vegetables and after about a minute, with a spatula, push the edges down around the pan slightly. Continue cooking and separately, heat your grill (or broiler) on its highest setting.
6. After about 5-7 minutes of cooking in the frying pan, the edges of the tortilla should have turned slightly golden brown and dry, and the batter in the centre should be bubbling slightly. If you shake the pan a little and see the movement is only around the middle, take the pan and put under the grill.
7. Leave the pan under the grill/broiler for about 5 minutes more, or until the tortilla batter has gone completely stiff , appears cooked all over and is a deeper yellow (it need not be browned but may be golden). Press it in various places to check it is properly cooked and there is no wetness.
8. If ready, and the tortilla is cooked thoroughly, carefully divide the tortilla while in the pan, and remove one slice at a time to serve.
NB. This can be a gluten-free option if you omit the vegan chorizo (the brand I used has wheat protein in). Try to find a different, gluten-free, veggie sausage in place.