Friday, May 9, 2014

Recipe in Costco magazine is needlessly complicated

A five-cheese-and-garlic frittata starts out on the stove and finishes cooking under a low broiler setting. There is no need to turn this 10-inch stuffed Italian omelet or the Spanish potato omelet described in a recipe in the April 2014 issue of Costco Connection magazine.
Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto from Costco Wholesale is spooned on top of the frittata once it is out of the oven.


Reading instructions in the Costco Connection magazine on how to turn a Tortilla de Patata (Potato Omelet) is like watching a high-wire act:

You fight the urge to close your eyes to avoid seeing an accident.

The Potato Omelet recipe in the lifestyle magazine for Costco Wholesale members is too complicated, and likely discourages a lot of home cooks from trying it (Page 49).

I've been making frittatas, the Italian version of this omelet, with sliced sweet potatoes and other ingredients, and have never turned them.

Don't try at home

In the Costco recipe, Christina Mendez provides the following instructions:

"When the edges are cooked and the center is still moist, place a plate over the pan and invert it, so the raw side of the tortilla flips face down onto the plate.

"Carefully return the tortilla to the pan by sliding it off the plate and continue cooking for another minute."

That's a cooking disaster waiting to happen.

With my frittatas, I don't bother trying to turn them. I just put them in the oven or under the broiler to brown and finish cooking.

Boil and save oil

Another shortcut for the Spanish omelet recipe is to boil water to cook the recommended 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, which you have to peel and cube.

I'd leave the peel on, and wouldn't follow the recipe's instructions "to cover" the potatoes, onion and Anaheim pepper in expensive Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, and cook them in a covered pan.

The recipe calls for more than 2 cups of oil. That's just wasteful.

I usually put sweet potato slices for my frittatas in cold water; leave the cover slightly ajar to vent steam and bring the water to a low boil. 

They are usually fork tender in about 30 minutes.

Or get one to go

Of course, if you don't want to go to the bother of preparing a Spanish potato omelet at home, head on over to La Pola, a Cuban sandwich shop in West New York.

Sandwich master Belarmino Rico, who emigrated to Cuba from Spain, makes an excellent version of the omelet, also called Tortilla Espanola.

Try one of his authentic sandwiches with a cup of cafe con leche, and get the tortilla to go.

La Pola, 5400 Palisade Ave., West New York; 201-867-6028. Cash only. Call for hours.

A reheated wedge of frittata made with five cheeses, including the two found in Costco's prepared pesto, and lots of garlic.

For garlic mashed sweet potatoes, I boil peeled garlic and unpeeled potatoes, both from Costco; drain them in a colander and return them to the pot, where I add extra-virgin olive oil, a little salt and other seasonings, including cinnamon and curry powder. Potatoes for a frittata or omelet also can be boiled.
A couple of shortcuts woul make a Tortilla de Patata much easier to prepare at home. This recipe appears in the April 2014 issue of Costco Connection magazine.


  1. you flip it, so that it's a tortilla, not a fritatta. if you don't flip it - and just stick it in the oven - it's a fritatta. Flipping them takes a little courage, but it's rewarding. Go ahead and flip it... you know you wanna.

    1. I don't see anything rewarding in flipping it, and I have long forgotten this so-called recipe.


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