For a Spanish-inspired menu in less than an hour, we add a few bold flavor strokes to transform otherwise simple recipes. We start with one of the most common tapas, the tortilla, a frittata-like omelet loaded with potatoes and onion; to boost the flavor, we whisk smoked paprika into the eggs and add roasted red peppers. For a main dish, halibut is simmered with tomatoes, olives, chorizo, and thyme, and sherry vinegar adds woodsy acidity. To drink, try a citrusy sangria, which we lighten by using white wine instead of red and omitting the usual brandy.
Spanish Tortilla With Roasted Red Peppers
Makes 4 servings
In Spain, a tortilla is a thick, hearty, frittata-like omelet made with potatoes, onions, and plenty of olive oil. For an added touch, serve the tortilla with garlicky mayonnaise or aioli on the side.
This recipe starts on the stove top but finishes in the oven, so you will need an oven-safe, nonstick, 10-inch skillet.
Be sure to slice the potatoes no thicker than ¼ inch or they may not cook through. Also, remember to pat the roasted red peppers dry before chopping. Excess moisture from the peppers may make the final texture of the tortilla too watery. Finally, take care when you remove the pan from the oven, as the skillet handle will be hot, so use a pot holder or an oven mitt.
8 large eggs
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 cup drained roasted red peppers, patted dry and chopped
Heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, paprika, and 1½ teaspoons salt, then set aside.
In an oven-safe, nonstick, 10-inch skillet set over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Stir in the onion, potatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until a fork inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the roasted red peppers and cook, stirring, until the peppers are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold the hot vegetables into the eggs, separating any potato slices that stick together.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and warm over medium heat until shimmering. Pour in the egg-potato mixture and distribute in an even layer. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the tortilla is set at the center, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to a wire rack (the handle will be hot) and let cool for about 10 minutes. Run a silicone spatula around the edge and under the tortilla to loosen it, then invert a large plate over the skillet. Invert both the skillet and the plate, holding them together, then lift off the skillet.
Serve the tortilla warm or at room temperature.
Halibut With Chorizo, Tomatoes, and Green Olives
Makes 4 servings
Bold Spanish ingredients lend loads of smoky, briny, woodsy flavor to mild-tasting, firm but flaky halibut fillets. If you prefer, use cod instead. Either way, look for fillets that are at least 1-inch thick so they remain moist and flavorful and don’t overcook.
Serve with warm, crusty bread.
Four 6-ounce skinless halibut OR cod fillets (see headnote)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 cup cherry OR grape tomatoes
½ cup pitted green olives, chopped
2 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional, for garnish
Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the tomatoes, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to split. Stir in the olives, chorizo, and thyme, then cook until fragrant. Nestle the fish in the tomato mixture, cover, and cook until it flakes easily, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a platter. Stir the vinegar into the sauce, then season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the fish and drizzle with additional oil. Sprinkle with the parsley, if using.
Makes 6 servings
This white sangria, our adaptation of Janet Mendel’s Manchegan white wine cooler from Cooking from the Heart of Spain, is light, refreshing, and relatively low in alcohol, making it a great choice for summer sipping. You might expect a base of Spanish wine, but we prefer Portuguese white vinho verde, an inexpensive young wine with citrusy notes and bright acidity. If you can’t find vinho verde, a dry pinot gris or unoaked chardonnay would work, too. This recipe can easily be doubled to serve a crowd.
Don’t worry, the sangria won’t taste of celery. Odd ingredient though it may seem here, the celery adds a subtle savoriness that keeps the sweetness in check. Also, wait to add the citrus slices until just before serving. If added with the basil and peaches, the lemons and oranges will lose their texture and the pith will turn the sangria slightly bitter.
¼ cup white sugar
8 large basil leaves
750-milliliter bottle white vinho verde, chilled
2 large celery stalks, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus ½ lemon, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons orange juice, plus ½ orange, thinly sliced
1 peach or nectarine, halved, pitted, and sliced
2 cups chilled soda water
Ice, to serve
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, stir together the sugar, basil, and wine, lightly bruising the basil, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the celery, cinnamon, lemon and orange juices, and the sliced peach. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Just before serving, stir in the lemon and orange slices and soda water. Serve over ice.
Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.