If you live in Western Massachusetts, it’s more than likely you’ve heard of Chef Bill Collins. Maybe you’ve taken his class at Stonewall Kitchen, watched him on Mass Appeal, read one of his four books or even exchanged recipes at the grocery store. For Bill and the people around him, cooking is a transformative experience and his enthusiasm for food, contagious.
“Everyone gets a different kind of nourishment from food. When I am cooking, the smells and tastes have always transported me somewhere… to a different time, place or memory. Even in my original recipes, each individual flavor has its own story to tell.”
Bill’s passion for cooking started when he was six while cooking with his mother in the kitchen. He graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and entered the hotel and restaurant industry, but found himself missing the sounds, smells and memories of the home kitchen.
For the past 18 years, Bill has traveled to homes across the region as a personal chef. While traveling, he learns the food traditions of the people he meets and often leaves with inspiration for new recipes.
We were excited to learn that Bill discovered Z Wraps in a client’s zero-waste kitchen and has incorporated them into his own kitchen routines. “I feel good about reducing my plastic waste. What I like best, is their versatility. Instead of going right to plastic wrap, I have an all-natural option to keep leftover food and produce fresh. And, it stays fresh.”
We asked Chef Bill if he would prepare a meal for our blog and he quickly agreed. “My favorite meals to prepare are often colorful with a variety of fresh vegetables. I love my Z Wraps for the same reason. They’re a happy spark of color in the kitchen.”
“The Spanish Tortilla is a versatile, flavorful dish. My interpretation of it is simple and dietary friendly (gluten and dairy free). Caramelized onions, boiled and sliced red potatoes, eggs, salt, pepper, olive oil and a garnish. This is a Spanish cuisine staple and a nice change from quiches, frittatas and omelets.”
It was fun to see our wraps at work and of course, we took pictures! We’ve included the recipe here and have a lot of ideas about what you can do with the leftovers - if there are any.
Spanish Tortilla Recipe
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced
3 medium-sized red potatoes, or Yukon gold, thinly sliced (¼” thickness)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon blacks pepper
Preheat the broiler to high
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add the onions, with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions, per the instructions below. This will take approximately 45 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, place the potatoes into a saucepan, and cover with water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are barely cooked through. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
- When the onions are cooked: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining salt and pepper. Add the onions and potatoes, and gently stir to combine, being careful not to break the potatoes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil, and the egg mixture. Cook, stirring constantly but gently to keep potatoes from breaking. Stir until the eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes. Spread mixture in an even layer; reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook the tortilla, shaking the skillet occasionally to prevent it from sticking, until eggs are nearly cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until top of tortilla is just cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Invert a large plate or cutting board over the skillet. Using oven mitts, hold the plate firmly over skillet and flip, releasing tortilla onto plate.
- Serve hot, or let it cool and serve at room temperature.
Note: You can prepare the onions and potatoes up to two days in advance.
Yield: 4 servings
Hints for Caramelizing Onions
3-4 medium onions, peeled, cut in half (stem to root) and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place the skillet over a medium heat. Add the oil and the onions. Sautee over a medium heat until onions are cooked to your liking, approximately 45 minutes.
- Keep the temperature on the lower side of medium. Caramelizing is a slow cooking process.
- If the onions start to stick to the pan, add water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, to the onions
- Stir the onions occasionally.
- The onions, when they’re done, will be brown and soft, not crunchy. If they are crunchy, they should be barely crunchy.
- To speed up the cooking after 15 minutes, cover the skillet. But check often to make sure the onions are not burning in the pan. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, as needed.