My grandmother, Vovó Costa, used to serve this Portuguese sausage frittata (tortilha in Portuguese or tortilla in Spanish) to my cousins Barry and Wayne and me straight from her big cast-iron skillet for lunch or, if we were lucky and allowed to stay up and watch The Ed Sullivan Show, for a late supper on Sunday evenings. It’s terrific served warm as a main course, at room temperature as a starter, or chilled and sliced into thin wedges as an hors d’oeuvre.
What Is Chouriço?
Those of you familiar with chorizo, you may have thought we’d misspelled chouriço in the recipe below. Although we actually know a thing about what we’re talking about. Chouriço is a Portuguese sausage that’s similar to—and arguably interchangeable with—Spanish chorizo. It’s garlicky, porky, and, not surprisingly, paprika-y. If you simply can’t place your hands on it, you can swap chorizo. Just don’t let David find out.
Portuguese Sausage Frittata
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound Portuguese chouriço, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) slices
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch (3 mm) slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
- 7 large eggs
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the chouriço and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Turn the heat to medium-low and toss the onions and potatoes into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the onions and potatoes and garlic, along with the peppers, into a bowl with the chouriço. Remove the skillet from the heat and wipe it out.
- Heat the broiler. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the eggs over the chouriço and potato mixture in the bowl and gently toss to combine.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and warm it over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, quickly stir to cook the eggs briefly, then jiggle the skillet to settle its contents. Run the spatula around the sides of the skillet to prevent the tortilha from sticking. Crank up the heat to medium-high and cook until the edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook until the top is nicely browned and no puddles of drippy egg remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide the tortilla onto a large platter and sprinkle with the parsley or slice it and serve it straight from the skillet, just as my grandmother did.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Frittatas have always been a regular dish on our table, but I think this Portuguese sausage frittata recipe outshines all other frittata recipes. Wanting to find a new recipe for a New Orleans-themed brunch, I happened across this recipe.
While I didn’t have any Portuguese chorico, it was suggested I try an Andouille-style sausage. Because this recipe is a Portuguese family recipe, I wanted to honor that tradition so I subbed some Portuguese linguica.
The results were amazing. The recipe delivers everything it promises and more. The directions are clear and work as written. And it was so good. A couple days later, a family member arrived from out of town to stay the night. I really wanted to make this frittata for her. Being out of sausage, I held my breath and substituted diced pancetta instead. Once again, perfect results.
I asked my husband which frittata he preferred, as he was eating his third piece of the pancetta version, and he said he thought he liked the sausage version better. Suffice it to say, one cannot go wrong with this recipe. I used different types of potatoes for each frittata. Some I peeled, some I left unpeeled, some were red potatoes, and some were Yukon Golds. They all tasted great and held their shape through to the finished frittata. The slicing of the potato was an added bonus. It made for a beautiful and texturally appealing frittata.