WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – Let’s hear it for the girls

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“You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?”

Nigella Lawson

Hi there,

March is Women’s History Month. So for the next four weeks and I am going to write about a woman chef who you may not be familiar with. Today I am going to introduce you to Penelope Casas. Penelope was an American food writer, cookbook author and expert on the cuisine of Spain. Casas began authoring a series of English-language cookbooks focusing on the food of Spain during the 1980s, effectively introducing Americans to Spain’s culinary heritage for the first time.

Here is her recipe for Tortilla Espanola

Spanish omelette


Servings: 8


1 cup olive oil, for frying
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch slices
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
4 large eggs


Heat the oil in an 8-inch or 9-inch skillet over medium heat until it sizzles when you drop in a potato slice. Add the potatoes and onion one slice at a time to prevent sticking, alternating layers of potatoes and onion. Season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are tender but not browned, for about 20 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon or spatula to a colander and let drain. Reserve 4 teaspoons oil and wipe out the skillet.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork and add salt. Add the potatoes and press down until completely covered by the egg mixture. Let sit 15 minutes.

Heat 3 teaspoons of the reserved oil in the same skillet over high heat until it reaches the smoking point. Quickly pour in the potato-and-egg mixture and distribute evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, shaking the skillet often to prevent sticking, until the bottom begins to brown. Slide the omelet onto a plate, cover with a second plate, and turn over.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon reserved oil in the same skillet over high heat to the smoking point. Reduce the heat to medium and slide the omelet back into the skillet. Cook, shaking constantly until the bottom is browned, using the back of a pancake turner to neatly tuck in the edges. Continue cooking until the center is set but still slightly juicy within. Serve hot or at room temperature.

This recipe came from 1,000 Spanish Recipes ©2014 by Penelope Casas.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Penelope Casas as much as I have enjoyed bring her recipe to your attention. If you have a woman chef you would like to see featured, just put her name in the comment section.

Until we meet again, ❤️💕Bernadette

6 responses to “WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – Let’s hear it for the girls”

  1. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    chef mimi says:

    I’ve never heard of this chef! Thanks!

  2. Your welcome – I hope to feature a less well known chef to everyone’s attention every week during Women’s History Month. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    The tortilla looks delicious!

  4. CarolCooks2 – Udon Thani – Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling. Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
    CarolCooks2 says:

    What a great idea, Bern the tortilla looks and sounds delicious 🙂

  5. I’m a member of Cherry Bombe – a group devoted to women who are talented writers, chefs, food stylists, photographers and illustrators (not me though). In Nov. 2020 a “Friendsgiving” weeklong virtual with many new faces. Older ones such as Ina, Martha or Nigella are considered “trailblazers”. Then recently there was a zoom discussion with Joy the Baker. Lots of new and young faces and many cookbooks I’ve added to my collection.

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this comment. There is a lot of food for thought in this comment. I will look up Joy the Baker and the Cherry Bombe Organization.

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