Tortilla Española-Olé!

Tortilla de espanola
Tortilla de espanola

(This is an old repost from my Spain cooking days and since we plan on being there soon, I’ve decided to resurrect some old recipes and try some new ones).

Olé-definition-Excited approval! This is the way my daughter, who is in Spain, reacts to this Spanish dish.

Looks easy to make this egg, onion, potato combo-but don’t let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you. It is an art in Spain to get this tortilla out of the pan and into the mouth.

Like some of our American national favorites-hamburgers and hot dogs, in Spain, there is the Potato Omelet aka Tortilla Española. The Spaniard’s love affair with the fried egg and potato transcends all other national favorites, which include garlic chicken, gazpacho, and flan. Put all those together to have an astronomic feast. But what is that something about this simple egg and potato dish that entices the heartiest eater?

The word tortilla is  a misnomer. A Spanish tortilla has nothing in common with its Mexican counterpart, except its Latin root -torte, meaning a round cake. When you make this, there is a technique involved and the more you do this, the better you will become. Try it and see what you think.

Tortilla Española (The Food and Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas)

Serves 4-6

1 cup olive oil, or a mixture of olive and salad oils

4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/8 inch slices

Coarse salt

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 large eggs

Heat the oil in an 8 or 9 inch skillet and add the potato slices one at a time to prevent sticking. Alternate potato layers with the onion slices and salt the layers lightly. Cook slowly over a medium flame, lifting and turning the potatoes occasionally, until they are tender but not brown. (The potatoes will remain separated and not in a”cake.”)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs with a fork until they are slightly foamy. Salt to taste. Remove the potatoes from the skillet and drain them in a colander, reserving about 3 tablespoons of the oil. (The potatoes give the oil a delicious flavor, so reserve the rest for future use.) Add the potatoes to the beaten eggs, pressing the potatoes down so that they are completely covered by the egg. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in a large skillet until very hot (you may use the same skillet as long as absolutely nothing is stuck on the bottom). Add the potato-egg mixture, rapidly spreading it around in the skillet with the aid of a pancake turner. Lower the heat to medium-high and shake the pan often to prevent sticking. When the potatoes begin to brown underneath, invert a plate of the same size over the skillet. Flip the omelet onto the plate. Add about 1 tablespoon more of the oil to the pan, then slide the omelet back to the skillet to brown on the other side. (If your skillet was not hot enough, some of the omelet may stick to the pan. If this happens, don’t despair-scrape off the pieces and fit them into their places on the omelet. With subsequent flips, the pieces will mesh with the omelet.)

Lower the heart to medium. Flip the omelet 2 or 3 more times (this helps to give it a good shape) cooking briefly on each side. It should be slightly juicy within. Transfer to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

See you soon!

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life”~Pablo Picasso

“So go live, love, and love again.”~~me


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s