Fortunately, the Spanish omelet or tortilla espanola, like most Spanish cuisine does not require fancy equipment to prepare it. For this famous tapa, you’ll only need:
- Sharp Knife for Chopping Onion and Potatoes
- 1 Large Frying Pan for Frying Potatoes and Onions
- 1 Medium Frying Pan for Cooking the Tortilla
- Potato Peeler
- 2 Mixing Bowls – 1 large and 1 small
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4 for Dinner
Serves 6-8 for Appetizers
Gather the Ingredients
- 6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
- 1 whole yellow onion
- 5-6 large eggs
- 2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
- Salt to taste
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8-inch thick. Make sure to separate the pieces that stick together. It is not necessary to slice the potatoes paper thin and it is best not to use a food processor because most will slice the potatoes too thin. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry - it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook. As with any recipe, the more time you prepare it, the more you’ll know about how fast the potatoes fry
Peel and chop the onion into 1/4-inch pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a large mixing bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture to taste.
In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Drop a single piece of potato into the oil to ensure it is hot enough to fry. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes.
Note: If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside, but still be raw on the inside. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the mixture does not burn.
Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula. Some cooks place the potato and onion mixture in a colander for a few minutes to allow more oil to drain. If you do this, place a plate underneath to catch the olive oil and you can use it again.
While the mixture is draining, crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour into the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.
Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan (aprox. 9-10 inches) and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn - or the tortilla will! When hot enough, stir the potato-onion mixture once more in the bowl and pour into the pan, spreading evenly over pan. You may need to turn heat to medium-low heat. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then, using a spatula, carefully lift up one side of the tortilla to check if the egg has slightly browned. The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny on top and in middle.
Note: This is the hardest part of the recipe and the one that makes most cooks nervous. Don’t worry! It’s not as hard as you imagine – and if you turn it over the sink, the worst that can happen is that you spill a bit of the egg mixture.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Carefully carry the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12-inch) upside down over the frying pan to cover top. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will fall onto the plate. You’re almost done!
Carry plate with potato-egg mixture and empty pan back to stove. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan - approximately 1 1/2 tsp. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so on medium to medium-low heat. Carefully slide the tortilla(which is probably still a bit runny), into the frying pan, using a spatula to catch any egg mixture that remains on plate or tries to run out. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes. Carefully slide the omelet onto a large plate.
To Serve as a Main Course: Slice it into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
To Serve as a Tapa: Slice a baguette into pieces about 1/2-inch thick. Cut the tortilla into 1 1/2-inch; squares and place each piece on top of a slice of bread.
The tortilla espanola, also called tortilla de patata is simply delicious served with sofrito, fried tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and olive oil sautéed in a frying pan.