Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tortilla Espanola

As my readers (all three of you) may already know, I studied abroad in Spain in college. A typical dish of Spain is the tortilla espanola, which unlike tortilla in Latin America, is more like a potato omelette rather than a crunchy cornmeal chip. This dish is often served in slices as a tapa in restaurants, or in my case, at the dinner table of my host family. When I came back to campus after studying abroad, tortilla espanola became my signature dish to share among friends.

My senora taught me a handy trick, which, if done properly, will produce the perfect tortilla. Unfortunately, as I made it today, I did not do it properly and ended up with a gloopy mess. As you can see, only half the tortilla is pictured here because I had to eat the messy half. But these are sacrifices we food bloggers must make.

Once again, I am writing the method below from memory so everything is approximated. In this recipe, you cannot be afraid to use salt and oil. In Spain, they love their olive oil and it is essential in most of their cooking. And the salt is important here or your tortilla will taste like nothing.

2 medium potatoes, or one large potato
3 large eggs (I used 2 whole eggs and the white of one egg)
Lots of oil, enough to cover the pan, and preferably olive oil because it is the signature oil of Spain.
Several pinches of salt

1. Peel and slice the potatoes into very thin slices, between an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. I quarter the potatoes lengthwise to get nice bite pieces.
2. Fry the potatoes in a large pan with a very generous coat of oil (several tablespoons). You need a lot of oil or it will stick and burn. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until potatoes are soft and slightly browned. They will look like slightly undercooked home fries.
3. Drain the potatoes on paper towels. Scramble the eggs with another pinch of salt.
4. Heat oil (yes, more oil - or you can use the leftever oil from cooking the potatoes) in an 8-inch pan. Transfer the potatoes to the pan. Pour egg mixture evenly over the potatoes. Allow it to cook until the bottom is golden brown.
5. The Trick: To flip over the tortilla, place a large plate (one that is bigger than the pan) over the pan and flip the pan with the plate VERY QUICKLY. If you do not do it quickly enough or use a big enough plate, you will end up with a gloopy mess on your stove like I did.
6. Allow to cook for a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown.
7. Serve and enjoy!
8. If you did not do the trick right, clean your stove.
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1 comment:

Ana V. said...

It's awesome that you have a food blog! I attempted one when I first moved to Boston (restaurant reviews, not recipes) but I never had the discipline to keep it up.