More than just a simple potato omelet, I’ve served Spanish Tortilla for breakfast, brunch, lunch, as an appetizer, and a dinner main dish. I’ve served it hot, warm, room temperature, and chilled from the refrigerator. It even reheats okay on a paper plate in the microwave for a snack. That’s versatile, right?
My ingredient amounts work in a 10 inch non-stick skillet. If you’re using a 12 inch skillet you’ll want to scale it up to 2 pounds of potatoes but I’ll warn you — it gets hard to flip at that size.
You will also need a lid for the pan and a plate big enough to fit over the pan to flip the omelet.
This dish is common in Europe but not so much in the U.S. and I don’t honestly understand why not. My best guess is our seeming aversion to olive oil given the amount of fake or sub-standard stuff on our market shelves.
I use half as much onion as potato. While it seems like a lot, it mostly cooks away (remember, onions are 90%-95% water).
And then there’s the olive oil.
My pantry staple is California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Everyday Olive Oil. It’s available in most of the grocery stores around here. The bigger the bottle, the better the value, but don’t buy big bottles if you don’t use much olive oil in your cooking. It will go bad. Check the dates on the bottle before you buy it and, once you open it, use it within a few months. Keep it in the cupboard (so it’s dark) and away from the stove (so it’s cool).
Good olive oil isn’t abnormally expensive but it isn’t cheap either. Expect to pay about $10 for a 750ml bottle.
Peel and slice the potatoes and onion.
Heat the oil in the pan over medium-high heat and, once it’s hot, quickly and carefully alternate potato and onion layers into the pan. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart. Like a potato salad.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a large bowl until just mixed. About a minute and a half with a whisk.
And please use good local humane eggs. Yolks should be brightly-colored, whites should be clear. They just taste that much better.
Once the potatoes and onion mixture is done cooking, drain it. I use a colander in a large bowl (to capture the excess oil).
Then gently fold the mixture into the bowl with the eggs. The goal is to not break the potatoes down.
Pour the mix into the pan and let cook until it starts to set and is browned on the bottom.
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. I’ll confess, I made a bit of a mess the first couple times I did it. Worst case, you still have an omelet, just not as pretty as it could be.
Like any skill, cooking takes some practice. You can do this.
And I’m sorry, I don’t have good pictures of this, it takes both hands. (I did find videos out there to watch, if you’re unsure.) One word of advice: it helps to use a plate that’s reasonably flat.
Okay, hold the pan over the sink (just in case), cover with a plate — don’t burn yourself, be careful — and flip it over. Lift the pan off of the plate, turn it right-side up, set it down, and immediately slide the mixture back into the pan. Use a spatula to help. It sounds like an acrobatic feat, but it’s not that hard.
Again, worst case, just slide or scoop it all back into the pan, wipe up whatever mess, and cook it like an omelet. It still tastes great.
Return the pan to the heat and cook a few more minutes until it’s done. Slide it out onto a plate (I wipe off the one I flipped it with.)
Serve it like a pie. I garnished it with some fresh chives from the garden out back. It’s also commonly served with a side of garlic mayo, but sour cream is nice too, and simply plain with cherry tomatoes is my favorite. I must tell you about these tomatoes!
I got these last weekend at the local farmers market and they are the caviar of the tomato world. Sweet and tart at the same time. Just delicious and fantastic.
Spanish Tortilla is a potato omelet made creamy and full-flavored with good olive oil and eggs. It can be a bit tricky to make at first but definitely well-worth the effort. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.
- 20 ounces potatoes, peeled and sliced 3-4 medium
- 10 ounces onion, sliced 1/2 large
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Peel and slice the potatoes. Slice the onions.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until just mixed and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the potatoes and onion in layers (the skillet will be pretty full).
Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart.
Drain the mixture. I use a colander but any large strainer will work. (The oil can be re-used if you're making more than one tortilla or cooking something else that day.)
Gently fold the mixture with the eggs until combined, trying not to break up the potatoes as much as possible.
Pour the mixture into the pan and cook until the eggs start to set and the bottom is browned. About 3-5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, invert a plate over the pan and carefully flip it over. Set the pan down right-side up and slide the omelet back into the pan.
Return to the heat and cook until done, about another 3-5 minutes.
Slide the omelet onto a plate, let cool a bit, and slice and serve like a pie.