Tortilla de Patatas
[Spanish Omelette or Tortilla Española]
You can't have a Spain-based blog and not have an entry on Tortilla de Patatas. So here's my ode to this versatile dish that could be a spanish mid-day pick-me-up (el almuerzo), or made into a lunchtime bocadillo (submarine sandwich made with crusty bread), or served cut into tiny diagonal squares as a pica-pica (appetizer) at a casual cocktail party. In fact, la Tortilla de Patatas (also known as Tortilla Española) is the classic party dish here in Barcelona. You'll sometimes get two people bringing a plate of tortilla at a potluck. Nevertheless, it is never a problem because a tortilla is never the same--a good chef always adds his or her own touch.
I'm one of those blessed ones that got one-on-one instruction from my Catalan friend's mum, Flavi. Actually, this was one of the first Spanish dish I learned to make. (The other one was gaspacho, which I shall make a nice shot the next time I make it.) After the cooking demonstration, Flavi even painstakingly wrote down the recipe for me, while recalling every single detail. If you're a budding cook, you should know that most creations you have are in your head, never jotted down anywhere, because you honed the dish through trial and error and by years of making it.
This dish is essentially uncomplicated. It's one of those things you can make anytime as it only uses pantry staples. The secret ingredient though is extra virgin olive oil. It makes all the difference. One thing to note is that there are many ways to make tortilla de patatas. This way is not the quickest, but it produces great results. The potatoes slowly simmered in the virgin olive oil gives lots of flavor and a satisfying bite.
Lucky you, here you have the recipe Flavi jotted down for me in Spanish all already translated (and enhanced) in English. I had to consult the dictionary at that time because my Spanish was still elementary a few years back.
Tortilla de Patatas
~ para 4 personas
1 sartén anti-adherente de 25 cm de diameter
4 patatas medianas
1/4 cebolla mediana
un poco de sal
4 + 1 huevos (número de personas + 1 huevo)
Pon bastante aceite en la sarten. Dejar calentar un poco el aceite.
Dorar las 4 patatas peladas y cortadas finitas más la cebolla también cortada finita.
Añadir un poco sal.
Dejar a fuego bojo y tapado durant más o menos 20 minutos hasta que esten blandas.
Batir los 5 huevos con un poco más de sal y tirar en estos huevos batidos las patatas escurridas (o sea, sin aceite).
Quitar el aceite de la sartén y dejar solo un poquito (1 cucharita).
Tirar los huevos y las patatas y dejar cocer a fuego muy lento más o menos 25 minutos.
Darle la vuelta y cocer a fuego lento 4 minutos más.
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Tortilla)
~ serving for four
1 non-stick pan (25 cm in diameter)
extra virgin olive oil
4 medium potatos (quartered length-wise and then finely sliced cross-wise)
quarter of a medium onion (finely sliced)
4 + 1 eggs (1 egg for each person + 1 egg)
Place enough oil in the pan. Let it heat up a little.
Leave the sliced potatos and onions to cook in the oil, adding some salt and stirring occasionally.
After 1 minute of stirring, cover the pan with a lid and leave it at very low fire for about 18-20 mintues. The potatoes should be soft but not crispy or burnt at the end of 20 minutes.
Beat five eggs in a big bowl with a bit of salt and set aside.
Drain the potatoes from oil and place them in the egg mixture.
Retain a little bit of oil from the potatos and leave it in the pan
Pour the entire potato and egg mixture into the pan.
Cover the pan with lid and leave it to cook at very low fire for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure the fire is the lowest.
Flip the tortilla using an omelette-flipper or a pan lid and let cook the other side. Four more minutes and it's done!