How to Make Spanish Tortilla (with a recipe from my Spanish host-mom)

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Last week, I had the lovely opportunity to learn how to make Spanish tortilla from my former host mom.  It has been something I have been really wanting to learn, so I was beyond excited when Rosy offered to help us make it!  She came over Sunday afternoon and showed us step-by-step how to make the perfect Spanish tortilla (not just a potato omelette….THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!)

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*Something to note- every tortilla and every recipe is a little bit different.  This particular recipe is Rosy’s version, but she said it changes every time!  When I would ask “how much water?  or how many eggs”, she kept replying “ehhh…..it depends….”


Spanish Tortilla

(makes 2 small tortillas or 1 large)

Ingredients

  • 3 large, white potatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your pan 1/2 inch (maybe 1 cup?)
  • lots of salt
  • 4-6 eggs
  • 1 small or large frittata pan (you can make 2 tortillas with a small or 1 large)
  • 1 large cooking pot

Directions

1 // Peel the potatoes with a small, sharp knife.  Wash the potato.

2 // In a large bowl, very thinly slice the potato into little pieces, basically like “shaving” it.

3 // Peel the onion and slice it the same way you did with the potatoes.  Add the onion to potato.

4 // Add a generous pinch of salt (1/2 or 1 Tbs) to the onion and potato and give it a good stir.

5 // Cover the bottom of the pan with 1/2 inch of olive oil (for this step, we used a large cooking pot.  You will need to stir, so use something large enough to allow you to stir).  Heat the olive oil well, but don’t let it burn.

6 // When the oil is very hot, throw in one slice of potato to see if it sizzles.  If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.  If not, wait a minute more.  When it is hot, add the potato and onion mixture to the oil and stir it all around, so everything is covered in oil.

7 // Allow the potatoes and onions to cook until they are very, very soft (as in, you can smash the potato against the edge of the pan).  This can take up to 20 minutes, but keep stirring so that they don’t burn.tortilla1

8 // In the last 5 minutes of potato frying, crack the eggs into the same large bowl you used for the potatoes.  Beat the eggs until they are very well mixed.  (don’t forget to keep stirring your potatoes!)

9 // Add a tiny splash of water to the eggs and stir well.  Set them aside for a minute.

10 // Heat the fritatta pan until it is very, very hot.  When it is hot, add 1-2 Tbs of the leftover oil from the potatoes and onions (which will be sitting in the bottom of the pot) to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

11 // Push the potatoes in the pot to one side (a big cooking spoon works well for this, especially if it has draining holes in it) or you can put them into a large strainer to drain some of the oil.  This oil can be saved for eating or cooking (I have been using it on salads this week).

12 // Put the drained potatoes into the egg mixture in the large bowl.  **THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN OMELETTE AND TORTILLA**

13 // Stir the egg / potato / onion mixture so that you have a thick, soupy consistency.  Make sure it’s mixed very well.

14 // Add another Tbs of the frying oil to your fritatta pan.

15 // From the cooking pot (that had potatoes and onions), scrape the bottom so you get some of the caramelized bits.  Add these bits to the egg mixture because it gives a nice flavor.

16 // When the fritatta pan is hot, add 1/2 of the mixture (if you are making two small tortillas) to the pan.tortilla2

17 // Continuously slightly shake (like vibrate) the pan over the flame to sort of move the tortilla and ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.

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18 // Let it cook 2-3 minutes and keep it moving during that time.tortilla9

19 // Carefully put a large plate over the pan and flip the entire half-cooked tortilla onto it.  Be careful not to brun yourself!

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20 // As soon as you flip it onto the plate, SLIDE it back into the pan so that the other side can be cooked.tortilla7

21 // Cook on this side, 2-3 minutes, while continuously shaking the pan.

22 // When it is done on the outsides, slice it onto a plate.  Let it sit for a minute or two and then slice it and serve with bread and a side salad!

Note:  For the traditional soft center, you will want to cook it on higher heat for less time.  For a better cooked tortilla, use lower heat and let it cook longer.tortilla12 tortilla13

Traditional Spanish Tortilla (Spanish Omelette)
Serves 8
An easy-to-follow recipe for making your own Spanish tortilla at home! The recipe is from a Spaniard that has been passed down for generations, so it is fool-proof!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 large white potatoes
  2. 1 large white onion
  3. enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pot 1/2 inch (about 1 cup)
  4. lots of salt (about 1/2 Tbs)
  5. 4-6 eggs
  6. splash of water
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes with a small, sharp knife. Wash the potato.
  2. In a large bowl, very thinly slice the potato into little pieces, basically like "shaving" it.
  3. Peel the onion and slice it the same way you did with the potatoes. Add the onion to potato.
  4. Add a generous pinch of salt (1/2 or 1 Tbs) to the onion and potato and give it a good stir.
  5. Cover the bottom of the pan with 1/2 inch of olive oil (for this step, we used a large cooking pot. You will need to stir, so use something large enough to allow you to stir). Heat the olive oil well, but don't let it burn.
  6. When the oil is very hot, throw in one slice of potato to see if it sizzles. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. If not, wait a minute more. When it is hot, add the potato and onion mixture to the oil and stir it all around, so everything is covered in oil.
  7. Allow the potatoes and onions to cook until they are very, very soft (as in, you can smash the potato against the edge of the pan). This can take up to 20 minutes, but keep stirring so that they don't burn.
  8. In the last 5 minutes of potato frying, crack the eggs into the same large bowl you used for the potatoes. Beat the eggs until they are very well mixed. (don't forget to keep stirring your potatoes!)
  9. Add a tiny splash of water to the eggs and stir well. Set them aside for a minute.
  10. Heat the fritatta pan until it is very, very hot. When it is hot, add 1-2 Tbs of the leftover oil from the potatoes and onions (which will be sitting in the bottom of the pot) to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  11. Push the potatoes in the pot to one side (a big cooking spoon works well for this, especially if it has draining holes in it) or you can put them into a large strainer to drain some of the oil. This oil can be saved for eating or cooking (I have been using it on salads this week).
  12. Put the drained potatoes into the egg mixture in the large bowl. **THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN OMELETTE AND TORTILLA**
  13. Stir the egg / potato / onion mixture so that you have a thick, soupy consistency. Make sure it's mixed very well.
  14. Add another Tbs of the frying oil to your fritatta pan.
  15. From the cooking pot (that had potatoes and onions), scrape the bottom so you get some of the caramelized bits. Add these bits to the egg mixture because it gives a nice flavor.
  16. When the fritatta pan is hot, add 1/2 of the mixture (if you are making two small tortillas) to the pan.
  17. Continuously slightly shake (like vibrate) the pan over the flame to sort of move the tortilla and ensure it doesn't stick to the pan.
  18. Let it cook 2-3 minutes and keep it moving during that time.
  19. Carefully put a large plate over the pan and flip the entire half-cooked tortilla onto it. Be careful not to brun yourself!
  20. As soon as you flip it onto the plate, SLIDE it back into the pan so that the other side can be cooked.
  21. Cook on this side, 2-3 minutes, while continuously shaking the pan.
  22. When it is done on the outsides, slice it onto a plate. Let it sit for a minute or two and then slice it and serve with bread and a side salad!
Notes
  1. For the traditional soft center, you will want to cook it on higher heat for less time. For a better cooked tortilla, use lower heat and let it cook longer.
A Spoonful of TLC http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/

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