In Spain, tortillas are not thin flat breads made of masa or flour. In Spain, tortillas are thick omelet-like creations usually filled with slices of onion and potato. Herbs and additional vegetables or aromatics are sometimes added, but most are just potatoes, onions, oil, salt, and eggs. And they are delicious. Served by the wedge as a snack or a meal, or sliced and served on baguette-style rolls with a spread of mayonnaise for a surprisingly tasty and satisfying sandwich. Traditionally they are eaten plain or perhaps with a dollop of aïoli (homemade mayonnaise) on the side. I have been known, however, to bust out the hot sauce or even salsa fresca to great effect.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 1 10-inch Spanish Tortilla
- 4 Yukon Gold or other medium-sized potatoes
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cups olive oil (don't worry, most of this will be discarded)
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 3-4 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves (optional)
- 6 large eggs or 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into about 1/4-inch slices. It doesn't really matter how thick or thin, as long the slices are as even as you can manage. Trim, halve, peel, and thinly slice the onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions have wilted a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring frequently and thoroughly to keep the potatoes from sticking, until edges of potatoes look cooked (they will be less opaque than the centers).
- While the potatoes cook, chop the garlic and/or the parsley, if you're going to use them. Add the garlic to the potatoes, if you like, and continue cooking and stirring often over medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
- When potatoes are cooked, add the chopped parsley, if you're using it, and stir it into the potatoes and remove from heat. Transfer the entire mixture in a colander or strainer (set it over a bowl to catch the oil) and let sit and drain for about 5 minutes.
- While the potatoes drain, beat the eggs (and the egg whites, if using) in a large bowl. Add the potatoes mixture and mix well.
- Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat (a non-stick skillet will work best when you need to turn it out at the end). Coat the pan with a teaspoon or two of the reserved olive oil. Add the potato-egg mixture to the pan and flatten it into the pan with a spatula or spoon. Turn the heat down to low and let the tortilla cook until the edges are firm and just the very top layer barely moves when the pan is gently shaken, about 15 minutes.
- When just a top layer of uncooked egg remains, traditionalists will slide the tortilla out of the pan and onto a plate and flip it back into the pan, upside-down to finish cooking. Please feel free to do this. I prefer to simply put the skillet under the broiler to brown the top.
- When the top is cooked through and starting to brown, remove the pan from the oven.
- Run a spatula around the edges to loosen the tortilla. Place a plate larger than the pan over the pan and turn the tortilla out onto the plate. Let sit at least 10 minutes to settle before serving. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or chilled, as you like.