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Tortilla Espanola Recipe

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This recipe for Tortilla Espanola, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Nord Brue
Added: Sunday, January 18, 2009


6 eggs
1 lb potatoes, sliced thin
¼ to ½ sweet onion
¾ to1 T salt
½ t pepper
2 cups olive oil

1. Put olive oil in frying pan (make sure a plate will completely cover the pan)
2. Heat oil over moderate heat
3. Add sliced potatoes and onions. I take a large baking potato, lay it on its side and cut it in half lengthwise then slice each half in thin slices cutting across with the cut face down.
4. Boil the potatoes/onions in the oil (not fry) for about 10-12 minutes until cooked but firm
5. While the potatoes are cooking, crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat; add salt and pepper
6. Place a colander over a large bowl and empty potato/onion mix into colander to drain oil
7. Immediately place the potato/onion mix into the eggs and gently use a wooden spoon to cover each piece of potato with egg and smooth the mixture
8. Important…let eggs and potato mix rest for at least fifteen minutes
9. Put frying pan (with oil film over bottom) on medium heat and when hot add eggs and after a minute reduce heat to low (In Florida I use #2 setting on large burner for 7-8 minutes; then flip and cook, covered for 5-6 minutes more on setting #2)
10. When eggs have firmed up on the edge and steam is venting from edges, (7-9 minutes) cover with a large dinner plate and, over sink, flip the eggs onto the plate
11. Wipe frying pan and return to heat with oil film restored
12. Slide the tortilla into the pan to cook the second side until the soft eggs at the edge are firm and small frying bubbles appear around the edge of the pan (5-7 minutes)
13. When fully cooked cover with plate and flip on to serving plate.
14. Let tortilla rest for 45 minutes or an hour before serving

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
one hour
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
It may be a reflection of my Midwest farm background or even my family heritage from Norway where they specialize in white food (codfish, potatoes, lutefisk, lefse to name but a prominent few.) but the most appealing food I’ve eaten overseas is the food of the people, the peasant food. In China the most delicious, satisfying meals were in a restaurant owned by Hanna’s family and when we shared the food of the workers in a furniture factory. So it is that I post this authentic, humble, essential Spanish dish. This is not regional cooking but truly representative of the whole of Spain. The Spanish national dish if there is one.

After an all night flight from North America to Spain and prompt get away from the airport in your rental car, the first order of business is to get an hour or two into the countryside in order to find a bar which will serve you a late morning Tortilla Espanola and a good cup of strong coffee. Curiously, at least to an American, this is not a breakfast dish in Spain. You find it in bars or small town cafes as a pick me up or early lunch. The Tortilla restores you and the coffee puts you on the edge of your seat for the rest of the morning journey.

A few years ago Suzanne and I flew to Madrid and headed North to the great wine regions of Ribera del Duero and Rioja. About an hour North of Madrid we stopped for rejuvenation and it was then I resolved that I had to buy a pan and learn this dish. I tried las tiendas (the stores) throughout the north of Spain without success. I later learned that the locals all make it without the hinged pan. They set the eggs in a frying pan and then flip them onto a large plate then slide them back into the pan. As TV ads used to say, “Kids, don’t try this at home.” Or if you do, do it over a very large sink

At last, just before our return flight from Madrid, I went to El Cort Ingles the wonderful huge department store in Madrid and found the pan I had searched for. Back in the U.S. it took many broken eggs before I figured it out. It’s about the olive oil and the timing. Use good olive oil and plenty of it. When you pour the potatoes and onions into the colander don’t waste time letting them drain. As soon you replace the pan on the stove gently dump the hot potatoes, onions and they oil they retain into the eggs, mix gently and let set for at least 15 minutes.

This dish is a perennial favorite of Alexia, a true mistress of the omelet, and it may be that she just enjoys the occasional break in routine. I got Alexia a Tortilla Espanola pan (La Tienda www.latienda.com) and now I expect the Tortilla Española is served frequently in the finer homes of TriBeCa.
P.S. Be sure to save the olive oil you drained from the potatoes and onions. Use it for salads, cooking or in your next Tortilla--you won't want to wait long.




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