Tortilla Española

January 07, 2014

We can't go to a Tapas restaurant without ordering at least one Tortilla Española.  And it turns out that there isn't a lot to it.  Just 3 ingredients: eggs, potatoes and onions.  Though somehow I've never really been able to make it as good as they do in a restaurant....until I did some research on how to do it right

Tortilla Espanola


The traditional method involves cooking the onions & potatoes in a large quantity of olive oil (note: not extra virgin) and then giving it a flip halfway through cooking.  Since I'm not a big fan of flipping heavy items in super hot pans, I did some reading to see if there was a compromise involving the oven - frittata style.
Tortilla Espanola (pin)

And there is.  20 minutes in the oven eliminates the need for an awkward flip that will most definitely require another set of hands - and completely eliminates the risk of prematurely cutting your tortilla in half.

You'll notice that this requires a lot of olive oil.  About 3 cups.  Long ago I started buying the twin pack of 3 Liter bottles of olive oil at Costco.  And I'm constantly amazed how quickly I go through it.

But don't let the oil get too hot.  You're not frying the potatoes and onions, it's really sort of a confit.

After the tortilla is finished, the onions will basically disintegrate into the dish.  And the potato pieces will have that amazing fluffiness to them - like the inside of a perfect french fry.  With all of this being held together by eggy goodness with a crispy surface.  Wow.

Oh, and don't throw out that oil that's left in your saucepan.  A simple side salad is great alongside a slice of the tortilla.  You can use some of this super flavorful oil to make a vinaigrette.  I combined the potato oil and extra virgin olive oil 1:1 and blended with white wine vinegar (3:2 oil to vinegar) along with a touch of dijon mustard and some chopped herbs.
Tortilla Espanola


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Tortilla Espanola
A straightforward way to use lots of eggs, potatoes and onions
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Pounds Potatoes
  • 2 White Onions
  • 8 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil
  2. Place a cast iron pan in your oven and preheat to 375 degrees
  3. Peel and chop the potatoes into pieces, 1/2" dice.
  4. Chop the onions and mix them with the potatoes and some salt and pepper
  5. Cook the potatoes and onions in the oil for about 30 minutes until they are softened, but not fall-apart crumbly
  6. Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven
  7. Even more carefully, transfer the potatoes and onions to the pan with a slotted spoon. (To about 3/4ths full)
  8. Place the pan over low heat and slowly pour in the eggs. Don't fill too high, the eggs will rise slightly
  9. Gently stir the mixture as the eggs cook so that all of the potatoes are coated well.
  10. When the eggs have just started to set (about 3-5 minutes), transfer the pan back to the oven
  11. Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a knife in the center and see if it's done. Give it a few more minutes if it isn't.
  12. You can give it a few well supervised minutes under the broiler to brown and crisp off the top
  13. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving, or (if you can wait), serve it chilled the next day.



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