Guthrie Family Culinary Delights

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

Written by:Bill
Published on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:42:00 pm , using 670 words, 82501 views
Posted in Kitchen Delight

Since enjoying this traditional Spanish tapas favorite on my honeymoon 25 years ago, I've been making it at home a few times a year. The rich flavor of the finished product disguises the simple list of ingredients it contains. It's all in the way you cook it, which is a bit tricky.


2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced with 3mm blade in a food processor
1 large yellow or Spanish onion, sliced with a 1mm blade
5 eggs
olive oil
Kosher salt


Heat a 12" cast iron skillet half-filled with olive oil. In alternating layers, add potato and onion slices. Sprinkle a little Kosher salt over each layer. You'll get about 3 layers of potatoes and two layers of onions. You'll know the temperature is right if the the potatoes/onions are just bubbling a little. Too hot and they'll brown, which you don't want. Very carefully with a large spatula, turn the layers to avoid browning. Cooking is done when the potatoes are still a little firm so they won't fall apart when removed from the pan. 

Place a smooth collander (not a wire one) over a large bowl and carefully pour in the skillet's contents. You'll want to reserve the olive oil for the next time you make a tortilla; it gets richer in flavor over many uses (make sure you never got it to smoking temperature). While the potatoes and onions are draining, mix 5 eggs in a large bowl. Let the potatoes cool for 10-15 minutes so they're still hot but won't burn your hands. Gently pour them into the bowl of eggs. Use a rubber spatula to separate the potato layers and let the egsg flow between. Let stand for another 10 minutes. 

Remove any chunks of potato that may have stuck in the skillet and return it to the stove. Pour in a couple tablespoons of the reserved olive oil. Pour the mixture from the bowl into the skillet. Cook like an omelet - go around the edge of the pan with the rubber to keep from sticking and to let the uncooked egg on top run flow underneath. Occasionally, rotate the skillet left and right in jerky motions to free the eggs from the bottom and keep from sticking. Drizzle a litte more olive oil around the edge if necessary. The omelet must be loose for the next step. It'll be ready for flipping when the eggs on the bottom are just turning slightly brown and the egg on the top is firmed up a bit. It'll still be slightly liquid on top. Adjust the temperature during cooking to achieve this endpoint.

The tricky part --- get a rojnd lightweight plate or platter (I use a 15" bamboo platter), and smear reserved olive oil over the entire surface. Place the plate upside down on top of the skillet. Now, in one movement, flip the plate/skillet assembly upside down so the omelet drops onto the plate. With the rubber spatula, slide the omelet back into the skillet (remove any stuff that's stuck in the skillet first and add more olive oil if necessary). Tuck the edges in with the rubber spatula and jerk the skillet L/R to center it and prevent from sticking. 

After about half the time it took to cook the first time, you're ready to remove the omelet. Since the first side to cook is the brownest and the prettiest, you'll want it facing up on the serving platter. Two steps: 1) flip the omelet back on the bamboo platter, and slide it onto a wire rack to cool for several hours, 2) flip the omelet from the wire rack onto the serving platter.

Garnish with parsley, slice in wedges and serve at room temperature. 

VARIATIONS: you don't want to muck with this simple recipe much at all. It's not a frittata. One good variation is to add strips of peeled fire roasted sweet peppers to the layers as you build them. The Spanish would have you use piquillo peppers. I used a few chunks of feta cheese in the version pictured above.

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