I share a lot of Spanish recipes, especially tapas like patatas a la importancia. For that reason, it came as a bit of a surprise when I realized there’s no recipe for the famous Tortilla Española, or Spanish omelette on the blog. Well, I shall correct this deficiency with this month’s Recipe ReDux!
A Vacation-Inspired Recipe – Start unpacking your favorite vacation memories. Think about a trip you took state-side or internationally and create a healthy recipe from an unforgettable meal you enjoyed. Or, create a recipe from a native ingredient you saw or tasted on your travels
There’s a variation of tortilla de patatas called tortilla rellena in which a filling is layered between the potato and egg. The filling can range from caramelized onions to picadillo to tuna…anything that works with the potato and egg (tuna doesn’t work for me, personally, but I’ve had it). Our filling is a simple sauteed spinach and onion that doesn’t take a lot of effort to prepare.
Before we get into the recipe I want to point out two things that are often contentious. First: An authentic Spanish tortilla requires a turn. Finishing the tortilla in the oven technically makes it a frittata…I don’t care what Jamie Oliver says. (I also don’t care if you’re more comfortable cooking your tortilla that way…I’m just sayin’). The second point is one of esthetics. Whether the potatoes are sliced or diced is at the discretion of the person making the tortilla. Both types are available in jars and are used by home cooks all over Spain.
There’s a slight learning curve to making a Spanish omelette. Not only do you have to recognize when it’s time to flip the tortilla, you also have to regulate the heat such that you reach the point of flipping before the bottom burns. Then there’s the actual flip. We use a flat lid, but a platter large enough to cover the pan will work, too. The best way to do it is to do it. If you are at all unsure of the process, flipping the tortilla over the sink will help prevent a big mess on the stove (ask me how I know…).
Put the lid on top, flip the pan, remove the pan, slide the tortilla back into the pan. And it if doesn’t work out, just push the tortilla back together, finish cooking it and serve. You’ll have a funny story to tell.
Rick and I find our 6 inch skillet– the one we use to make grilled cheese sandwiches– is the perfect size for a tortilla for two to four people and have measured our ingredients to fit that pan. Add another potato and an egg for a 10 inch skillet.
- 2 -3 potatoes (about a pound), peeled, sliced,cooked and cooled.
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for cooking
- ½ medium onion, sliced into petals
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- One bunch of spinach (about a pound), stems removed
- I usually slice and boil my potatoes to cut down on the overall fat. Rick prefers to fry them. Either way they should be drained either on paper towels or in a colander and allowed to cool.
- Prepare the filling while the potatoes are cooking by sauteeing the onion and garlic until softened and slightly caramelized. Add the spinach in batches if necessary and let it wilt in the heat. Cook off any liquid. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled potatoes and carefully mix with the eggs to avoid breaking the slices.
- Cover the bottom of a 6 inch skillet with olive oil and set over medium heat.
- Add about half the potato and egg mixture, followed by the spinach, then the other half of the potatoes. Gently press down on the top to "seal" the potatoes around the filling.
- Lower the heat if necessary and use a spatula to run around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides and bottom slightly.
- It's time to flip with the top is almost set, but still a little wiggly. Quickly invert the tortilla onto a lid then slide it back into the pan to finish cooking. The perfect Spanish omelette is slightly moist inside so it can be reheated without overcooking.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
After you’ve made a couple of Spanish omelettes you’ll figure out the best proportions of egg, potatoes (and filling) to suit the skillet you prefer to use. You will also have mastered the art of the flip.
Be sure to drop by to see how the other Recipe ReDux bloggers have been inspired by their travels!