If you wanted to, you could survive off of potatoes, eggs and salt. Throw some olive oil in there and you’re pretty much set. Although few people would be satisfied with just those ingredients, Spaniards have made a plethora of dishes based on that philosophy. From huevos rotos to patatas bravas, it’s not uncommon to go out for dinner and feast on potatoes, which a friend and I once did.
Perhaps their most popular dish involving eggs (huevos) and potatoes (patatas or papas) is the tortilla Española or tortilla patata. It’s often an appetizer at parties or a free snack at the bar and is something that seemingly all Spaniards have a knack for making.
To make this simple yet surprisingly enticing dish, all you need is 5 eggs, 2-3 potatoes sliced and olive oil. The more potatoes and eggs you have the more you can make!
To begin with, you have to peel the potatoes and then using a knife or preferably a mandolin slicer slice those babies up. In my experience, this is easily the worst part. Then you fry them up in some oil until they’re soft.
This takes longer than one would expect, so I, per my mother and Abuela’s instructions cook the potatoes just enough before placing them in the oven. This way they can continue to soften without becoming too crisp.
Next, while the potatoes continue to cook, I sauteed some chopped onion and garlic. Most people use white or yellow onion, due to lack of planning I had to use red onion, but that’s ok sometimes you have to #improvise!
Then, in a bowl, you whisk up five eggs, add a teaspoon of baking powder (to make it fluffy), whisk a little more and then toss in some potatoes and a bit of your onion/garlic mixture. Once everything is combined you can pour it into your heavily oiled pan.
Like a frittata, you are going to flip the egg and there are two tricks to making it possible. The first is using mucho (a lot of) oil. You will use less if you make a second or third one, but the first one needs the pan to be coated in oil. The second trick is using your spatula to scrap the egg off the side of the pan before it can cook on. By keeping it moving you ensure it doesn’t stick and that it gets evenly cooked.
When you’ve determined your bottom is stable enough and your spatula can slide under it, you will need to flip the tortilla. I’ll be honest, I have only successfully flipped a tortilla twice in my life, this is not one of those times and my mother had to do it to ensure a good picture.
Basically what you do is, placing a plate or a wooden cover over the pan you flip it and then slide it back onto the pan. If you’re struggling to visualize it watch this video or you know, google it yourself.
Once it’s back in the pan, tuck the edges, let it cook and then flip again. At this point you could serve it, but if the middle still seems jiggly wrap it some foil and stick it in the oven.
After determining that it’s set to your liking set it on a plate, add some salt, garnish it with roasted red peppers or jamón (ham) and olé, eat up!