On the other side of the pond, in Spain, tortilla is everywhere—but it’s not the familiar corn masa tortilla of America. The word tortilla just means a round, flat cake. In Spain it’s a “cake” of potatoes and eggs, a flat omelet, called Tortilla de Patatas.
Some tapa bars present super-size tortillas, almost 2 feet in diameter and more than 3 inches thick. They are cut into thick squares and served with bread. Tortilla is also a favorite for casual family meals.
Tortilla is cooked entirely on top of the stove, not in the oven. You need a lot of good olive oil to slowly poach the potatoes until they are tender. Drain off the excess oil and mix the cooked potatoes with beaten eggs before returning the mixture to the skillet to cook.
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TORTILLA DE PATATAS
Makes: 12 tapas or 4 main dishes
½ cup olive oil
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 T chopped onion (optional)
6 large eggs
1 t salt
- Heat oil in 9-inch nonstick skillet. Add sliced potatoes and turn them in oil. Let cook slowly in oil, without browning, turning frequently. If using onions, add when potatoes are partially cooked. The potatoes take 20 to 30 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a bowl with salt.
- Place large plate on top of pan of potatoes. Tilt pan so oil runs to one side. Holding plate tightly, carefully tip pan and drain oil into a small heatproof bowl. Stir potatoes into beaten eggs.
- Return a spoonful of oil to skillet over medium heat. Pour in egg-potato mixture and spread evenly. Reduce heat and cook, without stirring, until tortilla is set on bottom, about 5 minutes. Do not allow bottom to brown too much. Shake pan occasionally to make sure tortilla doesn’t stick on bottom.
- Again, place plate on top of pan. Working over bowl to catch any drips, hold plate tightly in place and turn pan upside down, reversing tortilla onto the plate. Slide tortilla back into frying pan. Let cook on bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Using spatula, Lift front edge of tortilla and carefully slide out of pan onto serving dish or cutting board. Cut into squares to serve as tapa or into wedges for a main dish. Serve hot or room temperature.