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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tortilla Española

Add your beaten eggs to the pan after your potatoes and onions are browned.

Then after it is done on one side, you flip it over, using a large plate.

Your finished product will look something like this.
Make one today and impress your friends!

I'm convinced that the potato omelet is the greatest invention. The first time I tried it I was in Vitoria, Spain, at the ripe age of 17. It was my last year of high school and I was trying to learn Spanish, as well as content in subjects like geology, literature and art. It was a huge challenge.

Thankfully, my host mother Malen made me comfort food in the form of Tortilla Española quite often, and it was always delicious. I suspect it's something her mother made very well and it is a practical dish, since potatoes grow abundantly in Spain. I remember the smell of Malen's kitchen as the olive oil would heat up and watching the potatoes crisp in her cast iron skillet.

Sometimes I would eat a whole Tortilla which is obscene, really. Malen would serve roasted pimentos in olive oil alongside, as a condiment. There was always french style bread with every meal. Sometimes she would make me a bocadillo de tortilla (tortilla sandwich made with french bread) to take with me on a school field trip. It was something just about everyone would bring, since it is very affordable and portable. It eats very well room temperature.

Tonight I'm making one for Jason. He is taking us to Carlos O'Brien's for dinner (the best tacos!) - which is not a bad trade, in my book. He likes it with onions, but it can be made many different ways: with spinach, chorizo (AJ's Fine Foods sells Palacios brand, mild and hot), asparagus and lately in Spain you see them layered, with a type of "salad" in between, which is sort of an anti-gravity work of art, if you ask me.

My version is made a bit healthier than the original, which uses fried potatoes. I bake mine in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then fry them in a bit of olive oil. I think they absorb less oil this way. For tonight's tortilla I microwaved a huge baking potato for 5 minutes (make sure you prick the outside to let out steam) and then cut it in cubes. Then it went in a pan with olive oil and 1 small white onion in chunks. You let all of this brown together and throw in 6 beaten eggs. Let it set on one side and then you will be able to "flip" it over onto a plate, then "flip" it back again into the pan so it can finish cooking.

This is a great dish to take to parties and picnics since it travels well and you can enjoy it room temperature with some crusty bread and maybe a vino tinto (a bottle of red wine).

Make yourself a tortilla today. You'll be hooked on this yummy dish from Spain.

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