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Tortilla Española (Tortilla de Patate)

Spanish
Potato Egg Onion Tart

Potato is the essence of this famous Spanish tapas dish. This tortilla has nothing to do with what Americans commonly know as a Mexican grain tortilla. The chemistry of cooking the potatoes, onions, and eggs is impressive. You’ll swear there is cheese and even garlic, but no dairy products are used. The secret of this dish is the right potatoes and cooking slowly in olive oil over low heat so that the egg sets as a custard. Use waxy potatoes like Yukon or Red to make a moister dish. Large Russet potatoes produce a dry result. Good Spanish olive oil imparts a fruity rather than a buttery quality. The leftover drained oil is heavenly for frying other vegetables. ~Mark
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, (3-4), peeled, cut quarter-inch pieces
10 oz onions (1 medium-large), peeled, cut eighth-inch slices
1 1/4 cups Spanish olive oil
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
Steps
1 Over medium heat in a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil until it just starts to shimmer in the pan. To test the heat of the oil, drop in a potato slice - if bubbles form, it is ready.

2 Stir in the potato slices, coating them well with the oil. Partially cover the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once. Turn heat moderately low, so the oil will not crisp the potatoes nor turn color.

3 Add onions, stir well to combine with the potatoes. Continue to cook, partially covered, 12-15 minutes; every 4 minutes, stir from underneath the potatoes. Potatoes and onions should be soft with a pale olive oil color.

4 Transfer potato-onion mix into a colander over a bowl. Drain 10-20 minutes, and reserve oil. A longer draining makes a better binding for the eggs.

5 In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for at least 1 minute until very frothy. Add drained potatoes and onions. Lightly tap to level.

6 COOK ONE SIDE - Turn heat to medium. Add two tablespoons of reserved oil to pan. Add egg-potato mixture and level by a quick shake of the pan, then pressing down the top of the mixture with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and set for 1 minute. Slowly rock pan evenly over the heat. Cook until the bottom is pale golden, 10-20 minutes, and the egg has set. Cook even longer if egg is not set.

7 Brush reserved oil on a platter slightly larger than pan. Shake mixture pan. If it sticks, loosen bottom with a spatula. Place oiled platter face down on top of pan with pan handle at 8 o'clock. Wearing oven mitts, grip plate and pan tightly at a 10 and 3 o'clock position. Flip it under and set down.

8 Season pan: Turn heat slightly higher, adding one teaspoon of oil. Add Salt and Pepper when pan is up to temperature. As seasoning sizzles, shake and stir pan to evenly distribute.

9 COOK OTHER SIDE - Slip tortilla-omelet from platter to pan to cook another 3 to 4 minutes until eggs are cooked but still a bit soft on the inside. Refrigerate leftover oil to cook future dishes.

10 Flip once more: Put serving platter on top of pan, hold it tight and turn over, so the just-cooked seasoned side is up. Rest for a few minutes. Present platter and serve by cutting into pie-sized wedges.


Yield
servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes NOTE Variations use more egg, red onions, and a mix of potatoes

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