Tortilla Española (Tortilla de Patate)

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 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 waxy potatoes, then cooking slowly with onions in Spanish olive oil over low heat to coax out a rich, buttery quality. Refrigerate leftover oil; it is delicious for vegetable sautés, added to savory baked goods, etc.
1-1/2 pounds waxy potatoes), peeled (Yukon gold or Red)
10 ounces of onion (1 medium-large), peeled
1 1/4 cups olive oil, preferably a fruity Spanish oil
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1 Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 3/8-inch slices.

2 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.

3 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 oil will not crisp the potatoes nor turn color.

4 Cut onions in half lengthwise. Lay each half cut side down, then cut again lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4" slices. Add onions to pan, stirring well to combine with potatoes. Continue to cook, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes; every 4 minutes, stir from underneath the potatoes. Potatoes should be tender, not mushy.

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

6 In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for at least 1 minute until frothy. Add drained potatoes and onions.

7 Set pan on medium heat. Add two tablespoons of reserved oil. Add egg-potato mixture, then press down top of mixture with a spatula to level. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, turning the skillet a quarter turn every 5 minutes. Cook until the bottom is pale golden and the egg has set. If egg is not place on rack 6" under low broiler for about 5 minutes.

8 Brush some reserved oil on a platter slightly that is larger than the pan. Shake pan; if tortilla sticks, loosen bottom with a spatula. Place oiled platter face down on top of pan. Wearing oven mitts, grip plate, and pan together with both hands. Over a sink, flip it quickly, and set platter down on counter.

9 Place pan back on burner and turn heat slightly higher. Add one tablespoon of oil. When pan is up to temperature, add salt and pepper.

10 Slip tortilla from platter to pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes.

11 Put serving platter on top of pan, hold it tight and turn over, so the seasoned side is up. Rest a few minutes. Present on platter, and cut pie-sized wedges.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 6 Servings
Notes As a tapas dish accompany with meatballs in red sauce, olives, roasted red peppers, tossed salad, burrata.

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