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 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
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, (3-4), peeled, cut quarter-inch pieces
10 ounces of onion (1 medium-large), peeled, cut eighth-inch slices
1 1/4 cups Spanish olive oil
5 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 teaspoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
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 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 to 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 spatula. 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 to 20 minutes, and the egg has set. Cook even longer if egg is not set

7 Brush some reserved oil on a platter slightly 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 tightly. Over a sink, flip it quickly, and set platter down on counter.

8 Place pan back on burner and turn heat slightly higher. Add one teaspoon of oil. Add salt and pepper when pan is up to temperature. Refrigerate leftover oil to cook future dishes.

9 Cook other side: Slip tortilla from platter to pan to cook another 3 to 4 minutes until eggs are just cooked.

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 on platter, and cut pie-sized wedges.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings

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