The Tortilla de Patatas is integral to Spain’s culinary culture. To this day, the tortilla makes for a quick, cheap, filling, and delicious meal. You can go all over Spain, to local dives or upscale restaurants and, although you will find a myriad of variations served hot, cold, on a toothpick, or between bread, you will not find the best. Ask any Spaniard where to find the best tortilla and he will say his mother’s or his grandmother’s house.
My host mother makes a perfect tortilla: tender and moist without being runny, sweet from the onions, and smooth from the olive oil, yet not overly greasy. Although it is not eaten for breakfast in Spain, I think it beats two eggs over-easy any day of the week.
- 3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
- 1 medium-size onion
- olive oil
- 3 eggs
1. Fill a large pan with sloped sides halfway with olive oil. Cut the onion into thin slices while preheating the oil on medium heat. Add the onions to the oil. They should bubble, but not furiously for about 3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, with the large opening side of a cheese grater, slice potatoes into thin discs. Add them to the onions and allow to cook, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender.
3. Whisk the eggs and add a few generous pinches of salt. My host mother does it by eye, so I cannot give an exact measurement. Using a spider or some other tool, drain off excess oil from the potatoes and onions and reserve for future cooking. Incorporate them into the eggs.
4. When the pan is empty of all oil, add enough back to coat the pan. Over medium heat, return the mixture to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Using a large plate face-down over the pan, invert the whole thing so that the eggs end up on the plate. It may help to slightly wet the plate to prevent sticking. Transfer back to the pan, with a dash more oil to finish cooking for the same time. It does not have to be a flawless.
5. Adjust the shape while in the pan with a wooden spoon, tucking in the egg off the sides of the pan. Slide it off and eat it hot or at room temperature.