This is one of those recipes that came up when we were trying to find a way to use up a bunch of almost-expired eggs. I don’t have a lot of experience with tortillas de patatas but it is very similar to a frittata, something a little more in my range of cooking knowledge.
Tortillas de patatas is a great idea for a large meal, we were trying to feed 12 people and it was perfect for such an occasion. Translated it means potato tortilla, but it’s really more of a potato omelet, and it’s a very common dish in Spanish culture. It’s also very versatile, the main ingredients are eggs, onions and potatoes and traditionally it is made with just those ingredients but we decided to stretch ours a bit and add zucchini, tomatoes and capsicum as well. If you’re looking for a bit more flavor you could also throw in some cheese or meat, such as bacon or ham.
Tortillas de patatas is a relatively simple dish, the only tricky part is flipping the tortilla. It does require a bit of skill and balance but if you’re really worried about it just use a small pan and the whole thing becomes much easier. We ended up just splitting everything up into four small pans so we would reduce the risk of broken and ugly tortillas. The recipe also takes a little while but if you get a bunch of people together to help out with chopping the potatoes and onion and everything then it goes much more quickly. Turn on some Spanish tunes and make sure you dance at least a little during all the slicing and cooking.
Recipe from About.com:
12-14 medium potatoes, peeled
2 whole yellow onions
10-12 large eggs
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt to taste
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8″ thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook. Peel and chop the onion into 1/4″ pieces.
In a several non-stick frying pans heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potatoes and onions into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface (this recipe makes several small tortillas so spread everything out into 3 or 4 frying pans). The oil should almost cover the potatoes. If you want to add some zucchini or capsicum in you can do it now. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn.
Leave in the pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it breaks in two easily, your potatoes are done. Drain the mixture in a colander. You can also drain it over a plate and save the oil for later.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat with a whisk or fork. Add some salt and pepper and a bit of chilli pepper if you like a little heat.
Pour 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into each of your smaller frying pans, and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot or you may burn your tortilla! When hot, pour a little of the egg in, then some of the potatoes and onions, alternating until they are all in the pan.
Press down on the potatoes and onions slightly so they’re covered by the eggs. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. You can also cover the pan in aluminum foil so it cooks more quickly. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan.With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate.
Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so.
Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.
Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
Spaniards usually eat this as an appetizer and place a piece of the tortilla on top of each slice of bread. Usually they use smaller pieces when doing this but we just put our big pie-size pieces on the bread anyway.
We also made some bruschetta to go on the side.
To make bruschetta simply slice a French baguette into small slices. Lay the pieces out on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place them in the oven on grill or broil for just a few minutes to make them crispy.
To make the topping dice several tomatoes then add salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and a touch of balsamic and toss to mix. All the measurements are really to your liking. If you have fresh basil throw some of that in as well.
Once the bread is crispy scoop a spoonful of the tomato mixture onto each piece and enjoy!
But even after all this we still weren’t full, so we had a delicious dessert as well.
This was an ingenious and tasty little dessert that was a perfect finish to the meal. Props to my friends who came up with this little dish.
All you need is a can of raspberries in syrup, prepackaged raspberry jam rolls and a tub of vanilla ice cream and voila!