I first learned about Spanish tortillas on New Year’s Eve, after spending the day diving in the Similan Islands, a national park in the Andaman Sea, just north of Khao Lak, Thailand, with a bunch of Spaniards. When somebody mentioned something about a tortilla, I was semi surprised they ate them in Spain as I often associate them with Mexico, but then somebody said they are made with potato. Of course, I had to say, “No, tortillas are made of flour or corn,” and the conversation went on… Well, Spanish tortillas are made of potatoes, eggs, and onions. And olive oil. I know olive oil plays a role in the Mediterranean Diet, but I didn’t fully understand how much of it is actually used until I started meeting more people from Spain.
We recently had some Spanish guests at Hom Hostel & Cooking Club and they made dinner one night: a Spanish tortilla and something like pizza without sauce. But the tortilla, or Spanish omelet as they called it in English, I had to see…! So, I watched, observed, and best of all, I tried. And yes, that Spanish couple used a whole bottle of olive oil that night on dinner.
Here is the exact recipe for the tortilla they made. This recipe varies home to home, family to family, and can be modified based on pan size or even mood! It was good and I definitely want to try to make one on my own. I have to say though, I really feel like I’m part Mexican because I did want to smother it in hot sauce, but I enjoyed it the Spanish way and had it with a bit of fresh tomato sauce on the side.
1. Peel and dice both potatoes and onion.
2. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet and add in potato and onion mix. Stir and ensure all bits are coated with the oil.
3. Slowly stir, add salt, and cook on medium heat until soft and lightly browned.
4. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and with a slotted spoon, remove potato and onion mix. Place it in the bowl, leaving most of the oil in the pan.
5. Using a non-stick or well oiled pan, transfer the egg and potato mix and cook on high heat until the edges of the omelet begin to lightly crisp up. You can check them with a plastic or silicone spatula.
6. Once the omelet has been partially cooked through, place a plate large enough to cover the top of the skillet and carefully flip, so the uncooked side is touching the bottom of the plate. Retransfer to the pan and finish cooking, leaving the skillet covered with the plate.
7. When the edges and bottom are semi crispy, your tortilla is ready!
8. Cut into slices and enjoy.