Ingredients: -serves 6
• 6 medium potatoes
• 6 medium eggs
• 1 medium onion
• olive oil for frying
First, peel your potatoes, cut them into quarters and thinly slice (not chop) them. Then, finely chop onion (and a little green or red pepper too, if you like).
Heat a good amount of olive oil or sunflower oil (enough to just cover the potatoes but not for them to be floating!) on a high heat in a medium-sized medium-depth frying pan (if you’ve got one with a lid, it’ll come in handy for flipping, but it’s not essential). When the oil is really hot, slide all the potato and onion in and immediately reduce heat to medium-to-low.
Lightly fry the sliced potato and onion till softish (again, make sure the oil is not too hot as this will make the potatoes brown and crisp up –you don’t want to deep fry them; they should remain softish- so easy does it).
Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, adding salt -one pinch per egg.
Then, using a spatula or oil strainer, lift the fried potato and onion mix out of the oil, drain and add it to the beaten egg and combine in a bowl (it will be mushy but don’t break up the potato bits too much).
Strain and set aside the oil (which can be reused for similar jobs later), leaving the frying pan only slightly oiled and heat again on a medium-to-high flame.
Pour your tortilla mix onto the hot frying pan and fry to seal the first side (some like their tortillas pale, others brown them for a crunchier outer layer and softer inside... that’s all down to how hot the pan is and, obviously how long you fry each side). Shake the pan as your tortilla forms to ensure it's not sticking -this will also round up the sides of your tortilla nicely.
Here comes the tricky part: using the frying pan lid or a plate, flip the tortilla and then ease it back in, to fry the other side. Keep shaking that pan!
When you’re happy it’s done, flip it back onto a clean plate and... voilà!
A note about measurements: The standard rule of thumb is to use the same number of potatoes as eggs (reducing potatoes accordingly if you add other vegetables, such as carrots/peppers into the mix)... but it really all depends on the size of the eggs and potatoes, not to mention the size of your pan, and obviously how moist or dry you prefer your finished tortilla... so we say, experiment!
We usually make a 5-egg, 4-potato tortilla for our family of 5 (we like it nice and egg-y!). If we have additional guests, we prefer to make two tortillas rather than try to make one giant one. Flipping a large one can be hard and if you make two, you can play around with different ingredient variations.
N.B. Make sure you use a non-stick frying pan for the tortilla flipping stage ;-)
And those eggs! Make sure they're the best organic free-range eggs you can get. It's worth it for the delicious yolk-y taste!
As you can see, the ingredients in a basic “Tortilla Española” are simply egg and potato but most trusty tortilla-lovers like to add a little onion too and, at our house, we like it with carrot or squash as well... mmm. Other options you can add to the mix are: spinach, roasted red or green bell peppers, kale, asparagus, chorizo, ham, cheese,... pretty much anything you fancy! Goodbye leftovers, hello tortilla ;-)
If you’re adding raw veggies, add them to the oil along with the onions or potatoes and let them slow-fry till tender. Chorizo, however, should be fried slightly in a separate pan before draining it and adding it to your tortilla at the final egg-mix stage. Same goes for cooked ham or cheese.
Another way to fancy up your tortilla is to make two and sandwich them together (see pic below) with the filling of your fancy: ham and cheese, tuna and mayonnaise, pickled roast red bell peppers, crab meat, etc.
You can also decorate your tortilla by placing strips of roasted green peppers on top or some olives.
And to impress your guests at a tapas party, why not go Basque "pintxo" style: cut your 'tortilla de patata' into slices or squares and pop each one onto a small slice of country bread. Then pop a morsel of cheese and a sundried tomato on top and secure it all with a cocktail stick -delicious and so pretty!
One last key note on tortillas: they taste one million times better when they’ve been left to sit for a few hours (better still, the next day). They can be eaten hot, cold or lukewarm! They go great with salad and a slice of bread.
But, guys, the best tortillas EVER are the ones eaten outdoors, so they are perfect for all those summer picnics you’re planning! And if you happen to be climbing a mountain, bring along a baguette filled with tortilla and you will not regret it!
We hope you enjoy your tortilla-making! Remember, if it doesn't turn out perfect first time, just keep experimenting :-)
And, if you think you'd benefit from a live tortilla demonstration and tasting (and who wouldn't?!), then sign yourself up for one or our Tapas & Tortillas nights! We'd love to have you!