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Tortilla española-Spain

Ahh, tortilla española. The dish that never fails to confuse Americans. The dish that I just adored while living in Spain whether it was eating it at my host parents’ house or ordering it out as a tapa. There are so many things I miss about Spain (and many more I don’t, jajajaja) but food is definitely one of them.

I tried making croquetas (croquettes) one time and while they tasted decently enough, the amount of flour I used to dredge them and the ensuing mess that took root in my kitchen as a result made me swear off from ever trying to make them again. I’ve made paella but there is no such thing as a two-person paella pan and so if you make paella for just two people, there is going to be a lot of leftovers. And yet that’s where you, tortilla española come in.

In case you’re still wondering, tortilla española has nothing to do with the Latin American tortilla (the thin flat bread found in tacos, enchiladas, burritos). This shouldn’t come as too surprising since there are vast differences between Spain and Latin American countries, most notably in regards to the cuisine and language. A tortilla española is essentially a Spanish omelet. So Spanish lesson 101-in Castilian Spanish (the Spanish spoken in Spain), tortilla is an omelet and has nothing to do with Mexican cooking. Eggs and potatoes are basically it for the ingredients although I often add some seasonings to it.

Although I have always been afraid of flipping an omelet (yes Julie C., I know what you’re thinking, down some more vino and try again), I’m discovering that it’s not as bad as it seems. Not to say a mess never pops up like when inverting the omelet onto a plate over a clean griddle and the uncooked portion of the omelet spilling out onto the griddle in a soupy mess. Yes, that was most irritating. But once you take that first bite of the soft and crispy potatoes that have so nicely cooked into the egg, all irritation dissipates (well, until you have to clean said griddle).

But all in all, I’ve gotten pretty darn good about being able to flip the tortilla so that both sides are cooked evenly. It’s a relatively quick thing to make and extremely tasty. Paired with a side salad, some fresh fruit perhaps, a breakfast meat, and you have a really cheap dinner (remember, eggs and potatoes are about it for the ingredients).

A tortilla can be eaten hot or cold but I prefer it hot. There’s just something more appetizing about eating potatoes and eggs that have just been cooked versus the alternative.

Tortilla española

1 large potato

5 eggs

Salt, pepper 

Olive oil

Optional: Extra spice, grated cheese

-Clean and peel potato. Cook until soft (I simply microwave it although you can also cook it in boiling water).-Once potato is cooked, cut in slices. 

-Heat tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan. Once hot, add potato slices to it. Cook for a few minutes. Make sure to turn slices so that both sides are browned. 

-In a bowl, beat together eggs with seasonings. Pour on top of potato mixture. Let “cook” for a few minutes on medium heat, you may want to use a spatula to make sure eggs don’t stick to the side of the pan. 

-Once you can tell the bottom has been set, take a plate (the same size as the frying pan) and invert the tortilla onto it. (I usually do this over the sink since the top of the tortilla hasn’t cooked yet and is still runny). 

Once the tortilla is on the plate, slide it back into the frying pan and cook for a few more minutes. 

-Cut into slices and enjoy! 

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  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    This was one of my favorite dishes when I studied abroad in Spain! I cannot believe I never thought to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      April 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Isn’t it so good?? I have no idea why it took me so long to start making it myself since it really is simple. There are a couple of Spanish restaurants/tapas places here in Pittsburgh but no one has tortilla! Let me know if you make it and how it turns out.

  • Reply
    Sara Louise
    April 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I’d like to eat that right this second! Looks GOOD!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      April 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      I adore the taste of fried potatoes and eggs all mixed together! It is fast becoming one of my go to comfort foods!

  • Reply
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels
    July 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve been meaning to try and cook this! i’ll have to try out your recipe while I’m here at home! 😀
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels recently posted…The Trouble With BirthdaysMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Ohh, I hope you get a chance to try it out! I have become such a pro at making these, especially the flipping and inverting steps 🙂 But it really is one of the cheapest and quickest things you can make!

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