Recipe: Spanish Tortilla

Friday evening. What to make for dinner without having to go shopping? A quick glimpse at our stores showed some lovely New potatoes, a lot of eggs, and a few veggies on their last legs. We decided on using these things in some way or another. During the day, F suggested we make the potatoes and eggs into Spanish tortilla, an omelette-like concoction featuring potatoes, eggs, and onions. (Later, F confessed that a Spanish colleague had brought some in to share with the work group that day, and F wanted more!)

broiled to perfection

broiled to perfection

After perusing a few recipes — many of which call for an obscene 1 cup or more of olive oil — and discussing them, F suggested we boil the potatoes first, then just give them a light sauté before adding the eggs. That technique saved us a lot of time — most of the recipes called for frying each of the potato slices individually before combining everything — as well as the calories from the extra oil that frying would have required.

As we ate, I remarked that tortilla is essentially a poor-man’s dish in that all it requires are potatoes, eggs, onion, salt and pepper, and a bit of oil. That doesn’t make it any less delicious, just awesomely frugal! We enjoyed it along with a simple salad that used up those veggies in the fridge, though it can stand alone as a one-dish meal.

Spanish Tortilla

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs New potatoes (or other potatoes of your choice)
  • 3 onions, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • a dollop of milk
  • to taste: salt, pepper, nutmeg

Procedure

  • Boil the potatoes whole until they are tender-firm (cooked but sliceable). While they are cooking, mince the onions and, separately, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, drain them. Put a large frying pan (or cast-iron skillet) on the still-hot burner (set it to medium-high) and add the olive oil.
  • Put the onions in the pan with oil and cook, stirring, until they are soft and translucent. While the onions are cooking, slice the potatoes into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds. (This step goes faster with two people: one to slice, one to cook the onions.)
  • When the potatoes are sliced, add them to the pan with the onions and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan, making sure it covers and permeates the potato mixture. Put a lid on the pan and lower the heat to low-medium. Let the tortilla cook for 10-15 minutes. Every few minutes, take the lid off and run a spatula around the edges of the tortilla; hold back part of the edge and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg can flow into the hotter part of the pan.
  • While the tortilla is cooking on the stove, turn your oven’s broiler on.
  • When most of the egg seems cooked and you can run a spatula easily around the edges and underneath the tortilla, put the lidless pan in the oven to broil for 5 minutes, until the top is set and browned.
  • Let the tortilla sit for a few minutes before slicing and eating plain or with your favorite sauce.

Enjoy!

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