Eggs are a great way to get dinner on the table quickly. They’re fast to cook, inexpensive, and a good way to feed a hungry bunch.
Tortilla Española is the Spanish version of an egg and potato omelette. Despite its name, the only similarity to corn and flour tortillas is its circular shape. Tortilla Española can be eaten as a dinner, or smaller pieces can be served as “tapas” (snacks).
My grandmother Francisca from Spain cooked this dish often. My mother remembers:
My mom used a chunk of ‘unto’ with a fork stuck in to grease the pan . There were 7 to feed and not mucho dinero, but we always ate till we were full–no one ever went hungry. My mother must have been a good money manager. I remember grandpa making $25 a week forever!
My mom, one of the hungry 7, learned how to cook this and passed the recipe down to me. This recipe is relatively fast but you’ll need some cooking time for the potatoes. Some modern tips to speed things up: chop the onions and potatoes the night before, and keep the potatoes submerged in cold water in the fridge, then drain before cooking. You can also cook the entire tortilla ahead of time and it will heat up nicely in the microwave.
Tortilla Española is typically thick – I prefer to keep mine thin so I use a larger pan. You can control the thickness by the size of the pan – the smaller the pan, the thicker it will be.
Francisca’s Tortilla Española Recipe (Spanish Egg and Potato Omelette)
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly chopped
- 3 potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, and halved
- 4 to 6 eggs
- Sea salt to taste
- Use a good pan that won’t stick
- You’ll need a plate that is bigger than the pan to do the “flipping”
- Heat olive oil
- Add 1 large onion chopped. Cook on medium/high until translucent.
- Add sliced/halved potatoes
- Cook potatoes until tender but not falling apart
- Beat 4-6 eggs and add sea salt
- Pour eggs over cooked potatoes
- Cover and cook slowly for 5-10 minutes until set
- Flip over with spatula OR use the better method —> Cover pan completely with a large plate. Turn pan upside down so eggs are on plate. Slide eggs back into pan. Try to not break the omelette
- Brown other side
Does your family have any recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another?
All photos courtesy of Micaela Vega.