I waited until my last night in Spain to order my first Spanish tortilla. A mistake I won’t be making on any future trips! Served as a simple, unassuming triangle piece – pincho de tortilla – whose first bite proved comforting and delicious. It’s a dish that now occupied a spot on my list of Spanish tapas staples!
The Spanish tortilla (tortilla de patatas), sometimes referred to as a Spanish omelet is one of the most common dishes found throughout Spain. It consists of potatoes fried in olive oil, eggs and onions and can be served hot or cold, plain or as a sandwich.
I didn’t want to wait for a return journey to Spain to have another serving of Spanish tortillas so I decided to make them at home.
Prior to making them, James and I were talking about my trip to Spain (allllll the food!!) and how I felt Spanish tortillas seemed like the perfect recipe to try at home. He cautioned me that they weren’t as easy as they seemed. In researching recipes, I found a few other stories that matched James’ words of wisdom.
Honestly, I hadn’t yet thought about the method and just figured eggs, onions and potatoes…how hard could it be?! 😉
A friend over at Devour Spain (they run food tours in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville) kindly shared a recipe with me for Spanish tortillas. I didn’t use quite as much olive oil as they did to fry the potatoes and I let them go about five minutes longer.
The main concern seemed to be burning the bottom, or top, depending which way you look at it, or flip it. 😉 As I pour in my tortilla mixture into the pan, I watched it like a hawk as it cooked and could see the edges forming the distinctive omelet structure and a tightening in the middle, which after eight minutes of cooking led me to believe it was time to flip. (Key word – believe; I was a little terrified I’d totally mess it all up and just have wasted so much time peeling all those potatoes!)
My problems came because the plate I was going to use to cover the pan to aid in the flipping was slightly smaller than the rim of the pan. Not wanting to smash the plate down on the tortilla, and juggling holding a pan and plate and not wanting to drop either, I held it near the sink, covered as best I could, flipped it and stuck it back in the pan. The result was a lot of colorful language and not the prettiest flipped tortilla ever. I smoothed it out with the spatula as best I could so it would cook evenly on the flip side (ha).
After another eight minutes, I put the tortilla on a serving plate, and cut out my own pincho de tortilla slice for lunch. Served with a dollop of homemade aioli.
My first bite transported me right back to Barcelona and it tasted exactly like it did in Spain – rich and delightful! I love the caramelised onions mixed in with the potato and eggs and the aioli adds a bit of creaminess that adds to the flavour explosion in your mouth.
Don’t be afraid of the cooking process – if you cook on a medium-low heat, it shouldn’t burn and you can work on perfecting your flip!
Got any tips on making the perfect Spanish tortilla? PLEASE let us know!
Beth quit her job in event planning to follow her dream. She took a year-long round the world trip with her best friend, then decided to pursue her passion for baking and attend culinary school in London. Now a Pastry Chef and Food Writer, her travels are focused on exploring pastries around the world. Follow her journey on her blog, Recipe for Adventures, Twitter & Instagram.