Last week we had some friends over for Spanish tapas, and I didn’t shed one tear over the food, in spite of the fact that right smack in the middle of making not one but two tortillas, the garbage disposal jammed and the sink filled with murky water. And when Chris finally got home, the first and second troubleshooting efforts failed, leaving him with one pipe left to unscrew a mere 20 minutes before our friends were set to arrive.
It used to be that the most mundane yet ubiquitous of all tapas, the Spanish tortilla, would bring me to tears. There’s the issue of whether the potatoes will cook through, and whether the tortilla will stick to the pan. But the hardest part for me is flipping the tortilla onto the plate before sliding the whole thing back in to brown on the other side. It got so bad I just made frittatas with the broiler and called it un día.
But not last week. Last week I vowed to have patience with the knife, for even potato slices, patience with the stove, for optimum doneness, and patience with myself as I flipped the tortilla. (I made that part easier by using an 8 inch non-stick).
While I waited for Chris to attend to the pipes under the sink, I gathered the rest of my tapas – Spanish meats, cubes of Manchego, olives and spiced almonds. Then, while we cleaned up the clogged pipe explosion under the sink (and all over the kitchen floor), the second tortilla was cooking and it turned a little more brown than golden brown, but still good. They both flipped perfectly and slid out of the pan onto waiting Spanish porcelain.
Here’s my basic recipe, adapted from a Spanish cookbook I’ve had for years.
- Two medium potatoes, such as golden or russet, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly.
- One small onion, sliced into thin rings
- 4-6 eggs
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Optional Ingredients: tomatoes, sliced olives, parsley for garnish
- Cover the bottom of an 8 inch pan with a generous coating of oil and heat over medium.
- Cook the potatoes and the onions in the oil until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- When the potatoes and onions are done, let cool slightly, then add to the egg mixture and stir thoroughly.
- Coat the pan with oil again and add the egg mixture back into the pan.
- Cook until the egg is firm, about 8 minutes, lifting the sides with a spatula to let the runny part reach the pan.
- When the egg is mostly firm, place a large plate over the pan and flip, so the tortilla is cooked side up on the plate. Then, slide the tortilla back into the pan to finish cooking, another 4-5 minutes.
- Slide the tortilla onto a pretty plate and let the tortilla cool.
- Serve room temperature or cold. You can cut the tortilla like a pizza for a main course, or into cubes as part of a spread of tapas.
Thanks for following along for the first week of #write31days! This is part of a series I’m doing, 31 Stories of Preparation for the Mission Field. Click the image below to read all the posts in the series.