Among Mexicans and many Americans, the word ‘tortilla’ is commonly understood to be the type of corn or flour-based flat bread used to fill with things like rice, beans and meat. In Spain, however, ‘tortilla’ is more of a thick egg omelet, sometimes filled with things like shredded chicken and served as an appetizer or a sandwich on thick and hearty Spanish baguettes. When I was a student in Spain, my host mother used to make this very big sandwich every time I had a class excursion out of town. It was completely filling and nourished me on a day full of fun and adventure outdoors, but I never learned how to make it- just eat it!
That said, Spanish Tortilla is good cold and makes an excellent packed lunch or picnic dish. For party food, you can even cut a tortilla into squares and put toothpicks in each bite for people to serve themselves a tapa, or a snack.
Recently, I re-wrote the recipe with a better method than I’d been using. I saw an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show where at a small Moroccan stall one man served it with mayo and ketchup slathered on top (which is actually quite good when you sub tomato sauce for the ketchup). I went back to my own recipe and revised- so much better than the first few times (even though the previous version was good, too).
Here you go…buen provecho!
- 3 cups Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 loaf rustic sandwich bread (optional)
- mayonnaise (optional)
- tomato sauce or ketchup (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 400° F.
- Remove the skins from the potatoes (optional) and slice thinly in rounds or quarter them. Boil until soft and drain of all water.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the cream and salt. Add the boiled and drained potatoes.
- Using a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil.
- Add the whisked egg mixture and cook on medium-high until the bottom begins to brown. Place in the heated oven, uncovered.
- Let the tortilla bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Cover for the last few minutes to ensure the middle is cooked thoroughly. If you have a broiler, place the uncovered pan directly under the fire during the last two minutes of cooking.
- Allow the tortilla to cool a few minutes before serving.
- Cut into triangular pieces and serve with mayo and sauce/ketchup as optional toppings and rustic bread to eat as a sandwich, if desired.