Tortilla Española

I love Tortilla. It's so simple and yet so delicious. You get a lot of variations on this, from fritattas to other types of omelette, but I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to tortilla. I like to keep it simple.

The volume of ingredients you need for your tortilla depends on the size of your pan. I like my tortilla to be as deep as possible so it really stands up off the plate. It keeps well, and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I don't really worry about making too much.

Total time: 45 mins
Makes: 8 hearty slices of tortilla.

2 large onions (approx. 7cm diameter)
850g potatoes (they don't need to be fancy, I use roosters)
8 large free range eggs
Olive Oil (you will use quite a bit, at least 100ml)
Salt and Pepper to season

Frying pan (For this recipe I try to use as small a frying pan as possible, about 20cm across the base is nice, and around 3cm or 4cm deep)
Wooden spoon
Large plate (the same size as the base of your pan)
Sharp knife
Chopping board
Medium sized pot (should be large enough to combine all of the ingredients and stir them together)

1. Halve, peel and slice the onions (less than half a centimeter thick slices).

2. Bring about 60ml of olive oil to a medium heat in a pan. Add the onions and fry for at least half an hour, stirring regularly, until they are soft, sweet and just beginning to brown a little. Then remove them from the pan and leave the oil. This will add a beautifully sweet taste to the whole tortilla later.


3. While the onions are frying, put a pot of water on to boil (enough to cover the potatoes)*.

4. Halve, peel and slice the potatoes (less than half a centimeter thick slices).

5. Drop the sliced potatoes into the boiling water and allow them to cook for around 7 minutes until they are easy to break in your hand but not falling apart in the pot. Strain and blanch to cool.

6. In the medium sized pot, mix the eggs together and add a pinch of pepper and half a teaspoon of salt. Then add in the onions and potatoes and mix together well. (Go gently so as not to break up the potatoes too much.)

7. Bring the oil that is still in the pan from the onions to a medium-high heat again. Once it is hot, pour the entire tortilla mixture into the pan and give the pan a gentle shake to settle the ingredients. You can pat it flat on top using a wooden spoon.

8. Allow the Tortilla to fry for around 6 mins at this temperature. When you shake the pan, the bottom should move easily. The top will still look very gooey.

9. The flip. This is the tricky part so please be very careful. Place the large plate on top of the pan. It should cover it completely. Take pan by the handle in one hand and place another hand on the centre of the plate. Holding the pan over the sink, flip it over so the tortilla falls on to the plate and you will be holding it like a waiter would hold a large tray, ensuring to angle the plate away from you ever so slightly to avoid any oil dripping on your hand. Ensure the tortilla is cooked sufficiently. (It should be nicely brown. If not simply flip it back in and fry for another minute or two.)


10. Place the pan back on a medium heat and add a little oil. Slide the tortilla back into the pan uncooked side down. Use your spoon if you need, to push any potatoes that might stick to the plate. Don't worry if you lose a slice or two. Clean the plate as you will need it again.

11. Fry the tortilla for another 5 minutes until it is cooked through (although I like mine a little soft in the centre.)
12. Turn the tortilla out onto the plate and ensure it is lightly browned all over.

Serve: Although it might seem strange, In Spain, this is often served in a sandwich with mayonnaise.

*for a more authentic taste, the potatoes can be deep fried at around 130 degrees for 4 minutes until cooked but not coloured. The approach in this recipe is a little healthier and safer, and a lot of people don't have deep friers at home anymore.