From Too Many Chefs -

May 13, 2004
Spanish Tortilla

The first time you eat a Spanish tortilla, a thin cake of potatoes and egg, you're amazed that two average ingredients could make such a sublime dish. The sliced potatoes give the tortilla density, while the eggs keep the layers moist. The combination creates an unsuspected sweetness that makes a second, or even a third, piece hard to resist.

Spanish Tortilla

The tortilla begins with three baking potatoes and a onion, thinly sliced. Heat a cup of olive oil, or a combination of olive oil and a cheaper, neutral oil, over medium heat and add the potatoes and onions in several layers, salting between each layer. Cook, turning periodically to keep the potatoes separate, until the potatoes are tender but not brown.

Meanwhile, beat three eggs until frothy. Once the potatoes and onions are cooked, drain them, reserving two tablespoons of oil, and add to the eggs. It's important to let the potatoes sit in the eggs for 15 or 20 minutes, since this allows the eggs to penetrate the potatoes.

Add the reserved oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Spread the egg and potatoes across the pan and cook until the bottom begins to brown. Now we come to tricky part: cover the pan with a plate, flip the pan, and slide the now inverted tortilla back into the pan. Many an excellent tortilla has landed in the sink when some hot eggs or oil dripped onto the cook's hand. Don't feel bad if you lose a tortilla sometimes, it happens to everyone. Experienced tortilla makers like to flip it several times to better mold the shape, but beginners should be satisfied with one turn.

Once both sides are brown, slide the tortilla out of the pan and allow to cool. This dish is best served at room temperature. Like a stew, the flavors improve the second day. Some like to smear mayonnaise across the top, and Las Bravas in Madrid covers their tortilla with a spicy sauce, but it's also excellent with no embellishments.

Posted by at May 13, 2004 10:19 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the recipe - I had this a few times when on the infamous Spain trip with Barrett a few years ago (mostly because my Spanish was so bad and I kept forgetting they would not involve Mexican tortillas...). I'm going to give it a try over the weekend! Does it ever include any spices?

Posted by Meg in Paris on May 14, 2004 at 6:26 AM

No, never any spices. Spainards don't really do spice very often.

Since you can serve it at room temperature, it makes a great pic-nic food. Try it with mayo between slices of baguette.

Posted by Todd on May 14, 2004 at 7:50 AM

It sound to me like it needs some salad or fresh tomatoes on the side - but then it seems to me that on that trip to Spain everything would have been nice with a bit of salad or some fresh tomatoes on the side! I will refrain from adding spice, though.

Posted by Meg in Paris on May 14, 2004 at 8:03 AM

Yes, I had several dinners of tortilla and a green salad. It's a good combination.

Posted by Todd on May 14, 2004 at 8:46 AM

We hit a tapas bar last night and had just about everything but the tortilla. Now I wish I'd had some.

Posted by Barrett on May 14, 2004 at 9:16 AM

I make this every so often too... I usually add some peas to it to give it some color, but the green salad is pretty much a necessity. With some crusty bread and a nice Ribera del Duero it makes a pretty fantastic vegetarian dinner.

Oh, I also put some black pepper usually, but that may not be very Spanish.

Posted by paul on May 14, 2004 at 6:18 PM

I agree with paul, of course, that the peas are a good addition. Our dad makes this often, and when my Italian husband came home to the states with me, it was the first home-cooked meal he ate. Delicious with salad, crusty bread, and a handful of olives.

Posted by Jackie on May 19, 2004 at 11:09 AM

Thanks for the recipe - I lived in Spain for a year and always loved the tortilla with baguette, but have been unable to make a successful one myself! Now I can try again.

Posted by Julie on November 4, 2004 at 11:33 AM

whoa cool site.

Posted by sara on November 29, 2004 at 9:38 AM

Black pepper is definitely not Spanish -- and you have to ask for it at the restuarants, but be prepared for the waiter to say they don't carry it. A variation that you might consider: pour half the mix in, sprinkle grated cheese to lightly coat , and then gently pour the rest of the mix in. Makes for a delightful surprise. I also sometimes mix the cheese in the mix. Other additives include spinach, and crumbled bacon. Leafly herbs in moderation can add nice touch too.

Posted by Kayle on January 18, 2005 at 5:12 PM

I was planning on making Spanish tortillas to accompany my school Spanish project. About how long does this recipe take to make and how many does it serve?

Posted by Elyse on March 28, 2007 at 3:15 PM

It takes nearly an hour to make if you count the time that you allow the cooked potatoes to soak in the egg mixture. 15-20 minutes to cook the potatoes and onions, 15-20 minutes to soak and then another 10-15 minutes to cook the egg and potato mixture. It would serve six as a side dish, I think - best served with a nice salad!

Hope it turns out for you!

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 29, 2007 at 2:32 PM

Thanks for the recipe. Once made how long can I keep it in the fridge or can I freeze it

Posted by Ann Cresswell on August 14, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Once cooked if you wanted to serve tortilla's ata buffet what temperature would you need to keep them at?

Posted by Hannah Strickland on May 11, 2009 at 9:23 AM

I studied three years at a university in Madrid and have traveled extensively throughout the country. During my travels I discovered that there are probably as many recipes for tortillas de patatas in Spain as there are recipes for Sauerbraten in Germany or chili in Texas.

I make a small (four-egg) tortilla de patatas for my husband and myself about once a month. On those occasions when my husband is away on business, I sometimes make a tortilla for myself, eat half and refrigerate the remaining half for lunch the next day. I nuke the refrigerated half for a short time to bring it up to slightly warmer than room temp. I find that the warmed up half tastes even better than the first half. I have never tried freezing a tortilla de patatas.

Not being a culinary purist, I frequently experiment with ingredients that I happen to have on hand at the moment such as sliced mushrooms, frozen peas, jalapeņo slices, chile pepper strips, pimientos, diced ham, chorizo, Italian sausage, etc. And occasionally, I add a tablespoon or so of minced garlic to the pan while cooking the potatoes and onions.

The pan I use for the final step results in a tortilla about 2 inches thick. And since I occasionally like a bit of "heat" with many of my foods, I occasionally put a few drops of Tabasco sauce on my tortillas, just as I do with my scrambled eggs.

Sometimes I cut a slice of the tortilla and make a bocadillo with a crispy crusty baguette.

So many possibilities.

Posted by Susana de la Luz on May 1, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Do not ever freeze a tortilla, the potatoes go all watery when you freeze them and actually you should not put it in the fridge as dries the eggs and loses all the moisture, best way to keep it nice for the 2 day is cover it with a damp clothe or you can also use a soup plate as a cover. and that you need to keep the mixture sitting for 15 to 20 mins is not true the more you wait the drier tortilla you will get!!!! Im spanish and I know what im talking about

Posted by Ainara Iglesias Calzada on October 27, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's on a completely different topic but
it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

Posted by free spanish vocab lists on October 17, 2013 at 1:06 AM

I was able to find good information from your content.

Posted by free Spanish grammar worksheets on October 18, 2013 at 1:24 AM

Does your blog have a contact page? I'm having problems locating
it but, I'd like tto send you an email. I've got some suggestions for
your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and
I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

Posted by Dee on October 21, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I am truly pleased tto read this webpage posts which consists of plenty of helpful information, thanks for providing these statistics.

Posted by Spanish commands conjugations on October 21, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Wow, thhis article is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these things, so I am
going to inform her.

Posted by learn italian on October 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Appreciating tthe time and effort you put into your website
and in depth infoemation you offer. It's awesome to come
across a blog every once in a while that isn't the saje old rehashed material.

Wonderful read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to mmy Google account.

Posted by Angelita on October 21, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually understand what
you're talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my web site =).
We could have a link trade agreement among us

Posted by learn Spanish barron's learn Spanish the fast and fun way on October 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Hi everyone, it's my first pay a visit at this website, and piece of writing
is actually fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these articles or reviews.

Posted by Earnest on October 22, 2013 at 6:19 AM

I like the helpful information you supplly onn your articles.
I will bookmnark your blog aand take a look at again here frequently.
I'm slightly sure I will be told plenty of new stuff right right here!
Good luck for the next!

Posted by learning spanish dvds on October 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my
breakfast coming yet again to read more news.

Posted by spanish phrases on October 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to take a look.
I'm definitely loving the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

Outstanding blog and outstanding style and design.

Posted by what is endometriosis on November 21, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many
of us have developed some nice methods and we are looking to
swap methods with other folks, please shoot me an e-mail
if interested.

Posted by fashionara coupons on November 22, 2013 at 4:44 AM

I_m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your
site to come back down the road. All the best

Posted by myntra coupons on November 30, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in
the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information
to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

Posted by grocery coupons on December 3, 2013 at 4:52 AM

certainly like your website however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome
to inform the truth however I'll certainly come back again.

Posted by on December 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I have read so many articles on the topic of the blogger
lovers but this article is truly a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.

Posted by Sex on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM

I make Spanish tortillas but vary the ingredients, just made 2 this morning one with smoked salmon in the other with chorizo. I use a 6 eggs from my own chickens add salt, onion and then a variety of vegetables meats or fish sometimes with potato, sometimes without but always cook them very slowly on the lowest hob setting. I have just ordered special 2 in 1 pans from Amazon that are essentially 2 pans making turning them over and prising them out in one piece much simpler. If you ever go to Southern Spain and visit Venta Victoria on the Casares road order tortilla, chefs salad and a bottle of house red and enjoy

Posted by STEPHANIE BOOTH on June 7, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Spoot on with this write-up, I really believe that this amazig site needs much more attention. I'll probably be returning to rewad
more, thanks for the info!

Posted by offers high on June 10, 2014 at 7:37 PM

It's awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues on the topic of this article, while I am
also keen of getting know-how.

Posted by Myntra coupons on June 17, 2014 at 3:20 AM