Tortilla Española is an EASY, classic, and cost-effective Spanish staple that is popular at parties and the perfect snack on the go. I grew up eating Tortilla Española made by my abuela, but I became truly obsessed when I studied abroad in Madrid with my cousin, Jenny. The university where we lived and studied served fantastic Tortilla Española served between buttered loaves. I would try and sneak extra to take back to our dorms it was just that delicious. The tortilla was filling and dense, layered with soft thin potatoes held together with the egg, flavored with olive oil.
Until recently, I actually thought Tortilla Española was something everyone ate all the time. At FIU in my first master’s culinary class the chef prepared a Tortilla Española and no one else knew what it was except for me! I found this shocking especially in South Florida- where Hispanic culture reigns supreme and Cuban food is everywhere. Now I should back up here- while tortilla Española is- as its name states- a Spanish dish- Cubans also eat tortilla and serve it up regularly at family gatherings or parties (at least my abuela did!).
This was one of the first recipes my abuela and I made together, and I love to make the tortilla time and time again. I should mention that tortillas are often thicker, but I made this in a larger, flatter pan which explains the shape. My favorite way to eat tortilla Española is sliced up served in a sandwich (pan con tortilla), but it tastes great on its own served in small cubes or wedges.
½ cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1tsp of salt or more to taste
6 medium yellow potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
5 eggs beaten
Heat the olive oil on low. Add the onions and potatoes; the idea here is for the onions and potatoes to ‘poach’ in olive oil. They should not brown or get crispy, rather softened and translucent. Therefore do not allow the oil to get extremely hot before adding the potatoes and onions. Gently turn the mixture every so often so everything cooks evenly. Cook around 20 minutes.
Pour out and reserve the excess oil from the potatoes and onions. Allow the potatoes and onions to cool before adding to the eggs. OR you can beat the eggs and temper them by slowly adding the potato and onion mixture to prevent the eggs from cooking instantly
In the same pan, pour back some of the reserved olive oil to coat and pour in the egg mix. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes on low. Cover for 10 minutes and cook (until the top looks cooked to the edges). Now place a plate on top of the pan and invert the tortilla. Put the tortilla back in the pan uncooked side down. Cook for 3-5 more minutes- or until firm. Slide onto plate. Serve the tortilla hot or room temperature with chopped tomatoes, bread and butter, sliced ham, or chorizo. You can also use one less potato and replace it with a chopped or crumbled link of chorizo!
*If you are having difficulty with flipping the tortilla, you can also bake it in the oven once halfway through at 350 for 10 minutes or until firm. Place a plate on top and invert the tortilla.