tortilla-de-patatas Recipes

tortilla de patatas

Ever since we had dinner at Ti­a Pol for the first time six months ago, I have been bitten by the tapas bug, and with little warning this wee hallway of a restaurant on 10th Avenue replaced Tabla as my favorite in all of New York City.

I didn’t know that there were any higher small-plate callings than the Floyd Cardoz’s boondhi raita, that is until I tried Alex Raij’s garbanzos fritos, and though it makes me sad to have evolved beyond my Bread Bar obsession, I feel strongly enough about these chickpeas that if you haven’t had them yet, you should close your browser, turn off your computer, get on a plane if you must, wait patiently through the forty minutes it will take just to sit at the bar because these babies will leave your up-to-then favorite bar snack in the dust so quickly, its tasty little head will spin. Be prepared for a fast and fierce addiction.

sliced potatoesjust made it

After I gushed over the spicy patatas bravas and blistered pimientos de padron and good god, the Ti­a Pol sangria, a friend suggested that I get The New Spanish Table. It only took my husband three or four trips to Barnes and Noble (he’s a book addict, if you must know) to remember to pick it up, which pretty much brings us up to this weekend. And although I am sure I did some other things throughout it–a dinner, a party, a new dress and a movie–all I really remember of it diving headfirst into this cookbook, marveling over how long it took me to realize that there is an entire cuisine in love with many of the foods that I am (eggs, potatoes, chickpeas, smoky paprika and cured pork) and barely coming up for air.

I have never made tortilla patata before only because I have yet to see a recipe with less than one cup of olive oil in it. If you’ve made it to your thirties without unsavory things like cellulite, bless you, but all the rest of us have good reason to be wary of fat by the cup full, even so-called “good” fat. However, my desire to conquer this dish at home got the better of me on Saturday morning (also, Saturday afternoon: uh, this dish takes a long time to make) and so I decided to approach it like a scientist, measuring the oil going in and out. I am so glad I did, because as it turns out this entire dish uses but four tablespoons of oil, and probably even less because there is no way I got all the excess out of our 19-pound Dutch oven. Low-fat? Not really, but not that big of a deal.

tortilla de patatastortilla de patatas

I am pleased to say that this tortilla was as good as any I have had in a restaurant, and we ate it warm and cold throughout the weekend with glee. I think there is nothing on earth it doesn’t pair well with, from a small tomato salad to coffee with brunch to white wine with lunch or a lentil salad (coming soon!), nuts, cheese or fruit. Or me, swatting my husband off with a fork because I don’t want to share it and him being all “but I bought the book for you! Please?” and me responding “no” or actually “nmnnmmwnah” because my mouth was full. What? It’s not like I said it makes you a better person. Just a well-fed one.

tortilla de patatas

And also: A sidebar to this recipe in the book discusses Ferran Adrià’s tortilla de patatas, which he claims to make with potato chips. He says the original is way too much work for quick, at-home cooking (and from the length of the recipe below, I’m sure others agree) and good potato chips–fried in olive oil, he insists, which I suppose rules out Pringles, drat–make a tasty fill-in. Ximena at Lobstersquad explains how to use this technique over here, and don’t miss her adorable drawing of the proper way to flip a tortilla.

One year ago: Summer-Squash Soup with Parsley Mint Pistou

Potato Tortilla [Tortilla de Patatas]
Inspired by the version in The New Spanish Table

Updated 8/13/13: This is a recipe that I still make frequently, but my recipe has veered off over the years — it’s gotten simpler. I didn’t want you to be left out (or to use one recipe, the one I keep on my computer, while telling you to use this one) so I’ve decided at last to update it here too. Major changes: I’ve reduced the olive oil from 1 1/4 cup, now cook the potatoes and onions simultaneously with no trouble, omitted the 2 tablespoons chicken broth (not necessary), added an adjustment for smaller eggs, a weight range for potatoes and — most importantly — simplified the directions, which always felt too intimidatingly long for something that deserves to be a weeknight staple.

Favorite uses: Warm, in wedges, with salad (and even jamón serrano) for dinner. Cold, in wedges, with salad for lunch. Cut into cubes and served with toothpicks for parties/cheese courses. As a sandwich filling, on a crusty baguette with aioli. Trust me.

You can add: Truly anything to this — a cup of slivered greens, slices of red pepper, a handful of peas — but I hope you do not. A perfect five-ingredient meal is a rare thing, and shouldn’t be meddled with.

Serves 4 as a generous main, 6 as a small dish, 8 as a side.

Time estimate: 1 to 1 1/4 hours, including peeling/prep

3 to 4 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small onion
1 cup olive oil
6 extra-large or 7 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare potatoes and onions: Peel potatoes and onion and slice them very thin with a mandoline, the slicing blade of a food processor, or by hand. If either are on the large side, first cut them in a half lengthwise so the slices will be in half-moons.

Cook potatoes and onions: Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch skillet, ideally nonstick, over medium-high until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and onions in even layers and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, flipping and nudging potatoes around to ensure they cook evenly. Potatoes are done when they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. They should not get brown or fall apart in flipping (unless you like your tortillas with softer, more broken-up potatoes, as some do).

Drain potatoes and onions: Transfer potatoes and onion to a colander set over a bowl and drain them. Season potatoes and onion with salt and pepper and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. [Go make your salad now! Or start cracking those eggs…]

Make the tortilla batter: In the bottom of a large bowl, lightly beat eggs with a couple good pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in drained potatoes and onions. If you have 10 minutes, definitely let them soak together for that long; it makes a difference in how well the finally tortilla stays together. If you’re in a rush, it’s not going to ruin the dish if you skip it.

Cook the tortilla: Add 2 tablespoons of the drained cooking oil* (back to the skillet over medium-high heat. Pour potato mixture into skillet and flatten the potatoes with a spatula until they’re mostly even. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, moving and shimmying the skillet and nudging the egg around (so it runs underneath) for a minute before letting the tortilla cook undisturbed until the top is wet but not very runny, and it is golden underneath.

Loosen the tortilla with a spatula then slide it onto a large dinner plate. With your hands in potholders, invert the skillet over the plate, take a deep breath, and flip it back into the skillet. You can do it! Shake the skillet to straighten the tortilla and use a spatula to gently tuck the edges back under, if needed.

Return the skillet to the stove and cook tortilla to your desired doneness, another 2 to 3 minutes if you like an ever-so-slightly loose center (try it and see if you can go back), 3 to 4 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry, for full doneness.

Serve: Slice onto a plate and serve in wedges, hot, cold or at room temperature, plain, or with a dusting of smoked paprika and/or squiggle of aioli or mayo.

* Save the rest of the cooking in the fridge for future tortillas, or eggs, or potatoes, or anything you want with a faint onion infusion.

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101 comments on tortilla de patatas

  1. I need that book. I want the gazpacho recipe, even though we’re leaving gazpacho season. BOOO!

    By the way, I don’t share with B either. He knows my “don’t you come near that bite of food or I will stab you with my fork” look. It’s sexy.

  2. Oooo… just two seconds after Amazon sent me a note saying they had just shipped “The New Spanish Table” I read your post on my Google Reader! How serendipitous is that?! I can’t wait to try this recipe myself! Tapas seem to be my ‘thing of the moment’!

  3. I can second your Tia Pol recommendation, I’ve been there a couple of times this year and it was great. The croquetas were particularly fantastic; a thin crispy exterior filled with oozy, creamy potato and something salty, often jamon.

    Now that I’m back in London my favourite place for tapas is Moro in Exmouth Market and I must say, their tortilla is the best I’ve ever had. Also, their cookbooks have fantastic recipes, you should check them out. Like you I’ve been wary of making the tortilla at home because of the oil, but I might try it once and do your calculation!

  4. this looks delicious. i have a spanish friend who refuses (!) to eat tortilla outside spain or not home made by her … but i bet this could change her mind. will have to give it a try.

  5. I’m coming to New York in 78 days (and counting), from good old Belfast, N.Ireland and I’ve totally taken down the name of this restaurant (along with tabla) in the hope that I can pay it a visit.I usually pay an annual summer visit to my parents villa in Spain so I lurve my tapas. I had a fab tortilla con piementos (sp?) this summer. I’ve been to NYC 5/6 times previously but as a proper ‘tourist’ – but this time I just wanna hang out, dine and lets not forget shop. Anyother restaurant suggestions are most welcome. Gracias

  6. This is one of my very favorite cookbooks — and I, too, had never made a good tortilla until I tried this recipe. It’s the perfect centerpiece for brunch.

  7. I love potato anything pretty much, but didn’t know there was such a thing as a potato tortilla. I’m totally with you about the 1 1/4 cups of oil, even if it is a necessity, but it looks so tempting, I think I’m going to have to cave in anyway.

  8. Looks delicious. When I was in Spain for a semester abroad, my senora made these a lot. But she must have used a more simple recipe. It was just cooked in a pan, a basic omlete really, and often had asparagus. The only thing I didn’t like was finding it in a sandwich for my lunch later. Cold egg in soggy bread (because the tortilla was placed in the bread while hot) not very tasty.

  9. Oh how I could eat this just about everyday. Granted, I don’t have the skill of the chefs I’ve seen in Spain make it, but I’ll happily eat all my delicious experiments.

    Thank you for this post and I’m going to try this recipe this weekend!

  10. Hi Katerina — I am wondering if the potatoes got gray while they were out? Potatoes turn black (yech) if left out long enough, so I’m always rushing to cook them quickly once I chop them.

  11. Hi Deb. Mmm I love Tapas as well as potato pancakes. My mom made omelets with potatoes. We also called potaoes Patates in Armenian. But Armenia is a port and the people picked up words from other countries.

  12. Oooh! Oooh!!

    I’m so excited. There is an amazing Tapas Restaurant in New Haven called Barcelona. Every time I go there I get the potato tortilla, but for the life of me I couldn’t decide on an ingredient list to duplicate it. They serve theirs with crem freche and scallions. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  13. I so tried to make a version of this on Sunday morning… without a recipe, 2 sad little potatoes and a little bit of a wine blur still “hanging” over me. I popped my pan in the over for 12 minutes, rather than doing the whole inverted plate thing. Ours was tasty, but yours looks amazing. If anyone ever, and I know this is a stretch, visits Kansas City…La Bodega is our amazing little locally owned Tapas Restaurant. Food is four starts and the flaming coffee is to die for.

  14. I will definitely be trying this. A few months ago, there was a discussion on one of the epicurious forums about spanish tortillas and the amount of oil they need. Some were horrified by the amount of oil in the traditional recipes. As I was. And some said you absolutely had to use that much oil to get the authentic thing. They said cooking the potatos in oil created some special effect and that you poured most of the oil off. I was a little skepitical about that but mention it for those who want to try that. Anyway, this one sounds great. Also, I made the zucchini almond side dish and it was fantastic. Burned the almonds to a crisp on my first try but once I got that figured out it was great. The zucchinis seemed different with the almonds in it. And so easy. Thanks!

  15. oh! i picked up a bunch of potatoes at the farmers market last week… i’m not much of a potato-eater and have been looking for ways to use them up, and this looks perfect! it also looks like an easy thing to jazz up a bit. and yes, with some fresh salsa it would be great!

  16. Tia Pol! I have made a regular habit of having my birthday dinner there, at the one large table you can reserve. I can’t get enough of Spanish food & wine. If you’re ever looking for a vacation destination, I cannot recommend Barcelona highly enough. I’ve developed a bit of an obsession and have been there 5 times in the last three years. A market called La Boqueria might be my favorite place on earth–you’d love it.

    Another good Spanish cookbook is Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by José Andrés

    Also, I recommend sprinkling the tortilla with a little smoked pimenton. Yum!

  17. For a short-cut, there’s always Ferrán Adrià‘s tortilla española recipe that uses…potato chips…yes, straight-out-of-the-bag potato chips in places of the potato slices. Here’s a review by a Spaniard of how that experience turned out:

    lobstersquad

    She also recently wrote a post on how to turn a tortilla complete with a cute drawing demonstrating the technique.

    Enjoy!

  18. I’m so glad you decided to use amount of oil the recipe calls for. I’ve eaten tortilla española all of my life, and as the author of the New Spanish Kitchen puts it, making tortilla is practically part of my DNA. True, some Spaniards now take shortcuts like boiling the potatoes, but it truly doesn’t taste the same and I wouldn’t consider that tortilla.

  19. This is a lovely post — perhaps, just perhaps it really is possible to overcome one’s addiction to the Bread Bar, about which I’ve posted too many times over the past couple of years. Lord knows I’ve eaten more than my share of tortilla de patatas, both years ago in Madrid and here in NYC when I’ve gone out “tapiando” (gotta love Spanish, in which there actually is a verb which means “to go out and eat tapas”). I’m going to give this one a shot, since I have a hunch it will be popular with the men in my life. That means I won’t have to snarf it down all by myself and then want to shoot myself later…

  20. Tortilla Espanola was something I fell in love with while traveling in Spain. It is incredible hot or cold, and makes a surprisingly good sandwich between two slices of baguette. I find I really like mine with a bit of roasted garlic and rosemary. Kudos for decreasing the olive oil!

  21. seriously the staub weighs at least 2x what my le creuset is… everytime i try to lift it at my mother’s – i underestimate its weight… it’s a workout everytime! The one difference is that my mom’s has a rooster handle… does yours??

  22. good thing I do drawings and not photos, I could never have come up with something as goodlooking as your tortilla. And thanks for saying it takes long to make, that´s music to my ears.

  23. I have to tell you something that happened recently that absolutely amazed me.
    I was telling a friend about my blogging and how much I enjoyed it and the person said, “have you ever seen Smitten Kitchen’s blog?” and I said. “Yes, I read Smitten Kitchen’s blog”. I was stunned that this person doesn’t blog and has read your blog.

    Is it a small world or what?

    So, I wanted you to know that your being talked about and people know who you are. I love your blog, it’s a great inspiration.

    Bren
    http://benzy55.typepad.com/my_weblog/

  24. Jose Andres who studied under Adria and has four lovely tapas restaurants in DC (including a greek tapas place, Zaytinya) has a tapas cookbook that I adore. He has a recipe for tortilla the traditional way, and with potato chips. The potato chip one comes out great and is much easier to prepare!

    For those who keep Passover, this is a great option during that time.

  25. Your tortilla looks perfect and believe me … I know what I´m talking about! :)

    Did I tell you I read your blog every week? It´s just wonderful. Thank´s for it and keep on writing!

    Greetings from Spain

  26. Deb,
    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but have been lurking around reading and drooling over your recipes since linking from This Fish a few weeks ago. Your writing and photography are totally beautiful, and your recipes (in combination with great produce from the San Francisco farmers’ market!) have gotten me totally excited about cooking again after a far-too-long “I hate cooking for just myself and consequently will eat cereal and easy things that are bad for me” no-cooking slump.

    THANK YOU! :)

  27. long time reader, huge fan.

    Stumbled in somewhat in the bag (re: Canadian speak for half-in-the-bag) and realized I had this both bookmarked, and all the ingredients. Tasty, and amazing. I shredded a bit of parm into mine, and topped with a bit of parsley. Amazing, fantastic, great.

    Deb, you rule.

  28. Hello!
    I am from Spain, love your blog, love tortilla de patata and I was very surprised when I saw this post ;) It’s funny to see tortilla de patata in non-spanish blogs.
    You did great about flipping the tortilla! It’s kind of a difficult thing for a lot of people here in Spain.
    Just one suggestion, I’ve never seen a recipe which contains stock of any kind… if I were you, I’d try with more eggs and no stock. The result you should find is a little more eggs than potatoes. And one question, what’s the kosher salt for?
    A good combination for tapas is with fried green peppers or tomato slices with a bit of mayo ;)
    I hope I’ve been helpful :)
    Enjoy spanish food ;)

  29. I’ve also read about the guy who makes a potato chip tortilla…maybe I’ll try it one of these days, since my kids would probably agree to eat it. This one looks lovely! I spent several months trying to perfect the simple tortilla Espanola, even wresting a recipe out of a local Flamenco singer from Jerez (we had to bribe him to make us one, then we broke it down!) You can read about it (and about what finally worked) here: http://badhomecooking.typepad.com/bad_home_cooking/2006/10/tortilla_y_ya.html
    The chick peas of which you speak are officially going on the docket when I next get to NYC, maybe in Feb. (don’t ask).
    As always, you’re an inspiration, Deb!

  30. Thanks so much for this post. I feel compelled to comment for the first time because your picture looks just like the ones I enjoyed the summer I spent in Spain. Thank you for including such a detailed recipe, too. I watched my host mother many times, but all my attempts back in the states have been disastrous. You may have just reunited me with one of my favorite foods.

  31. I agree with the earlier poster – I’ve never seen a recipe that calls for stock – and it makes it inedible for vegetarians! I heart me a good tortilla española, though I’m not great at making them myself. I have been known to get a poor woman’s tortilla made for me at those made to order omelet stations at a brunch. Just ask for onions and hashbrowns. They look at you like you’re crazy, but it’s decent enough.

    I love mine with a little jamón serrano. Unfortunately very difficult to get here in the states. :(

  32. I am SO going to be making this tonight! Looks deelish! I live in Connecticut and get into NYC quite often and plan on a visit to Tia Pol next time I’m there. Thanks for the restaurant, recipe and cookbook tips! You’ve just got yourself another loyal reader!

    To HeatherK — have fun in NYC and be sure to also visit Plataforma restaurant. It’s a churrascario that my family and I just love!

  33. I finally got around to making this last night, and it came out perfect. I’ve tried a couple of recipes, and none worked for me. This one came out perfect and delicious! Thanks for the great post :-)

  34. I made this last night! Sooo yummy. I was happy to find a good non-quiche recipe on your site. I find myself with 2 dozen eggs… Thanks!
    Sarah

  35. Well done!!!
    I’m spanish and surprised to see a good tortilla.
    However, I will tell you my mom’s secret to the best tortilla de patatas EVER.
    She only uses olive oil, eggs, a pinch of salt and potatoes.
    First she does a half-frying of the potatos in olive oil. Don’t let them fry completely, just like half of the time you’d need. Then, leave the potatoes in paper towel so it soaks the excess oil, and once this is done, put the potatos again in the pan together with the eggs. When the tortilla is made, the potatos on the inside will be a little crunchy and it’s amazing!
    If you have any leftovers, you can make a good sandwich out of it but a little mayo is needed or the sandwich would be a bit dry.

  36. I love that you shared this! I spent a summer in Spain a few years ago, and lived with a very sweet “madre” named Encarna who taught me how to make some of my favorite dishes while I was there. Because she made hers a bit differently than your recipe, I make mine a bit differently! To this day, I never know how many potatoes or how many eggs I use – I just kept adding until it “looks right.” There’s nothing like cooking the grandma way!

    Also, I agree with Elena above – leftover tortilla makes the best “bocadillos,” or sandwiches, in the world! A dense white bread and some mayo – perfecto!

  37. I just made this and it immediately transported me back to Spain, seven years ago, as a high school freshman exploring its Southern provinces for the first time. I dreamed of tortillas de patatas with the same wistfulness with which I long for another sip of Spanish hot chocolate or authentic churros.

    Thank you, for satisfying at least one of those cravings!

  38. This does not make my list of top 100 things to do with a potato. Maybe it’s because i’m not Spanish? Remember the potato and squash torte? That was good.

  39. This post finally convinced me to make tortilla, something I’ve been meaning to do since I moved back to the US from Spain…four years ago. I didn’t add the stock, it perplexed me as much as everyone else, threw in some garlic with the onions, and it turned out great! As far as salting the potatoes the only reason I can think to salt them before is to do what my Nana always did to eggplant before making eggplant parmesan, salt it and lay in on paper towels to soak up the liquid from the vegetable. The salt draws it out.

  40. I’ve tried this recipe 3 times now, and love it. I actually studied in Madrid during college, and tortilla española was one of two things my house mom made that I liked (the other was fabada asturiana). This version is an excellent rendition, thank you!

  41. For such a simple recipe, this can generate the most serious arguments! Nobody believes that a tortilla can be made that rivals their Grandmothers!
    I am not Spanish, but learned my recipe from an 80+ year old Spanish lady. I still can’t get it like she does. She did give some hints, however:
    1) The potatoes are important; they should be fairly (but not excessively), waxy potatoes (something like Desiree or King Edwards in the UK, rather than say a floury Golden Wonder). I do not know the American equivalents. She still says, however, that it is not the same without the Galician crop (probably from her own back garden as she grew up).
    2) Dependng on the potato, salting may be required to remove excess water.
    3) It takes a lot of oil, since the potato/onion mixture needs to boil, as well as fry, in the oil. Most of this oil is recovered and used again. Close covering is also recommended. Do not let either potatoes or onions caramelise, so stirring is important..
    4) Olive oil is all that is required. Extra virgin olive oil is too expensive to fry with. Use that for your salads and dressings, or just dip some fresh bread in it!
    5) It never goes near an oven or grill – it must be turned.
    6) Ratios of potatoes/onions/eggs depend on everything – the size of the potatoes, onions, eggs. Just do it until it looks right; an easier thing to see when you are being shown, admittedly!
    7) Preferably keep one pan for making tortilla, and make two or three rather than try to use a different, larger, pan for parties, etc.

    From what I was taught, I’d say there is too much potato compared to the onion and eggs in the above recipe (but, as I said, that depends on the size of the onion and eggs), and where (as other people have pointed out) did the stock come from? However, if you enjoy it this way, carry on! That is also the beauty of the dish, it has endless variations.

  42. hi, i agree with manzana, no chicken stock heard before, i sometimes add a splash of milk to the egg mixture, and some eople add half a teaspoon of baking powder, for a spongy look. If you add some fried chorizo, its not potato omelette anymore, but its delicious as well. There is something that us, spaniards agree on, our mum’s is the best tortilla de patatas…loved your sie,
    cheers,
    pity

  43. I tried this for the first time tonight, and love it! Looking forward to eating the leftovers cold for breakfast. Think I’ll take it to the office and make everyone jealous!

  44. I made the tortilla yesterday, there was a tortilla contest and my tortilla won (mostly voted by the Spaniards which makes that even better as they know what a good tortilla is), I only managed to try a tiny bite as it was wiped off the plate in a matter of minutes.

  45. Congratulations on your tortilla! As a Spaniard I can tell you it looks pretty good. Tortillas are a tricky thing and every family has its tips and tricks, but I had never heard the chicken stock one before. Some people add red pepper or zucchini, I love tortilla with canned tuna. I was recently taught by a tapas bar owner her recipe for a 5.5 lb tortilla, you can check it out on my blog.

  46. made this tonight with some modifications (due to laziness and what was on hand): i subbed some spicy hashbrowns for half the potatoes and sliced summer squash for the other half. it had a nice texture and good spice (if i do say so myself). i also reduced the oil down to a paltry 1/4-1/3 cup.

  47. Do you think it would be unwise to increase proportions to adapt this recipe for a 10 inch cast iron skillet? My intuition would be to increase it by 33% across the board (4 potatoes, 8 eggs, etc.), but I thought I’d ask (and not impulsively buy a new pan via Amazon Prime .. sigh, online shopping addictions). Thanks!

  48. Definitely shouldn’t be a problem to increase the proportions. When I increase proportions, however, I go by the bottom area of the pan; the reason is that I want the height of the dish to remain the same as the original. Because of this, I’d increase it by 50% — the area of the 8″ pan is 50 and the 10″ would be 78. Hope that helps and that I’ve not too obviously given myself away as a former math geek. :)

  49. Oh yum. Just got back from a week in Granada, Cordoba and Seville yesterday to a house with only eggs and potatoes in the pantry, so it looks like it’s tortilla espanola for dinner!

  50. My mom’s been making tortilla for my family since I was 5 years old (my step-dad is Argentine), and I finally started making it myself a few years ago. Just a tip for anyone a little intimidated by the flipping process: I just chuck the (oven-proof) skillet under the broiler for 5-8 minutes to finish off the top. It shames my mothers that I don’t do it the authentic way, but I’m such a klutz that the tortilla would be just as likely to end up on the floor as back in the skillet! Just don’t forget that the skillet JUST came out of the oven when you inevitably forget and are about to wrap your hand around the blazing hot handle… Kind of ruins tortilla night, but as a slight consolation prize, you learn that it’s good at all temperatures.

  51. I love tapas and Spanish food, my boyfriends mom is from Spain and frequently makes the tortilla de patata for us, I’ve watched her a few times and she likes to cube the potato instead of slicing which I think I like better. (my boyfriends dad has also made the tortilla with French fries from inn and out burger which turned out pretty good too.. (and saves you a step!) anyways thank for posting this because I was trying to find a good recipe to use as a starter for my own tortilla:)

  52. Janet, in professional kitchens, the handle of a skillet that’s going in the oven is dusted generously with flour. I can’t tell you the number of times I have unthinkingly reached for a blisteringly hot skillet, either sticking out from under the grill, or recently transferred to a counter, seen the flour, and felt puzzled just long enough (“What’s that flour doing there? Wait a minute…”) to come to my senses before wrapping my hand around it.

    It seems a silly trick, but it does help :)

  53. Have you ever had it with garlic aioli? It’s OH.MY.GOSH. good. My mom, the garlic hater, absolutely loves it. I cheat and just mix 1 or 2 cloves with a bit of mayo and vinegar. It’s worth the smelly breath. WAY worth it!

  54. Tried this tonight for the first time and it turned out great!! I was in Spain a few months ago and I am so happy to have a recipe for this. Thanks!

  55. I made this last night. It was so good. I can’t wait to make it again. Just ate the left overs at work. They heated up nicely.

    I have had this in a tapas restuarant with a horseradish sauce. Do you have a recipe for that?

    Great recipe, thank you!!

  56. I fell in love with this in Spain and somehow, managed to have it everyday for 6 months. But now that I have ordered myself a cast iron skillet, you have encouraged me to give cooking another shot.

    I had two quick questions for you – okay with if I skip out on the chicken broth and try a vegetarian one instead?

    And I will absolutely damage my cast iron skillet (same one you recommend in your set of kitchen tools) if I make your huevos rancheros eggs in there?

  57. Hi!

    Thanks for your blog, which is great and has given me good ideas many times.

    However, if you admit a bit of criticism, no true tortilla de patatas has any form of stock. And if we were to be purists, it wouldn’t have onion either, just potatoes and eggs. The result must be a very gooey inside, with a lot more egg than potatoes, and the egg must be runny.

    Regards,
    Gara.

  58. I have made many tortillas in my life time. My mother is Spanish from San Sabastian (where she and my father have a second home)but grew up in Madrid. Not all spaniards can make a great tortilla but my mother can-she is an amazing cook.
    Some suggestions: the potatoes should be deep fried in oil. We fry the potatoes and onions together in batches. The tortilla should be pretty wet still when you flip. When you flip hold the handle as close to the pan as you can, it gives you a lot more control. The tortilla should not be completely dry, a bit wet is much better. Never have I heard of the broth being used but I guess if your trying to use less fat-makes sense.

    Also, don’t forget to save the leftover oil in a jar- stored in thr fridge- for next time.

  59. hey
    do you think this could work in a stainless steel frying pan? I am afraid of it sticking. I could always finish the top under the broiler but then I can only dream from taking it out of the pan, period. I am stuck here with an induction stove and so few of the pans work; definitely not the non-stick ones. :( Please and thank you

  60. Looks fantastic and so great to see an authentic approach. I’ve lived n Spain for 14 years and feel making tortilla de patata is a bit of a national sport (along with eating pipas). Everyone has their methods and theories and many have a pan used only and exclusively for tortilla. One recommendation I’d make would be to cover the frying potatoes with a ventilated lid (readily available here, not sure about elsewhere, never had one at home). This creates vapor and helps potatoes soften quicker.

  61. Thanks for linking to this from the kale salad recipe; I hadn’t noticed it in your archives. In case anyone is looking for other ideas for accompaniments to this, I made it tonight with the chickpea and spinach stew recipe (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chickpea-and-spinach-stew) from Food & Wine, which is also a pretty quick weeknight dish. Both dishes are Spanish and so they go well together. (I normally use an amalgamation of your chickpeas with spinach recipe combined with one from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, but I decided to try a different one. They are all good but all have interesting variations.) Anyway, it made for a great, healthy supper. Thanks again!

  62. Thanks for this. Had it for dinner last night and lunch today. Delicious. In the interest of science I will note that I boiled the potatoes to avoid the peeling and extra frying mess, which is probably heretical, but I think it was just as good (and less greasy). If you’re not inclined to make this and you happen to live in NYC, the tortillas at Despana on Broome St. are amazing. I’m obsessed with the tortilla con queso, which is made with a cheese called “vidiago.” You can eat a slice there, or buy a whole pie, which is very portable and bringable to a party if you are a nice guest.

  63. I might try a shortcut and microwave the potatoes (I’d still fry the onions, just in less oil). What do you think? Or a sacrilegious step too far…?

  64. I have been making tortillas for years, and have two comments: I cook the onions and potatoes together, and then put them in the bowl with the beaten eggs. This helps pre-cook the eggs, and give me time to rinse and re-heat my cast iron frying pan. Also, I invert the inverting process. I put a larger than the pan plate on top, flip over, and slide the tortilla back in the pan uncooked side down. That’s the way my abuelina (grandmother) did it.

  65. I made this for the first time on Sunday evening, and while my “flip” didn’t turn out perfectly, the tortilla was so delicious! This is going on the very short list of recipes that both my picky husband and son equally love. My 7-year-old son would eat a few bites, then come over to KISS MY ARM and say, “I looooove it, Mama,” and then go back to his bowl. My husband just requested that I make it again (it’s Tuesday… of course there are NO leftovers.)

  66. Do you think it would be ok to just stick this in the broiler for a few minutes, rather than flipping it? and maybe add some cheese on top?

  67. What a delish and easy to follow recipe. I found it through the link from the kale salad posted earlier this summer and was going to pair them, but the kale recipe found its way into another (very tasty and well received even by 15 year olds) meal a month ago…this was worth the wait. Why it took so long to have Yukon gold potatoes and eggs in the house at the same time, I’ll never know. Do I qualify as a kitchen geek for exclaiming “that was fun!” after flipping the tortilla? Grandmothers of Sils’ apple cake is next up. It’s always a treat to be inspired by and cook from your blog. Thank you for sharing your passion.

  68. Eso de la tortilla con patatas “de bolsa”es una perversion repugnante.
    Algun dia el mundo vera todo el mal que Ferran Adria le esta haciendo a la cocina.

  69. Making this tomorrow for Christmas morning breakfast and can’t wait- and your update made it easier than last time so I’m excited! :)

  70. Like so many other commenters, I returned from Spain recently- having eaten tortilla every day when I was there, I waited a suitable interval before making it again, but it’s a summer night, the gentleman friend and I are packing to move, and I’ve got the potatoes are soaking in the egg. Had to sub in 3/4 cup of egg white for half the egg, because the carton of eggs that we thought was full turned out to contain only 3. The sight of the cooking potatoes took me right back to the refugio in Tosantos, where we stayed up half the night with rogue Spanish Franciscans, drinking wine and having dinner. Thanks!

  71. I don’t usually leave comments but I wanted to let you know you gave me the courage to flip the sauté pan I made my tortilla in :)) It looks amazing, hope it tastes as good as it looks

  72. I too fell in love with tortillas espanola while studying abroad in Toledo. I make them just this way, except that I small dice my potatoes and onions rather than slice (as that is how I was accustomed to them). I cheat the flipping process by silly turning into another pan of the same size or slightly larger.

    I have never heard of using potato chips before… but I have satisfied a craving in a rush by using tater tots (warmed in the microwave and smushed into the eggs). Not at all gourmet, but fast and easy, especially when I had a college kid’s pantry.

  73. Are the sliced potatoes rinsed or soaked in water to remove the starch before cooking or does the starch hold it all together? cheers

  74. Deb, have you tried America’s Test Kitchen’s Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and Peas (season 10)? The ATK version calls for less oil and you do not drain the potatoes… a messy step I am happy to avoid!

    1. I haven’t; I will have to check it out. I know the amount of oil tends to freak us out, but it’s the core flavor of an authentic tortilla and, to me, everything else is just a potato omelet. A delicious one, of course, which is to say I’m sure I’ll enjoy the ATK version.

  75. Your recipes always work! Maybe I got the heat just right today or something, but it’s the first time I have successfully managed to keep it looking pretty after flipping. I’ve read a million recipes for this and tried a good handful, but today’s is the best!

  76. Hi Deb,

    I would like to congratulate you for your web. I love it. Can I make some comments about your “tortilla”? I am Spanish girl (from Madrid) and the truth is that I’ve never eaten a good Spanish tortilla out of Spain. But it’s always nice when people try their best trying to cook it. Yours it’s quite similar to the real one, it looks quite well, however in 90% of the Spanish tortillas the potatoes are smashed with the help of a spatula, while friying. We don’t usually leave the potatoes so “big”. This is how ordinary Spanish people eat it at “tapa bars”, no matter how “chefs” teach how to do it.

    And to avoid using so much oil I do something that it’s not good or proper (I admit it) but it’s my way to do “tortilla” when I feel too lazy to cook. I use the microwave to soften the potatoes. I put 2 medium potatoes and 1 onion very finely sliced in a bowl, I sprinkle with salt (in Spain we don’t put pepper in the tortilla) and a squirt of olive oil. I toss everything very wel, cover with film and in the microwave, at maximim for 10 minutes. Open and with the spatula I smash everything, cover again and in the microwaver for another 10 min. Again with the spatula I smash the potatoe and onion. The next steps are just the same as in the regular tortilla. Your indications are just perfect. Just a hint, my mother used to put some baking powder in the beaten eggs to make it fluffy. I put a squirt of milk in my beaten eggs. This prevent the eggs from over cooked and produces a juicy tortilla, not too dry.

    Of course, there are people who like it juicy, others dry, with or without onion… Sorry if my English wasn’t good enough to clarify how we eat “tortilla de patata” here in Spain, cooked by ordinary housewifes, no chefs or professional cooks.

  77. Deb, would you consider par cooking the potatoes and onion in the microwave? I am a huge fan of ATK and sometimes they recommend that technique.

    1. Susan — It can definitely be done but I should admit that I’m weirdly rigid about slow-cooking them in olive oil, as is traditional, so I haven’t tried it. It’s so not like me to be so rigid about things — however it works for you is all that matters — but for me, that olive oil braise is the essential flavor and I hate to miss out on it.

  78. Used way less than a cup of olive oil. But used a total cheater super-non-stick pan and it still totally worked. Should have added smoked pimenton, capital idea.

  79. I took this as an inspiration for my weekly frittata that I bring to work for breakfast. I used the same ingredients, and added a gruyere/swiss cheese blend. Instead of cooking it in a pan, I buttered up a pie dish, poured the contents in, shook it to get everything leveled, and baked at 350 for 35ish minutes. It is INSANE! :)

  80. Have you ever let the potatoes soak in the egg solution for several hours? If dinner can’t be made in 30 minutes or less on a weeknight, it doesn’t get made. But I do have some time (and the kitchen) to myself in the morning and could totally do the preliminary steps then if the whole mess can hang out in the fridge until the evening. Thoughts?

  81. Nicole — I’ve definitely done it for the better part of an hour because I’m distracted. I don’t THINK there would be a lot of harm in longer, but can’t say with certainty.