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.
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 bit of 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.
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.
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, or Tortilla Española
Favorite ways to eat this: Alongside tomato bread or in a spread with other Spanish favorites. 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.
- 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 (don’t skimp)
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.
192 comments on tortilla de patatas
I have totally eaten there! It is SOOOO good. Loves it.
See ya Saturday!
The BF has this cookbook as well. First thing we did was make the fennel/strawberry gaspacho.
I think I flipped mine too early – it was a bit of a mess. I was concerned about it getting too brown on the bottom so I would definitely cook it on low next time, so the eggs could cook more before flipping. Still delicious! And much easier than I thought. Thanks for the recipe!
I finally made this. And it is everything. Thank you for your excellent guidance (and support for when I had to flip it!!).
One suggestion I have that’s help me, is make with a smaller frying pan. It’s easier at the time of flipping. I’ll make two small tortillas instead of one. Also make sure that plate is bigger than pan
Or, you know gazpacho.
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.
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’!
Those potato pancakes look wonderful. I’m a huge fan of tapas… the essential party food. Everyone can eat as much or as little as they want. And eat as many different kinds of things they want.
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!
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.
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
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.
it seems so good! I love patatas!! :-)
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.
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.
(Joanna, croquetas aren’t made with “creamy potatoes”, but with a thick bechamel. They also typically have serrano ham, chicken or cod.)
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!
mmm This was my favorite thing to get in Spain. This with a side of serrano ham and my day was complete ;)
This looks great! I made this once but it turned out a little bit blue, so it was good but not that attractive.
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.
This is a verrrry delayed response to a comment. I’m making this right now, but when I was checking to see how folks fared without nonstick, I saw this and had to say…cream of tartar will prevent this from happening! It has to do with the nature of the proteins in the eggs. I used to make breakfast for 40 or so homeless teens every morning and we added cream of tartar to help the eggs stay yellow while they sat in a warming tray.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 JosÃƒÂ© AndrÃƒÂ©s
Also, I recommend sprinkling the tortilla with a little smoked pimenton. Yum!
For a short-cut, there’s always FerrÃƒÂ¡n AdriÃƒÂ ‘s tortilla espaÃƒÂ±ola 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:
She also recently wrote a post on how to turn a tortilla complete with a cute drawing demonstrating the technique.
Ack, thanks for the heads-up! I meant to link to that and forgot; will do so now. Her drawing is beyond cute.
I’m so glad you decided to use amount of oil the recipe calls for. I’ve eaten tortilla espaÃƒÂ±ola 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.
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…
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!
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??
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, thatÃ‚Â´s music to my ears.
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.
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.
Your tortilla looks perfect and believe me … I know what IÃ‚Â´m talking about! :)
Did I tell you I read your blog every week? ItÃ‚Â´s just wonderful. ThankÃ‚Â´s for it and keep on writing!
Greetings from Spain
Outside of, say, hummus, I don’t think I’ve ever had chickpeas.
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! :)
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.
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 ;)
this is gorgeous and so tasty-looking!
Ok. You’re my new hero. You flipped flawlessly!
I tried once and ended up flinging it on the backsplash instead of the dish.
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!
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.
I made it this morning for breakfast and it was delicious. Bravo.
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 espaÃƒÂ±ola, 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 jamÃƒÂ³n serrano. Unfortunately very difficult to get here in the states. :(
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!
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 :-)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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,
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. :)
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!
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.
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:)
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 :)
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!
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!
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!!
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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…?
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.
Guys!! Pedro’s way is THE is the way to flip it!! Put a plate on top, hold plate with the palm of your hand, flip the pan over into the plate (with the plate just on top of the tortilla the whole time >> voila! the tortilla is suddenly brown side up on the plate!), THEN slide it off of the plate back into the pan! The contents will already be mostly set by the time you need to flip it, so there won’t be a mess when you rotate the pan from right-side-up to upside-down over the plate.
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.)
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?
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.
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.
Making this tomorrow for Christmas morning breakfast and can’t wait- and your update made it easier than last time so I’m excited! :)
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!
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
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.
Are the sliced potatoes rinsed or soaked in water to remove the starch before cooking or does the starch hold it all together? cheers
Jaci — I’ve never rinsed potatoes; I don’t think the starch factors at all in this dish, negative or positive.
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!
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.
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!
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.
You should tag this as a Passover recipe!
AGP — Good thinking, thank you!
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
I used a cast iron and struggled with sticking. Suggestions? Or should I have just used a non-stick?
Is there any reason you couldn’t bake it like Julia Child’s dauphinois?
Making this tonight! Wish me luck on the flip..
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?
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.
I had what I now think was a pale tortilla today at a children’s Easter Egg hunt @St Mark’s in Sta Clara CA & struggled to remember if it was a frittata. Which of those was it?
They have a lot in common, it could have been either.
Amazing how so few pantry ingredients can produce such a lovely dish! I looked at my kitchen and had a plethora of eggs and potatoes, and not much else. Well, some salad greens, so the tortilla paired wonderfully with a green salad! Hubby actually ate the leftovers the next day – and it takes a really good dish for him to do that. Definitely going into the dinner rotation. Thank you.
Oh, about the flip. It turns out one should not flip things that are in any way liquid, or it will make a mess on one’s kitchen counter. Managed to save it though!
I live in Barcelona, will have a think and get back to you with a list of food and sightseeing recommendations! Also where on the Costa Brava are you going? Calella de Palafrugell is really cute and the coast line near Begur is gorgeous (especially Sa Tuna and Aiguafreda)
Planning a brunch before the eclipse in a few weeks and wondering if I can make this in advance or make the potatoes/onions the day before?
Definitely. It’s not uncommon for people to leave the potato and onion mixture sitting in the eggs for a while, in fact, it’s supposed to help it all adhere. You might even do that too, but I’ve never done it for as long as overnight before.
I have a question about this one. I make tortilla patata every so often, but came upon this today and thought, perfect for a casual Sunday supper. I don’t use a recipe, just cook up some potatoes and fry some onions and mix in some eggs. I would try this recipe since the result looks so much nicer than what I come up with, but I’m confused. Add one cup of oil and a pound and a half of thinly sliced potatoes to an 8-10 in skillet? Add the potatoes in even layers and somehow flip them around to cook them evenly? You mention a Dutch oven in the preamble. I realize you’ve made modifications to the recipe over time. But I don’t want to waste a cup of good olive oil trying this unless it’s going to work…
Can you please elaborate on the cooking the potatoes part of this? It seems like the oil and potatoes just wouldn’t fit well or be easy to cook in a skillet. And really, only 4 TBS get absorbed? Thanks!
Also known as “tortilla espan~ola” this is much, much more than the sum of its parts…
Oh, so delicious sounding ! But I’m confused……does it take 1 cup of olive oil or 4 tablespoons of olive oil ? The text says you lowered the amount to four tablespoons, but the recipe says 1 cup. Can you please clarify?! I want to make this but that one cup of oil is just too much for me.
You use 1 cup to cook it, you cannot cook the potatoes in less and have them mostly submerged, but 3/4 cup will be leftover for your next tortilla.
I was hoping for a video…I’ve made this a couple times and though it is tasty I’ve all but given up because mine always looks terrible and the flipping process is so frustrating.
I agree; I should do a video for this. For the flipping, keep it simple. Loosen the tortilla — I use a nonstick here so it’s basically always loose. Shimmy/tip it at a low angle onto a plate larger than the frying pan; it’s cooked underneath and anything that happens (a potato falling out, a little crack) cures itself when it continues to cook. Place the frying pan facedown over the tortilla on the plate. Use two oven mitts to tightly hold them together and flip it back into the frying pan. Put it back on the stove, tuck in the edges with a spoon or spatula (for a neater look, not otherwise necessary) and it will cook up just fine.
On Serious Eats, they suggest something (I was reading about the Potato Chip version): use a glass lid. When it’s time to flip, put the glass lid on the pan & turn it upside down (the potatoes are now in the lid).
Put the pan down, and slide the potatoes back into the pan.
There was no video…..and I haven’t tried this. But it sounds like it would work as an alternate way. Kinda the reverse of how Deb says to do it.
I realize I’m a couple of years late on replying to this comment but I tried this tonight with excellent results! The handle on the lid was a delightful game changer when sliding it back into the pan. 10/10 recommend.
We have a million pounds of red potatoes from our CSA, will this work with them?
I used red potatoes yesterday and they worked like a charm.
Very curious about the original recipe containing stock. What was it used for? I can’t even imagine!
I know a lot of people shy away from making tortilla at home solely because of the flipping. While it may seem daunting, it’s not as bad as you think. The key is confidence! Hesitation is the enemy here. Just commit, and go for it! (You can always do it over the sink in case of drips.)
Anyway, gorgeous tortilla, and thanks for spreading its gospel!
I used sweet potatoes in place of the yukon golds, then followed the rest of the recipe exactly. It worked perfectly! The sweet potatoes provided some caramelization and a sweet note. A new favorite in our house (including the six year old)!
Excited to try these! Is there a golden egg to lbs potatoes ratio to respect if I want to scale this up or down?? Thank you!
made this at least three time this year and it’s always been delicious. tonight for our new year’s tapas party I’m sure it will be a hit again. thanks for teaching me how to do tortilla :)
Made this again and it was perfection.
This time I used the 10″ skillet instead of the 8″ and I think I prefer the smaller skillet. This time it was flatter and harder to flip, but it still tasted wonderful.
I served it with tomato bread and goodies from Despaña and everyone was very happy.
Are Idaho potatoes an option?
They tend to fall apart more, so I don’t use them here.
Lived in Spain for a year and this was my favorite. Always watched my host mom make the potatoes in a pressure cooker. My sisters and I used to fight over the burnt bits at the bottom when they were done. Did it that way for years until I went back to visit and found out they use the microwave now. Mix the sliced potatoes with the onions, enough olive oil to coat and sea salt. Make sure the dished is covered completely. Microwave for 5 minutes, stir and make a judgement on how much longer you think they need. (It all depends on how many potatoes/how big your your tortilla is) Once you make the tortilla, you’ll never know the difference! Tastes the same. I actually make just the potatoes for a side dish. My kids love ‘Spanish’ potatoes!
I made this tortilla with the walnut kale salad for our “meatless Monday” dinner last night, and it was absolutely delicious! Initially I was pretty intimidated by the flipping part, but my husband helped me out while I rooted him on (and prayed he wouldn’t drop it) from the sidelines. I definitely agree that nothing needs to be added to this recipe. After flipping, I only cooked the flipped tortilla for a couple of minutes because I wanted a gooey interior (which was the right decision, sooooo so good). I sprinkled a little Maldon sea salt on top for texture and presentation, which worked out nicely. I used a steep-walled, 8″ non-stick pan, and I thought the thickness of the tortilla was perfect and loosing the edges was effortless. My only regret is that there were no leftovers. Thanks Deb!
Any reason I couldn’t just bake this in the oven in a pyrex dish?
Should work fine!
Hi, Deb! I’d love your estimate of how much salt you put in. I don’t want to ruin a lot of work and food by putting too much! I made a doubled up thick version last night and used a rounded half teaspoon – I’m feeling like it’s somewhat under-seasoned. What do you do?
I think you can safely use a full teaspoon.
I made this yesterday but some of my potatoes ended up slightly underdone, argh. Do you think baking it in the oven for a bit is the best solution? Thanks!
I’m not sure baking is necessarily the answer to under cooked potatoes. Sometimes they do take a long time to cook in a skillet especially depending on the type of potato. The easy answer is to precook/steam them in the microwave for a bit until they start to slightly soften and then brown in the skillet. Heck throw the onions in too. It should shave some minutes off the cooking time and make sure no hard potatoes. Maybe it’s cheating but it works :-)
Thanks Andy, I’ll definitely do that next time! It looks so beautiful but tastes so…crunchy. Well it’s just about edible but not what I’d hoped for.
Gosh, I make this regularly and it is even less fuss with my recipe from Costa Brava, at an inn where the lovely lady of the house let me “help” in her kitchen. I boil the potatoes and then slice them. Whilst they boil, I saute the onion. Add potatoes and eggs and that is the end of it. I have no idea why so much oil is reportedly needed, I only use enough to saute the onion. I do use a non stick pan. I add roasted red peppers when I have them. It is an easy quick staple at our house. Love it with some siracha and sour cream.
I have a dear friend from Spain and when we have a girls weekend she makes this for us. We do the potato and onion slicing and she does the cooking. A good tradeoff in my opinion!
One of our favorite dishes with great memories from Spain. The chicken wings we had in Torrejon, the rib joint on our way to Madrid, and Chinese food from the caves around Plaza de Mayor. Then the caves… memories may be a bit cloudy as it was over 40 yrs ago.
Families in Espana each have a different method for cutting their potatoes. Some slice, others cube. We cube. It has been in our family forever. Our very old homestead is still standing and built in the fashion as the Vikings did. Still after so many centuries it is lived in. Since it is considered historical nothing can be taken away or added. Back to the glorious tortilla.
Yes, along the way to the Pyrenes one finds every so often very old outside ovens, there, you may be lucky to buy the wonderful fresh hot bread. Be sure you pack enough tortilla from the day before. A sandie is made with this hot bread and the efforts of the tortilla. No need for anything else just a good strong appetite and perhaps some Cava. As you cruise along the road to the nearest lake take the time to relax and enjoy the sights devouring the famous tortilla. Oh the Pyrenes, it has been said taller then the Alps.
I’ve made this tortilla with half POTATO half CAULIFLOWER sliced on the mandolin with the cauliflower the exact same size as the potatoes…but cooked separately in a steamer before adding to the egg mixture. It’s a bit more “fiddly” but cuts down on the carbohydrates and tastes WONDERFUL.
Thanks for this! I have made this and love it! Making again for a small dinner party this weekend. :-) My question today is about your equipment. First, I wonder if you might share your preference for non-stick pans? Do you have a brand/type you prefer? Also, I have seen this white platter you have in these images in some of your other posts as well (cake ones, I believe). Can you share the brand/source of this? I am in search of something similar! Thanks much!
Re, nonstick: My only view is that you shouldn’t spend too much on one because they can get scratched and you’ll want to replace them, it shouldn’t cost a fortune. I currently am using this one. It’s great for this tortilla. I tend not to buy big nonsticks because I mostly use them for crepes and omelets. I believe this is a Crate and Barrel plate from the Mercer line. I use them a lot in white, small rims, not distracting, dishwasher-safe, fairly inexpensive if they need to be replaced.
Thanks so much!!
This was amazing!! Like truly delicious and so much tastier by the often dry, bland ones that I had a lot of in Spain. HOWEVER, this flip. Yowza. Attempted the flip by myself holding a plate, as instructed and somehow ( I don’t really know how, the hot egg slid on my hand and I dropped the plate on my stove. Broken plate, mess everywhere). And yet, after tasting the bits not with broken plate on them, I could tell it was damn good and family was coming over. So I enlisted help – sent the husband to get more potatoes and made it again. For the next flip, we strategized and used a baking sheet without a lip and it worked better. But then you flip it back in to finish cooking it and then you have to flip it again to eat it. I wonder – could you instead use a seasoned cast-iron pan, cook it on the stovetop and then finish it in the oven? So you only have to flip it once to serve it? That aside, definitely think you want two people for flipping
I use the exact method you’re asking about every time: cast iron pan, stovetop to oven, sometimes finishing it under the broiler. I don’t think it compromises the final product at all, and it’s much less nerve-wracking.
The transfer from pan to plate was pretty ugly (broken apart disaster), and I almost gave up on the dish. I’m glad I didn’t. After flipping and cooking the other side, the tortilla looks almost flawless. I love how forgiving SK recipes are!
Thank you soooo much for this recipe. It’s one of my absolute favorite things on earth to eat and I was a little intimidated to make it. No more. This recipe was perfect and delicious and I’ll be making it all the time. Your recipes NEVER let me down.
One of my faves.
I love this recipe! The leftover olive oil can easily be whipped up into a little aioli the next day to make sandwiches. It’s a little time consuming, but nothing is very difficult (not even the flip). Even if you mess up the flip a little it still looks good and tastes amazing.
I am a huge SK fan and have been reading for more than a decade. One of the things I’ve long loved is that worrying about butter or fat content in things hasn’t played a huge part in your writing. The pleasure of food and living in a city stood outfront. I was sad to read the worries about using too much fat in today’s entry and concerns about cellulite. It’s so hard for people, those assigned female at birth especially, to escape the talk and obsessions of diet culture. I know you are no exception, as demonstrated here, but i love that usually, you dont pay those thoughts and obsessions forward.
Aiee. It’s an old recipe and I agree, doesn’t sound right to me now. I’ll clean it up, thanks.
Made this it’s absolutely amazing and delicious!
Delicious! (I flipped like a pro) Thank you!
Curious to know about how long the first cook of the egg/potato/onion mixture is, approximately or in your experience (the cook prior to flipping).
It’s so hard to nail down because it’s about the thickness of the potatoes. But… 10 minutes? You want them mostly cooked but not falling apart.
Cooks up fairly fast. I suppose that I am used to a less “eggy” flavor, used to a lighter omelet type. I couldn’t do the “flip” with a hot pan, and lid, too heavy. The kids ate it. Win.
When I flip tortilla or hash browns, I slide them onto a plate and then put another plate face down over the food. Very easy to turn upside down and slide back into the pan. Hope this helps cooks whose pans are too heavy to use to flip.
This was really good. I paired it with a quick simple salad and it made a delicious dinner. It was fun to make, too! The only issue I have is that the leftovers do that thing where they start to turn an unappetizing grey/green. I don’t know if it’s from the potatoes, eggs, or onions, but it’s hard to convince a 8 year old to eat it lol. I ate all the leftovers.
Also, I know Deb implores you to not add anything else to this 5-ingredient dish, but I couldn’t help myself and added minced garlic to the potatoes & onions while they were cooking in the oil and it was very good.
It’s so funny to me that this is a ‘real’ recipe! My Spanish grandmother made it often, and my mom made it once a week (when the grocery budget had been depleted). As kids, we ate it with ketchup (!) and it was simply called a Potato & Egg Omelette.
This may be sacrilegious, but I made this in a cast iron and didn’t flip it at all 😬 I cooked on the stovetop and then popped it under the broiler until it was just done on top and it came out perfect. Slightly brown on top and still a little loose inside. It was dreamy and I didn’t have to brave the flip with my littles underfoot in the kitchen.
What a FABULOUS idea! I’ll def be doing this next time I make this recipe!
I’ve made this twice now and both times it was delicious – served with the “Cast Iron Spicy Garlic Shrimp” (aka gambas al ajillo) from America’s Test Kitchen and some andouille sausage. I knew I wasn’t going to be good at the whole flipping thing – so instead, I cooked it on one side in the skillet and then slid it into a cake pan and cooked for about 25 mins at 400. It came out beautifully!
This is so delicious!!!!!!! I just made it in iso and I am incredibly full because it’s hard to stop. Thank you :)
A word about the methodology. The way we flip the tortilla here in Spain is to cover the pan with a plate, hold it down tightly, then flip the pan and slide the tortilla back into it. They also make “tortilla pans”–double frying pans that are hinged, so that you can just close the pan and flip it over, cooking the other side of the tortilla in the second part of the pan.
Also, tortillas are a great way to use leftovers, especially veggies. (A tortilla with a lot of veggies is called “primavera”–spring tortilla). I especially like them with zucchini–I slice it about 1/4″ thick and cut it into sticks and add it to the potatoes/onions when they are almost cooked.
(And if you REALLY want to cut down on the oil, you can cook the potatoes and onions in the microwave, with just a dab of oil for taste, but it doesn’t come out as good as the traditional way.)
Delicious! I’ve made something similar to this many times, but I usually finish mine under the broiler instead of flipping it. What are the advantages to flipping?
I can’t find this recipe to print? I need it for my newly divorced son. He is hungry.
This was delicious and easy to make. The flip went pretty well even though I was using a stainless steel pan. My husband really liked it. Thought it would taste like a potato pancake but it was so much more. Really delicious flavor. Perfect with a green salad and simple vinaigrette!
I tried this last night and the taste was FANTASTIC….but it was almost like there wasn’t enough egg to hold everything together because it totally fell apart as soon as we removed it from the pan. Read the fabulous idea below about cooking it in a cast iron, NOT flipping it, but rather sticking it under the broiler to finish up and decided that’s what I’ll be doing next time around.
I love making things that make me feel like a Queen of the kitchen and this did the trick tonight. Delicious, savory. Economical. Lots of fun to cook and flip about. We ate it tonight hot along with roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Tomorrow we’ll have it cold or room temp with olives and crusty bread, probably a salad. And I’m here to say that even with my hands damaged by neuropathy from all the chemo, I still managed the flip. And felt like crowing about it.
Hi Deb. The recipe says 3-4 potatoes but the pictures have 7. Which is correct? Thank you!!
I generally use one medium potato for each (large) egg.
These were smaller. Always go by weight for potatoes if you can as the sizes will range a lot.
Fourth time making this! My absolute favorite breakfast is a slice of tortilla (room temp) and I can have it all week. However, I can’t find a good recipe for a spicy mayo/aioli to go with this. Every restaurant I’ve visited in Spain had a garlic and a spicy aioli. The garlic is typically served with the tortilla, but many people request the spicy aioli for the tortilla that would typically be served with bravas.
Does anyone have any good recipes here? I’ve tried a handful of different combinations using sriracha, paprika, cayenne, but I can’t figure out if my proportions are wrong or I’m just using the wrong ingredients.
Any and all suggestions will be tried!
The spicy sauce isn’t alioli (garlic mayo). It’s a red sauce which, as you rightly put it, is usually used for “patatas bravas”. The spiciness varies from place to place, but you can find several recipes by googling “brava sauce”. (Here is one: https://spanishsabores.com/bravas-sauce-recipe-a-spanish-condiment-with-a-kick/ ) Traditional Spanish cooking doesn’t use hot sauce or (Mexican) chili peppers, but sometimes a “guindilla” is used to spice up certain dishes. However, the spiciness in brava sauce comes from “pimentón picante”, spicy Spanish paprika. (The best Spanish paprika is smoky, and comes in both “picante” and “dulce”–not spicy–varieties.)
This was the best! I cooked the potatoes in two batches in a little over half cup of olive oil, and cooked the onions with the second batch of potatoes. I added 4 slices of cooked thick sliced bacon and one fresh roasted, peeled and chopped Hatch chili. We sprinkled the smoked paprika on, which was a very nice touch!
This was super easy and tastes great! I didn’t flip mine I just put it in the oven with the broiler on low! Used a cast iron skillet, of course.
so excited for this recipe- had this at La Nacional in NYC and wouldn’t share them either ! Can’t wait to make this!
I think letting the potatoes/onion mixture sitting with the egg is crucial to a slightly fluffy within a dense omelet texture that is key. I recommend!
Looks amazing! How long do you cook the tortilla the first time after the minute of letting the egg settle to the bottom?
Dear Deb. Your recipe is perfect. Only in Spain we don’t season the potatoes with black pepper. Also, with some practice, it shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to produce a perfectly cooked tortilla de patatas. My mother used to whip one up in no time just back from work when I was a child.
Another tip, it’s better not to slice the potatoes, but to just break pieces off with the knife, the more irregular, the better.
Thank you for such a wonderful blog!
Could you please make this on your YouTube channel? We tried and it wasn’t quite right. We wanna watch and learn!
Could this be made with sweet potatoes? I think most things are better with them but this may not be the right consistency.
I lived in Spain for over 6 years and your tortilla looks authentic and fabulous. People don’t realize how delicious these few ingredients can be when cooked in this manner. I have to confess, I cheat and par boil my potatoes so that I can get the right caramelization on the onions without burning them, while and assuring the potatoes are cooked through. The tortilla is best served at room temperature, and leftovers are great the next day.
Could I cook this in parchment in a cake pan, like your slumped parm frittatta in Keepers? I’m hosting brunch on Sunday and the flip is a little intimidating!
The tortilla should be about 1″ thick and sightly brown on both sides and juicy, but not runny, in the center. I think that baking it would overcook the center, but maybe after the bottom is done you could try putting it under the broiler until the top is brown, hopefully leaving the center juicy.
Trying to “slide” this onto a plate and flipping this was an absolute disaster. Ended up with a delicious mess. Is there a way to do this without flipping? Cook it in the oven? Broil just the top? Anyone try another method?
You have to cover the pan with a plate (I use a flat aluminum pan cover because holding it by the knob gives you more control than just a flat.plate). Then you flip it onto the plate and slide it back into the pan. It’s tricky; after decades of doing it I still do it over the sink, just in case…
The tortilla should be about 1″ thick and sightly brown on both sides and juicy, but not runny, in the center. I think that baking it would overcook the center, but maybe after the bottom is done you could try putting it under the broiler until the top is brown, hopefully leaving the center juicy. (I’ve never heard of anyne doing this, but you could try.) However, I would recommend practicing flipping with a small tortlla, maybe only one or two eggs (and the corresponding other ingredients), using a small pan, so the it’s still about 1″ thick, until you get the hang of it.