I can’t remember the first time I ate tortilla española, but I’m sure it was a life changing experience. So life changing, I cannot remember it.
Boom. Joke landed.
But seriously, folks. Tortilla española. Are you familiar with this Spanish delight? It is the simplest food. Egg. Potato. There’s some salt. A LOT of olive oil. Sometimes, people try to add some other shit in. But I’m a bit of a purist. We’ve got a good thing going, baby. Why fuck mess ruin fuck that up?
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself: Self, what is the difference between this dish, and say, a frittata.
Well, let’s start with the obvious: this one is better.
CALM DOWN. Frittatas are excellent. They’re unbelievably versatile. But, they’re incredibly difficult to spell. So, let’s simplify our lives.
The main difference, based on my one Google search my vast experience and knowledge is that a tortilla española must always have egg + potato as a base. A frittata is egg + anything. Frittatas? Kinda slutty. Butternut squash? Cool. Cheese? Whatever, I’ll try anything. Have some self-respect, frittatas.
Before you think that the tortilla española is boring for being basic, I will repeat the thing I keep repeating on this blog: I don’t know what I’m doing.
I will repeat another thing: the simplest food, when executed well, is the best food.
Believe you me. Though simple, it is not a dish for the timid. It requires some real machismo. Particularly when you get to that ever-dicey flip of the tortilla to cook the uncooked top.
If done without the proper guts, you will wind up with egg and potato on your floor. But if done with just the right amount of courage (liquid or otherwise), you will come up with a dish that frankly, is just divine.
Your trip to Barcelona is just a bite away.
Tortilla Española from Bon Appetit May 2014 issue
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 cups olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium waxy potatoes (about ¾ lb.), peeled, cut into ¾” pieces | Yukon Gold work well. Also, I think you could get a little thinner than this. My potatoes were downright chunky.
- 8 large eggs
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and dark brown, 35–40 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat potatoes and remaining 2 cups oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until oil around potatoes begins to bubble; reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender but have not taken on any color, 10–12 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving oil. Season potatoes with salt and let cool slightly.
Combine eggs, onion, potatoes, and ¼ cup reserved potato cooking oil in a large bowl and gently beat with a fork.
Heat 3 Tbsp. reserved potato cooking oil in a 10” nonstick skillet over medium heat (reserve remaining oil for another use). Add egg mixture and cook, lifting at edge and tilting skillet to let uncooked egg run underneath, until bottom and edge of tortilla are set but center is still wet.
Set a large plate on top of skillet. Swiftly invert tortilla onto plate, then slide back into skillet, cooked side up. Cook until center is just set, about 2 minutes longer. Cut into wedges.