Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tortilla Espanola

Although I have not traveled to Spain much, I have come to enjoy Spanish food a lot both from the eating (well, to the short list of Spanish dishes I have been introduced to so far) and cooking standpoint.  I don't cook it much, mostly because I don't have direct access to Spanish products (and even though I am an avid online shopper, I don't dare to order food I don't know online). Whatever I make will never be as good as the same dishes made by my Spanish friends or by Diana from A Little Bit of Spain In Iowa (love her recipes!) but it's good enough for us (and the few people who have tasted it at our place.) At least, it brings a little bit of variety. And variety, when it comes to food, is really good (which new food did you try this week??)
My children don't call it "Tortilla Espanola", they call it "gâteau de pommes de terre" (or potatoes cake) and they love it. They are always intrigued to see me cry and cry some more when I am peeling onions. I had them try pealing onions themselves, so now they know that it's not because I am sad but because onions make you cry. I have always been a little bit jealous at the people who could peel and chop onions without dropping a tear. But, hey, I am crying when I peel shallots or leeks even. Yes, I tried wearing goggles, peeling under water but it did not work! I am used to it : I have a box of tissues handy, I don't answer the phone if it rings, and I make sure to invest in a good waterproof mascara. Otherwise, not only do I pleure comme une Madeleine, I have big read puffy eyes and black make-up all over the face: something to scare my children and husband!!
The best thing I like about this dish is that it tastes very good cold, which means that I can make it in advance. I generally serve it in the evening alongside a large green salad. But it would be perfect for brunch or a picnic (as long as you bring plates.) The only thing you want to make sure is that you peel more potatoes than you think you'll need. Otherwise, you'll end up with a 1/2-inch thick layer of potatoes. Nothing like a gâteau de pommes de terre. Bon Appétit!
- Potatoes: I generally use two big potatoes per person and add an extra two for the dish. Peeled and sliced.
- 2 medium-size onions, sliced.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Olive oil
- Salt, black pepper to taste

  • In two large pans, saute the onions and potatoes in a lot of olive oil (a lot : you want about 125ml (4.2 fl oz) cup in each pan. You want to saute the potatoes until they are fully cooked and a little bit brown (but still soft on the outside). This can take 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (175 C)
  • Stack the cooked potatoes and onions in a dish that goes into the oven (a cast-iron skillet is perfect!). The smaller the pan, the thicker the Tortilla.
  • Pour the egg batter onto the potatoes and onions
  • Cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked
  • Serve warm or cold.

My Personal Comments:
  • You could reduce/increase the quantity of onions
  •  If you want to make it fancier, you could add red hot pepper, green onions, asparagus, etc. 
  •  You could add more eggs to make it "stick together" a little bit better but I don't like it with too many eggs.
  • I made individual ones for the blog but I generally make only one Tortilla in a pan. 

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