Tortilla de patatas, a simple, traditional Spanish dish you can make with your kids
The Goyoaga family gathers the ingredients for making tortilla de patatas in their kitchen.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Whenever someone who has visited Spain learns where I am from, their first question is always: “Can you teach me how to make tortilla de patatas?” Tortilla de patatas is what mothers make for children when they go on field trips, what’s prepared for a casual dinner or a birthday party. It’s what we eat for elevenses with a cortado or a beer. Any time of day, really. I often make the comparison that tortillas are for Spaniards what hot dogs are for New Yorkers. But certainly way better for you.
Note: You must use a nonstick skillet. The recipe won’t work with a cast-iron or stainless steel pan. Invest in a good nontoxic, nonstick pan. Also, don’t be intimidated by the amount of olive oil. Most of it gets strained out at the end.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ARAN GOYOAGA
Tortilla de Patatas
¾ cup (170 grams) extra virgin olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, diced into quarter-inch pieces
3 medium (1½ pounds or 680 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into half-inch pieces
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
6 large eggs
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
1. To make the tortilla, heat the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until translucent but not browned.
2. Add the diced potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Keep the heat on medium for about 2 minutes, then lower it to medium low for about 15 minutes. You aren’t really frying the potatoes, but poaching them in olive oil. Keep the heat low so the oil simmers very gently. If the potatoes are not falling apart after 15 minutes, I take a fork and gently mash them a bit, so the olive oil gets inside them as well. The potatoes should be tender and golden, with some pieces caramelized.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the eggs and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, lift the potatoes out of the pan and into the eggs, draining off as much oil as possible. The potatoes might scramble a bit of the eggs, but this is OK. Stir the eggs and potatoes together.
4. Pour most of the olive oil into a bowl, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Return the pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the potato mixture, and with a wooden spoon, stir the center so the eggs start to cook. When they begin to scramble, stop stirring. Tuck in the edges nicely with a spatula and cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Place a large plate face-down over the pan. Hold the plate tightly with one hand and the pan handle tightly with the other (use a towel if the handle is hot). Flip the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the sauté pan and cook the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. I personally like when the center of the tortilla is a bit soft and runny, but cook it as thoroughly as you prefer.
6. Slide the cooked tortilla onto a clean plate, and let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
7. Slice the tortilla into wedges and serve.
(c)2019 By Aran Goyoaga. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Cannelle et Vanille by permission of Sasquatch Books