This is the busy Spanish housewife’s favorite stand-by meal and cooked for breakfast through to dinner. It is even served as a sandwich, often in a baguette, making a delicious and filling on-the-go meal.
I love having mine for breakfast with some home-made baked beans; a jar of cooked cannellini beans, with pulped tomatoes. Add to this either a dash of Worcester sauce or vinegar and sweet chili sauce, whatever takes your fancy! Tortilla and baked beans- not sure its how the Spanish would do it but it’s a great flavor combo and will keep you energized for hours!
The recipe I’ve chosen is the basic Spanish tortilla- no frills, but there are loads of regional variations. Thinly sliced onion rings can be fried along with the potatoes and spinach seems to be a popular addition. In Valencia, they leave out the potatoes totally and use egg plant instead, and in Catalan, their tortilla is made with chickpeas (or any other beans available) and chorizo (spicy, Spanish sausage)- yum!
How the potatoes are sliced is a matter of great debate among the Spanish. Again, it depends on where you come from. For this recipe, I’ve chosen to slice them very thinly along the length of the potato creating little oval shapes. This seems to be the most popular way of preparing them in Andalusia. I’ve also seen the potatoes cut like french fries or cubes, but personally, I think the thin ovals take less time to cook and create a better consistency. Feel free to experiment!
This serves 6 generous portions, but the great thing about a tortilla is that you can vary the potato and egg quantities to suit you. Generally speaking, allow one medium-sized potato per egg. Also, take care to use a deep cast iron frying pan which will create a deeper tortilla with a smaller diameter. Thick is the way to go.
Be careful not to have too many coals and not to have them too close to the pan so that the base doesn’t burn before the egg is cooked.
Traditionally served cold if you can resist not eating it straight out the pan!
Here are some more breakfast recipes for you to check out when you finish this one below.
- • 6 medium sized potatoes
- • 6 large eggs (adjust to make sure you have the same quantity of potato and egg).
- • Lots of olive oil for frying
- • ½ tsp salt
- • 1 clove fresh garlic finely chopped (or garlic powder)
- • Peel and slice the potatoes very thinly.
- • Heat some olive oil in a deep cast iron frying pan placed on a tripod a good few inches above the coals.
- There should be enough oil to completely submerge the potatoes. It might seem a lot but you will be draining most of it off.
- • Layer the potatoes and fry very, very gently so they don’t color, but really soften.
- It’s in the last few minutes of this stage that you can add the garlic, sliced onions or spinach if you want.
- • Drain the excess oil off from the potatoes to leave about a tablespoon in the pan.
- • Gently beat the eggs with the salt and pour over the potatoes.
- • Prod down the potatoes to make sure they are completely submerged.
- • With a fork, pull the egg from the sides of the pan to the middle as it starts to cook around the edges.
- • Cook very gently until the egg is softly cooked and not leathery. A lid can be loosely so the top cooks but it can always be flipped using a plate to ensure both sides are cooked evenly.