Little Spanish Chef

Guess who is now a proud concinera española? This girl!!

Last weekend, on a particularly rainy evening after a weekend of seeing Madrid and Toledo, Spain (to be written about soon!) Teresa decided that it was a good time to teach me how to cook tortilla española, a Spanish potato and egg omelette. While it is a simple process, the part that marks anyone as a true Spanish cook is the ability to dar la vuelta a la tortilla, or flip the tortilla. Therefore, I have decided to share what I learned, as well as the photos of the process:

Tortilla Española

What you will need:

  • Potatoes (we used five medium sized ones to feed 3-4 people)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil (depending on if you are Spanish or not, you can use a lot or a little–we used a pretty good amount)
  • 4 eggs (for this serving size)

Wash and carefully peel the potatoes

Look at how hard I am working
Look at how hard I am working

Pour the olive oil into a skillet on a medium to low flame. We added enough to have about a half inch thick layer on the bottom. This way, the tortilla doesn’t stick and it adds a lot of flavor!

While the skillet and oil are heating up, slice the potatoes thinly, adding salt when they are done

photo 3 (1)
While those are not my hands slicing the potatoes, I was still working very hard…

When the oil has heated up, add the potatoes to the skillet

photo 4 (2)

Stir the potatoes to make sure they are all coated in the oil, and as they get softer, mash them a bit with a wooden spoon. You don’t want them to be completely mashed, tortilla is better when it is a little chunkier!

Finally something I can do: mash and stir the potatoes!
Finally something I can do: mash and stir the potatoes!
Fake out--I wasn't that good at mashing them...Teresa got back to work before I burnt anything
Fake out–I wasn’t that good at mashing them…Teresa got back to work before I burned anything

In a separate bowl, beat the four eggs and add some more salt into the beaten eggs.

Turning the heat on low, pour the now mostly mashed potatoes from the skillet into the bowl which contains the eggs.

After mixing the eggs and potatoes together, add a little bit more oil onto the bottom of the pan.

Pour the egg and potato mix back into the skillet and let it sit.

I also didn't do this...
I also didn’t do this…
Almost done!
Almost done!

Wait until you can see the edges looking a little more like scrambled eggs around the tortilla, moving the skillet back and forth every now and then to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Now here is where the magic happens: la vuelta. Teresa insisted I didn’t take pictures of her doing this cause she wanted to show me so I could do the second flip. The trick to the flip is catching the tortilla. Teresa taught me with the lid of the skillet, but a dinner plate can also be used. Pick up the skillet and press the lid tightly on the edge of the tortilla. Because at this point, the top is still uncooked, carefully but quickly flip the skillet so the tortilla lands on the lid, then slide it back into the skillet so the cooked side is up.

Make sense?

Good.

Continue moving the skillet for about the same amount of time (you can even use a spatula to check to see if the underside is done)

Then, another vuelta, this one I had to do. Same routine with pressing the lid to the tortilla, but sliding it onto a plate rather than back into the skillet.

**There was going to be a photo of this milestone moment that I was about to reach…but then I almost burned myself on the skillet and Teresa had to save the tortilla from crashing onto the floor. Thus, the camera was forgotten. BUT all is well. My tortilla was saved!**

Viola!!
Viola!!

Usually, Teresa will add asparagus, chorizo sausage, spinach, or peppers! We kept it simple for my first time. But I know it won’t be my last!!

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