Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...


In honor of winning the World Cup, this week’s Food Find goes to Spain! Tortilla Española is a traditional Spanish dish that is eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a tapa. It is served hot, cold, or at room temperature. Basically, it’s acceptable to eat however you want, whenever you want, which, once you taste it, could be quite often. When eaten as a meal, it is traditionally served with a mixed salad and some fresh crusty bread. My personal favorite is a freshly made tortilla that has been cooled off to room temperature. In Spain, you’ll find this dish on every tapas menu you see, and if you don’t you should probably go somewhere else! Many people confuse the tortilla, also known as tortilla de patatas, with the Italian frittata, but the two are not the same. The Spanish tortilla is cooked only in a pan on the stovetop, not baked in the oven. The tortilla de patatas is also much different than the Mexican tortilla, which is in an entirely different category of food! The tortilla española is quite thick (about an inch) and consists mostly of potatoes that have been thinly sliced and cooked in oil. The entire thing is bound together by egg and flavored with onion, salt and pepper, and is gently fried on both sides, until brown and crisp. It is moist, but not wet, on the inside, and holds together well, but is not rubbery. It is traditionally served in slices, or wedges, like a pie. A properly made tortilla is not only delicious, but quite satisfying too, and a great food to eat or make on the cheap, since it originated from the poor. It’s also a fun dish because you can adapt the ingredients to your liking. Popular additions are ham, spinach, and green and red bell pepper. If you can’t make it to Spain anytime soon, just try out the below recipe. No matter what you put in it or when or how you eat it, the tortilla española is a great way for the budget traveler to enjoy a delicious taste of Spain!

Tortilla Española

1 cup olive oil

four large potatoes (peel and cut into small pieces about 2mm thick)

salt to taste

one large onion, thinly sliced

four large eggs

Some people add thin slices of red pepper together with the onion.

Heat the oil in a 9-inch skillet, add potato pieces, one slice at a time so that they don't stick. Alternate layers of potato and onion. COOK slowly, medium flame. DO NOT FRY!! Turn occasionally until potatoes are tender, but NOT brown. They must be loose, not "in a cake".

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a fork. Salt to taste. Drain potatoes. Add potatoes to beaten eggs, pressing them so that eggs cover them completely. Let sit for 15 minutes. Heat 2 tbsps of the oil in large skillet. Add potato-egg mixture, spreading quickly. Lower the heat to medium-high. Shake pan to prevent sticking (crucial step!!) When potatoes start to brown, put a plate on top skillet and flip to cook other side, adding another tbsp of oil. Brown on the other side. Can flip three or four times for better cooking.

*Photo from

*Recipe from Dean Derhak at

Enjoying our "Food Finds"? Leave a COMMENT and let us know!

No comments:

Post a Comment