Friday, July 11, 2008

The Champion's Tortilla de Papas Step-by-step

So I didn't win the lottery, but Spain won the Soccer Eurocup!

A while ago I promised to make something in honor of the next European soccer champion, who later turned out to be my beloved Spain. I was going to do something sweet, but after two suggestions to cook a Spanish potato tortilla I decided that was exactly what I was going to do. And so I did.

I lived in Spain for 3 years and loved it! I loved the people, the way of life, and of course, the food. Before moving there I had tried to make potato tortillas a couple of times, but without great results. It's such a simple thing, with very little ingredients but it has it's tricks.

Luckly one of my Spanish housemates (who was studing to be a chef) made the best ever tortilla de papas (potatos)! She used to make it almost everyweek for us and from watching her I think I can now make a fine one as well, which is quite impressive considering I'm not Spanish!

Original tortillas have just potatos and onions (and eggs obviosly), but often chorizo or other meats or vegetables are added. Today I've kept it simple.

There isn't really a recipe since you can do them to your liking. The only secret it has is to use less eggs than you think you're going to need. I'll give you the amounts for the one I made, that will serve 1 very hungry person or 2 persons that don't eat much.


  • 1 small onion
  • 3 medium potatos
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • Vegetable oil for frying the potatos
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating your vegetable oil in a frying pan. Peel and cut the potatos. Tere (my housemate) used to cut them in half lengthwise and then in slices, and that's the way I do it. Deepfry them in the hot oil but don't let them get to crispy (makes a dry tortilla). As soon as they're soft take them out onto a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. While the potatos are frying cut the onion the same way.

Discard the vegetable oil or save it for another time. In a small frying pan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the onion. Let it soften and get a bit golden.

In a bowl put your cooked potatoes and onions. Break the eggs to a small container and wisk with a fork (don't over wisk), add salt and pepper to you taste and poor them over the potatos and onions. Mix carefully so you don't break the potatoes and don't worry if you feel there's not enough egg. In a frying pan (for taller tortillas use small ones, but if you prefer them flat use a larger pan) heat the rest of the olive oil for 1 minute or less and poor the all mix into it. Press very lightly with a spoon to make sure everything is even. Reduce the heat to low or medium low and let cook.

As the bottom and sides get cooked, if you gently shake the pan you'll see the tortilla loosing from the sides. When they start to brown it's time to turn it over. Remember you're not doing pancakes, so don't try to flip this if you don't want to make a huge mess. Just get a small plate (for easier handling) and invert the tortilla onto it. Carefull slide the tortilla back into the pan (uncooked side down) with the help of a spatula.

If you want cover with a leed to promote more heat, but you don't have to. Let cook and you can check on doneness with a cut down the center. Some people like their tortillas runny, others very well done. Me, I'm not the raw eggs kind, but dry tortillas are not my favourite either, so I take the middle path of compromise and make them cooked all the way, but still very moist.

The heat in the eggs will continuing to cook the tortilla, so turn off the heat a bit before achieving the perfect texture for you. In Spain usually they eat it warm as a meal, or cold as tapas. Leftover tortilla with mayo makes a wonderful sandwich. Potatos and bread, you ask. Try it, I answer!

I'm gonna send this over to Cathy @ Noble Pig for her Potato Ho-Down event! I love potatoes, so I can't wait for the round-up to check all the other spuds out. Thanks to other Cathy @ Where's my damn answer, for pointing this event out to me.

UPDATE: The roundup is up! Check the great potato recipes here!

Now get a nice glass of chilled sangria, grab a wedge of my tortilla and repeat after me: Viva la España!


Prudy said...

Pase un verano en Cadiz. Me encanta la comida de Espana, sobre todo las tortillas de papa. Gracias por otra receta rica. Quiero hacer una tortilla para el desayuno. YUM!

Kristen said...

That looks amazing!
Congrats to Spain :)

tanya said...

Those look amazing! I love the pictures you took to accompany the recipe. I've been to Spain only once and was there for just one day, but what I did see has made me want to go back so badly!

Cathy C said...

Wow does this look great - you need to submit this to Noble Pigs potato ho down contest. Congrats to Spain as well and thanks to Spain for making some kick ass WINE.

Great recipe

Adam said...

You're right, the ingredients are pretty simple... but there's a good amount of technique there. You look like you knew exactly what to do though. The Tortilla looks nice and golden. Nice job!

Lore said...

Why, why don't we live in the same neighborhood????
The part with the turning over is looks so intimidating to me that I have yet to try making a tortilla. Yours is first on my list though. Bookmarked!

Steph said...

Oh. My. That looks amazing! I must make this for breakfast tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipe!

Jenny said...

Oh man, I've never seen a dish quite like this before, I'd have no trouble chowing down on this. Beautiful pics!

Kevin said...

That Spanish potato tortilla looks really good! Perfectly golden brown.

ingegerd said...

hi,the pollycake is a typ of brownie a verry soft cake.
3/4cup+2tbs granulate sugar
7oz chocolate,dark
3½ butter
1/3+2tbs all-purpose flour
polly 1 bag (chocolate candy)

melt butter and cocolate stir all together,por in a pan .oven 350°F
icecream or whipping cream are god to the cake.(my english aren so god,i hope you understand what i wrote!?)

Emiline said...

Sangria? Yes!

I'm going to try making this, for sure. It sounds so good. I hope I can make it right.

Zita said...

I second you, Viva la Espana!!, I miss verona en barcelona :(
I was looking for simple recipe for lunch, hope can do this one for tomorrow's :)

Zita said...

sorry I meant verano, typho from the heat ;)

A&N said...

That looks hearty! And it must feel even more rewarding when it comes out right after a couple of attempts ;)

Lisa said...

Looks delicious! never made one before so I will have to try soon.

noble pig said...

This is so awesome, thanks for your entry...did you see the little potato ho badge on my should put that little tramp right next to these spuds!

Thanks again! Nice site too!

Lina said...

way to celebrate spain's victory! :)

Katrina said...

Except that I don't like onions and never cook with them, this looks so good. Tempting to try it without the onions. Love how crispy on the outside and soft on the inside it looks.
Yes, The Ultimate NY Times cookies are huge. The recipes says 3 1/2 oz., which is what I've done. Although, I've made a new batch today to give to people tomorrow and baked a few off with only 2 oz. and they are still plenty big, so I will be doing 2 oz. from now on. But if you really want to surprise someone, make them one of these giant cookies. They are fun!

Anonymous said...

my in -laws are from spain, so I know about tortilla de papas, an boy let me tell you: you have my mother in law's recipe! Congrats! Your, recipe, cooking directions and pictures are superb.

Mari Rezende said...

This tortilla recipe looks awesome!

morgana said...

Ay... Qué recuerdos puede evocar este plato tan sencillo y tan rico. Seguro que todos los españoles la asocian a las excursiones al campo de la niñez (hormigas incuidas) o a las comidas de verano. Y los bocadillos de esta tortilla son buenísimos también, imprescindibles de las excursiones, en los días de piscina o incluso de playa.

Y qué decir de los pinchos de tortilla de los bares acompañados de unas buenas y fresquitas cañas de cerveza... ¡¡¡ Qué hambre me está entrando !!!

EAT! said...

A glass of sangria and a slice of your tortilla would be heaven!!

Kim said...

This is hands down the best Tortilla de Papas that I have ever seen. Thanks for the turtorial.

Prudy said...

Clumbsy Cookie:
I should have asked you about the pudding ice cream. I'm just glad it worked. I can't believe that you churn creme brulee-that sounds so so yummy. I've got to give it a try. I never did get to try tocino del cielo.

Sharon said...

That is one good looking Spanish Tortilla! I'm instantly hungry.

Indigo said...

Ah, I've just come back off holiday to Spain (Mallorca though, so it was more partying than culture ^__^)! This looks gorgeous; definitely making this.

Lisa said...

I just popped in quickly to make sure I had your first name right, as didn't want to call you 'Clumbsy' in my reply to your 'sweet' post on my figgy apple tart (pun NOT intended), and what do I see? One of the most amazing frittata's I've ever seen. I must make this soon! :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Prudy- Espero que la hagas y que te salga bien! Oh yes I love churned creme brulée with caramel sause over it. Yummy!

Kristen- Thanks!

Tanya- One day? You have to go back!

Cathy C- Thanks for telling me that, I did send the recipe over to Noble Pig!

Adam- Simple ingredients but it turns out so tasty everytime!

Lore- You can allways move! The apartment next to mine is for renting, lol!

Steph- I really hope you do it!

Jenny- No, I don't think you would have any problem, lol!

Kevin- Golden brown is the key!

Ingegerd- oh thank you, that was very sweet of you. My sweedish is not great, ahahah!

Emiline- Of course you can! Oh yes sangria rocks!

Zita- I might go to barcelona in 2 weeks, never been there!

A&N- Yes, you're so right!

Lisa- Try it, you'll love it!

Cathy- I've put the badge! Thanks!

Lina- I would have loved to do a portuguese recipe to celebrate Portugal's victory, but oh well Spain is the closest thing after all!

Katrina- I often make it without onions, I'm not crazy about them either.

Anonymous- Glad to know I have the original recipe!

Mari- Obrigada querida!

Morgana- Es verdad! La tortilla es buena de todas las maneras!

Amy- Heaven can be simple sometimes!

Kim- Oh thank you, glad you liked it!

Sharon- I'm allways hungry whenever I see one too!

Indigo- Mallorca? You must have had some seroius fun!

Lisa- I'm Rita, lol!

Tartelette said...

Anything with potatoes and you see me running! And since I have not had breakfast yet..I am running!!

Krysta said...

this is the best recipe i have seen for the potato ho down. i'm going to have to make this soon. thanks for joining in on the ho down fun!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Helen- Don't worry! I would be running right after you...

Krysta- Oh thank you! This was actually a lot of fun! I hope you make it and love it as much as I do!

Anonymous said...

Rita, how did you know i loooove Tortilla de papas?? Thank you for sharing your technique. It looks perfect! Since i'm such a slow learner you'll have to give me a live demonstration when you come visit. :)

Jude said...

Thanks for the detailed post. I've always wanted to make this but always run out of either eggs or potatoes for some reason :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Zen- Does that means I can cook in the big bossman kitchen stadium?

Jude- I hope you can make it someday!

TERESA said...


Tu tortilla tiene una pinta estupenda, pero ahora que conoces bien la técnica, me atrevo a darte un consejo para que te salga más ligera, prueba a cambiar la cantidad de patatas y huevo, si le pones 2 patatas echale 4 huevos,siempre más huevo que patata y te saldrá mas esponjosa y ligera. Además te puedes ayudar poniendole al huevo batido una cucharadita de levadura, para que suba bien la tortilla.

Felicidades, no e facil y te ha salido de lujo¡¡¡¡¡¡

Saludos desde Madrid¡¡¡

Irina said...

I made it and it came out splendid, thank you!

kellypea said...

Mmmm...I can just taste it. Thanks for the link. I'll give this a try with my linguica tonight. Clams on the side.

Colloquial Cook said...

Sooo pretty! I love that you don't overbeat the eggs. Good girl. I hate it when people whisk the shit out of their omelette batter. Why homogeneous, for god's sake?? I'm passing this recipe on to my younger brother who was looking for cool dishes to impress girls.


Muy rico! Gracias por la receta.