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Spanish Potato Omelette (Tortilla de Patatas)

After a couple of crazy weeks at work and at home, I decided that all I wanted for Christmas was to be home all day, in my pjs , something that ended up working well, as it has been a rainy day here in Brooklyn and Dad Vivant and the girls were all sickly with that cold that seems to keep on giving.  But of course, being that it IS Christmas Day after all, I was getting a bit homesick (missing turrones and not having won the lotería de Navidad) and not feeling like cooking too much, so I decided to make a tortilla de patatas for dinner.

This recipe is totally unscientific, but then, if I got away with it, anyone can pull it off and have a little tapas party at home.

What you will need:

– 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
– 1/4 of a large Spanish onion (optional)
– 3 large eggs
– Sea salt & fresh pepper
– Vegetable and olive oil


As you can see, the unscientific part of this recipe is the measurements, as ingredients are measured on the go. As far as the onions, they are totally optional and Spain seems to be divided between those who believe that a tortilla shouldn’t have, under any circumstance, onions in it and those (like me) who believe that of course they should. And now, to the how-to part:

– Peel potatoes and rinse them.

– Chop the potatoes and the onions. Given that it takes forever to do this on the traditional chopping board and that I am no patient Martha Stewart, I resort to our useful second-hand Cuisinart PowerPrep Plus® (for those who know me, this was a gift for Dad Vivant that I wouldn’t have dreamt of using in a thousand years, but then, it has apparently come handy to prep latkes, tortillas de patatas and frozen margaritas) and use one of those slicing discs it came with (had to ask Dad Vivant which one to use, so now you know that I don’t cook that much).



– In the meantime, start heating quite a bit of oil (enough to cover your potatoes and (or lack of) onions) in a big skillet. I usually use vegetable oil and add a bit of olive oil so its flavor is not too overpowering, but some people prefer to use olive oil only. Salt and pepper the potatoes and onions.

– Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes and onions. Lower the fire a bit and cook the potatoes until tender but not brown. This should take about 10-15 minutes and make sure that you move them around to make sure that they cook evenly.


– Crack the eggs and beat them with a pinch of sea salt (our favorite is Maldon) and some fresh pepper.

– Drain the cooked potatoes and onions and transfer to the egg batter. Mix well the potatoes and onions with the eggs.

– Using a smaller non stick skillet (I prefer one of about 8 inches in diameter, or small enough that a big plate would cover it), heat some olive oil. Once it is hot enough, add the potatoes and eggs mix and flatten it with a spatula so it is even. Reduce the heat so the inside will cook without burning the outside.


– And now the fun thing, flipping the tortilla. Using a big dish, cover the skillet and use it to flip the tortilla back on the other side into the skillet (yeah, who would have thought that cooking tapas could give you amazing forearms, huh? It does take some practice and I have killed a couple of tortillas in the process, that is why I prefer smaller and more manageable skillets). Let the other side cook. You will know it is fully cooked when you insert a toothpick or a knife and it comes out dry.

– Transfer to a dish and let it cool. Enjoy with some manchego and some wine or an iced cold beer.