After paella, tortilla Española is Spain's most well known dish. Similar to an omelette, this tasty dish of eggs, potato, and onion is consumed day and night, hot or cold, all over the country. I've had many tortillas in my life, but none are as good as Santos's famous tortilla. I was recently in Spain and was lucky enough to chat with 80 year old Santos. He still frequents his bar everyday for a slice of the tortilla that's four inches thick.
The balance of the simple egg and onion flavors is sheer culinary bliss. Located next to the historic Mezquita, this crowded bar is a landmark in itself. Santos refused to reveal the secret to his tremendous tortilla, but I'm assuming practice and love are two of the ingredients. To take a look at a recipe and all of the pics from my afternoon excursion to Santos,
From The Cuisines of Spain: Exploring Regional Home Cooking by Teresa Barrenechea
1 cup olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
6 white or red boiling potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Slice the potatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces and place in a large bowl. With a cotton cloth or paper towels, dry the slices well.
- Pour the olive oil into a 9-inch, nonstick pan (preferably with slanted sides) and heat over high setting for two minutes, until almost smoking. Add the potatoes carefully (to minimize splattering oil) so they cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 7 minutes over medium heat then add the onions, spreading them over the potatoes.
- Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes turn golden (do not let the onions burn). Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and onions onto several layers of paper towels. Reserve the oil in a container.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the potato mixture and stir gently. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Wipe out the pan and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil. Place the pan over high heat. When oil is extremely hot but not smoking, add the egg mixture. Cook for 30 seconds, gently shaking the pan to distribute the mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the surface is nearly cooked but still runny.
- Remove pan from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Place a large plate over the pan. Holding the handle of the pan in one hand and the plate in the other, flip the omelet quickly and remove the pan. (If you are unsure of this, slip the omelet, semi-cooked side up, onto a plate, then cover with another plate and flip).
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan over high heat for 1 minute. Gently slide the tortilla, semi-cooked side down, into the pan. Cook for 1 minute. Slide the tortilla onto a warm platter.
Serves 4 to 6.