A simple dish, apparently. Eggs, potatoes and, if you want, some onion. Just that. This dish, tortilla de patata in Spanish, is typical of my country, Spain. You can find it everywhere, in bars, restaurants and of course in every home.
You can make your omelette with or without onion. When I was a kid I preferred it without onion but now I like it with a bit of onion. It gives the omelette a special taste.
To make a small omelette you will need:
A quarter of a medium onion (if you decide to put onion in the omelette)
3 medium potatoes
Oil (olive oil or some other healthy vegetable oil)
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk
It seems a simple dish but believe me, it is not easy to make a tortilla de patata. Beginners will realize soon but I encourage you to try, it is worth it.
There are different ways of making a Spanish omelette. I will describe the way I use.
First we will chop the onion, if used. Then we will prepare the potatoes. First, pealing them and then cutting them in pieces resembling a quarter of a dollar, but thicker. Some people cut them in bigger slices, others even in cubes. You choose. When I prepare the onions and potatoes, I put the cut pieces on a dish that I will use later to turn the omelette over. It must be a big dish, slightly bigger than the frying pan you will use to cook the omelette. I use a plastic dish, a light but firm one.
Well, then we have to fry the onions and potatoes. I use a frying pan that I only use to make Spanish omelette. Tortillas love their pans and don’t like sharing them with other dishes. I don’t use too much oil for frying the onions and potatoes. I don’t want my omelette to be too oily. I prefer to be stirring the pieces of potato so that they fry evenly and don’t get stuck to the pan. You can use olive oil or some other healthy vegetable oil. You choose. Once the onions and potatoes are fried, I remove the frying pan from the stove.
Then I beat the eggs, adding baking powder, salt and milk. You must be sure you will have enough to make the omelette evenly.
Once you have the eggs ready, put the pan on the stove again, at medium heat, and pour the eggs on the pan over the potatoes. Make sure the eggs are evenly spread.
You must be sure the omelette doesn’t get stuck to the pan. I use a wooden spatula to make sure that doesn’t happen, applying it in the outer part of the pan. And something very important, shake the pan, avoid the sticking.
Once you think the omelette is a bit done, take the pan out of the stove, and over the sink, just in case, put the plastic dish on the pan and carefully turn it over. You will have the omelette on the dish now. Put it now in the pan again and back to the stove so the other side is cooked. Keep on shaking the pan. I recommend that you turn over the omelette several times; it is the best way of making sure it doesn’t get stuck and it is evenly cooked. Use the spatula in the outer part of the pan to give the omelette a wonderful rounded rim.
Some people cook it in a different way. Once they have the fried potatoes and the eggs beaten, they mix it in a bowl and then they pour it in the frying pan, adding oil if necessary. Then they proceed in the same way I have said. You choose; maybe this way is easier for beginners.
You can eat the tortilla as a tapa, a little piece on a slice of bread or in a bocadillo, a sandwich made with a baguette. And on a dish, of course. Enjoy.