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Spanish Tortilla

A Spanish tortilla is an omelette made with eggs and potato, and sometimes includes onions, chives or garlic; it is fried in oil. In Spanish, tortilla is a diminutive form of “torta,” which means cake. Thus, this dish could be called a savory potato cake. The addition of onions to this dish can be controversial; some people would argue that a true Spanish tortilla, or tortilla de papas, only consists of potatoes and egg. To avoid such controversy, please consider this recipe a tortilla de papas con cebolla. And accept that I pretend to have no authority on Spanish cuisine; I just find it delicious!

You will use a lot of extra virgin olive oil in this recipe to fry the potatoes; you will have a lot leftover. Please be sure to save this leftover oil in a tightly sealed jar. It is wonderfully flavored oil, great for using for future Spanish tortillas or other Spanish-influenced cuisine recipes. 

This recipe requires very few ingredients; the beauty of this dish is how a few very basic ingredients, when prepared well, can make for an incredibly sensory delight. This dish can be eaten warm or cold, and I often enjoy it more the next day. Enjoy!

2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes (do NOT use russet- you want a waxy potato to hold its shape)
1 sweet onion
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks

Using a knife or a mandoline, slice your potatoes to a thickness of 1/4 of a inch. Slice the onion from pole to pole the same thickness. Generously salt and pepper both  the onions and potatoes.

Place the olive oil into a large, nonstick skillet. Set the heat to medium. Add the potatoes and onions to the oil. Fry until the potatoes and onions are caramelized, golden brown and tender, turning them occasionally. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and egg yolks together until completely combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. 

With a slotted spoon, remove the hot potatoes and onions from the olive oil and place them into the egg mixture. Stir the eggs after each addition. This starts to cook the eggs, and lessens the time the tortilla with need to cook in the pan. Allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes; this allows the potato starch to release and thicken the eggs. Reserve the excess oil for another use.

Place an 8 inch non stick skillet over medium high heat; brush it with a little bit of the reserved olive oil. When the pan in hot, add the potatoes mixture into the skillet, smoothing the top. Cook the tortilla on each side for about 1 and a half to 2 minutes per side. (Use a plate to help you flip the tortilla)

Once golden brown on both sides, slide the tortilla out onto a clean plate. Let the tortilla rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy hot or cold!


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