A Spanish tortilla (or a tortilla española) is an easy potato omelet/omelette that’s naturally gluten free.
The whirlwind of debates, commercials, slogans, rallies and corn dogs otherwise known as the US presidential primaries is heading west. And south.
For some reason the Democrats and Republics follow different primary schedules. While the Democratic candidates are heading west to Nevada for the February 20 caucus, the Republicans are traveling down to South Carolina. Then the Republican Nevada caucus is on February 23, and the Democrats hold their South Carolina primary on February 27.
Why don’t both parties just vote on the same day at the same time? I guess that would make too much sense.
The Silver State’s food scene isn’t just about shrimp cocktails and all-you-can-eat buffets in Las Vegas. Northern Nevada is home to a sizeable population of Basque Americans. The Basques are originally from a region in southern France and northern Spain traditionally known – logically enough – as Basque Country.
As you can imagine, traditional Basque cuisine was influenced by the flavors and dishes of France and Spain. And that brings me to this tortilla, which (from what I can gather) is a feature of both Spanish and Basque cuisines.
Clearly, we’re not talking about the tortilla that holds your burrito together here.
A Spanish or Basque tortilla is actually an omelet (or omelette, if you prefer). Typically, it’s made with potatoes and onions, but there are a million variations of this simple dish.
For my tortilla, I decided to stick to the traditional potato and onion combination, but jazz it up ever-so-slightly with fresh thyme and a little parmesan cheese.
Then we come to cooking the tortilla. Traditionally, a tortilla is made entirely on the stove. If your flipping skills are anything like mine, that would end in disaster. I can flip palm-sized pancakes easily enough (only after lots of practice), but flipping a giant omelet? Best case scenario: I’d be left with scrambled eggs.
To flip the tortilla, most recipes out there call for inverting the tortilla onto a plate, and then sliding it back into the skillet. That still seemed too hard for me (have I mentioned that I have butterfingers!?).
So instead I avoided the whole flipping/inverting/sliding process altogether. For this recipe, you cook the tortilla on the stove until the edges are set, and then place it under the broiler (also known as an oven grill) until the top is lightly browned. Easy.
But whatever you do, don’t walk away from the tortilla and forget it’s in the broiler. Seriously, don’t (I speak from experience).
Being an omelet, you could obviously serve this tortilla for breakfast – or as part of a brunch. But it also makes for an easy dinner when paired with a salad or some vegetables. It would also be a nice side dish for a Spanish or Mexican themed meal.
Alternatively, you could follow an old Spanish trick, and sandwich a slice of tortilla between two pieces of crusty bread.
(That last one’s highly recommended).
- 1 pound (455g) medium potatoes
- 1 medium brown onion
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) olive oil
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons (10g) finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the potatoes and place them in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, add ½ teaspoon of salt, and bring to the boil. Boil for 11 – 14 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost cooked but are still a little hard.
- Drain, and place the potatoes on some sheets of paper towel. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them thinly and set aside.
- Cut the onion in half, and then thinly slice into half moons.
- In a medium-sized skillet, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and starting to turn lightly golden.
- Add the sliced potatoes, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes to remove excess water from the potatoes. Transfer the onion and potatoes to a bowl to cool slightly. Preheat the broiler (oven grill).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, parmesan cheese, thyme leaves, ½ teaspoon of salt and several dashes of black pepper. Stir in the onion and potatoes.
- Preheat the medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Grease the skillet with cooking oil spray, and then pour in the egg mixture.
- Cook the tortilla for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the edges are set but the tortilla is still undercooked in the middle.
- Transfer the skillet to the broiler (oven grill), and broil for 2 – 6 minutes, or until the top of the tortilla is lightly browned.
- Let the tortilla sit for 5 minutes before cutting into slices, if possible.
Four medium-sized potatoes are approximately equal to one pound.