A Spanish delight
Spanish potato tortilla
Carmen Lucy’s Tortilla
This cooking method may seem a little complicated at first, but try to muster the courage to try it. Flipping the tortilla for the first time can be scary, but the resulting dish is both delicious and economical. Serve a nice wedge alongside a green salad and a cold glass of cava.
Makes 12 appetizer servings or 6 entrée servings
For the tortilla:
1 ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
4-5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds
¾ cup green pepper, diced
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
For the garnish:
1 roasted red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons tortilla cooking oil
2 teaspoon sherry vinegar.
Salt and pepper
To prepare the tortilla, pour 1 cup olive oil into a 12” non-stick skillet with sloped sides (the pan should be about 2” deep). Cover the bottom of pan with 1/3 of the potatoes and top with ½ of the sliced onion. Sprinkle with green pepper and salt. Repeat the layers a second time and top with the final 1/3 of potatoes. The potatoes should come nearly to the top of the pan, but do not over fill. If you have a few extra potato slices simply discard them. Pour the remaining ½ cup olive oil over the potato mixture (potatoes should be nearly covered) and turn the heat to medium. Oil will begin to gently bubble; cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer. Take care that potatoes do not fry and turn brown; reduce heat if oil becomes too hot.
When potatoes are cooked through drain them in colander and reserve the oil (oil can be reused if desired). Transfer the drained potatoes to a large bowl and gently fold in the beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
Wipe out the pan and add 2 Tablespoon olive oil and heat it over high heat until very hot. Add the potato and egg mixture all at once and arrange potatoes gently with the back of a spatula so they are flat. Reduce heat slightly and allow the underside of the tortilla to cook until it is golden brown and crispy (about 10 minutes). The egg should be set near the edges and nearly set in the middle.
Meanwhile, make the topping: Heat 2 Tablespoons of reserved cooking oil and add the garlic and toast until golden brown. Remove from heat and mix in the roasted red peppers and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Run a spatula around the edge of the tortilla to loosen it. Remove the pan from the heat and place a large plate over the pan. Firmly hold the handle of the pan with your right hand, hold the plate in position with your left and quickly invert the pan to flip the tortilla onto the plate. It should fall right out.
Return the pan to the heat and gently slide the tortilla back into the pan with the raw side down. Continue cooking until a skewer comes out clean (about 10 minutes). Repeat the flipping process to turn the finished tortilla onto a serving platter. Cool to room temperature.
Slice into wedges and serve garnished with the red peppers.
Updated: May 25, 2012 10:58AM
My husband had the good fortune of hosting Luis, a Spanish exchange student, during high school, and his family had the good sense to preserve their relationship for decades.
As a result, I found myself in the kitchen years ago with Luis’s mother, Carmen Lucy. Clad in an American flag apron, she taught me how to make Tortilla Española; working together we sliced potatoes and simmered them gently in olive oil.
While I had never cooked anything in such copious amounts of oil, I was delighted to discover the resulting dish is not at all greasy. Ever since Carmen Lucy taught me how to make Tortilla Española, it has been one of my family’s favorite summer dishes.
Melissa Elsmo is an Oak Park mom, wife and chef/foodie. She speaks regularly about reclaiming the family dinner hour with nutritious meals. Check out her food blog at www.outofmelskitchen.blogspot.com.