- About 1 cup California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 6 large eggs
- 2 or 3 ounces serrano ham or dry chorizo, diced (optional)
- 4 whole piquillo peppers or 1 large roasted red bell pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
In a 10-inch frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add half of the potato slices and fry, turning once or twice, until tender yet still
firm and not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t worry if they stick to one another a little. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a platter and
season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining potato slices to the pan, cook them the same way, and transfer them to the platter and season with
salt and pepper. Pour out the oil and reserve. Set the pan aside.
In a smaller frying pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook, stirring from time to time,
until soft and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the potatoes, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to distribute evenly. Fold in the ham
and peppers, if using.
Return the pan used for the potatoes to medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup of the reserved oil. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg mixture.
Let the eggs set without stirring, but shake the pan from time to time to make sure they are not sticking. After 3 to 4 minutes, cover the pan,
reduce the heat to low, and cook until the bottom of the omelet is set and golden, the top edges are set, and the center is almost set, about 8 minutes.
Invert a large plate or lid on top of the frying pan, invert the plate and pan together, and lift off the pan. Add a bit more oil to the pan,
and then slide the tortilla, browned side up, back into the pan. Cook until the eggs are set on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
(Alternatively, omit flipping the omelet and instead finish cooking it in a preheated 400°F just until the top is set, about 8 minutes.)
Slide the omelet out onto a plate. Let it cool a bit and then sprinkle with the parsley. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Spanish: fino sherry (Jerez), Garnacha rosé (Navarre)
- Non-Spanish: Pinot Blanc (California, France), dry rosé (Rhône Valley, France; California)
Most of us are acquainted with the Mexican tortilla, a griddle-cooked corn-flour or wheat-flour pancake. But in Spain,
a tortilla is a firm omelet, much like an Italian frittata. Traditionally, it is cooked in a generous amount of olive oil in a well-seasoned
cast-iron skillet, but I have found that a nonstick pan is a good alternative. Here, I have used a 10-inch pan, but you can use an 8-inch pan and
reduce the ingredient amounts proportionately to make a smaller omelet that will yield 4 servings.
This potato and onion tortilla, commonly thought to have originated in Castile, and a tapas bar classic, is sometimes made with potatoes only,
or with the addition of a little chorizo or ham and/or peppers. But many other types are also made, from mushroom to caramelized onion to samfaina.
Typically, the tortillas are cut into wedges or squares and served at room temperature. At the popular Cal Pep, one of best tapas bars in Barcelona,
the tortilla arrives with a layer of alioli spread on top. At other bars, alioli is sometimes served on the side.
Traditional recipes call for starting with sliced raw potatoes and cooking them in a generous amount of olive oil. To save time—and for a slightly
less oily tortilla—you can parboil the potatoes until they are cooked through but still firm and then fry them in just half the amount of oil called
for in the recipe. Russets have relatively soft pulp, so they will absorb more oil and will have a more tender texture. Yukon Golds, which are firmer,
tend to hold their shape better. The russets are sliced before parboiling, but the Yukon Golds can be parboiled whole and then sliced. In either case,
be careful not to overcook the potatoes. They should be cooked through but still firm.
Oven cooking: You can cook the omelet in the oven, which is foolproof and stress free, though it will not be as creamy in the center. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally oil a 7-by-11-by-2-inch baking dish (Pyrex is ideal) or an ovenproof 10-inch frying pan. Pour in the egg mixture and bake until the eggs are set and the top is lightly colored, 20 to 25 minutes. If you used a baking dish, run a knife around the inside edge of the dish to loosen the omelet and cut into squares to serve. If you used a sauté pan, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the omelet, slide it out onto a plate, and cut into wedges to serve.
Recipe Credit: Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain (Chronicle Books, 2009),
by Joyce Goldstein. Reprinted with permission from the publisher