A Sunday Spanish Brunch: Tortilla de Patatas

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For this Sunday’s breakfast in Bed(Stuy), we’re continuing my recent love affair with Spain with a classic dish, Tortilla de Patatas or a Spanish Omelet.
Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas
This meal today was inspired by my parent’s recent trip to Northern Spain. As I mentioned not too long ago, they had an amazing trip, eating and drinking to their heart’s content. While abroad, they brought me back this book from San Sebastian all about “pintxos,” which are the tapas and bar snacks of Northern Spain. (Fun fact: pintxo or pincho means thorn or spike in Spanish and these snacks are named as such for the tooth picks with which they are commonly served.)
Some of the most well known pintxo include the Gilda (a bite of anchovy, green olive and quindilla pepper), Patatas Bravas, garlic prawns and this Spanish omelet. A typical night out in Basque country would include hitting up a few bars, sampling a few pintxo at each with a glass of beer or wine, ceremonially throwing your napkin on the floor to signify you’re finish and then paying the bartender before heading to the next establishment. Oh, how I need to get myself to Spain!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas

And while I’ve never partaken in a pintxo crawl or even set foot in Spain, I do have fond memories of this particular Spanish favorite!

My Spanish friend Albert once made this dish for us while we were at a film program in Paris using our tiny apartment kitchen to prepare it. We gorged ourselves on the Spanish omelet he and his friend had made, while enjoying dry cured meats and cheeses over good conversation! It was the first time I had had more traditional Spanish food and its stayed a favorite of mine ever since.

This dish can take a bit of practice to perfect – the omelet flip can be a bit tough. I think my frying pan was too small for all my potatoes and onions so on my first try the omelet came apart. On my second try though, adding more eggs to balance out my potatoes and onions, it was perfect. A good glug of olive oil is key in this recipe for the potatoes, onions and eggs to fry in. It’s a hearty brunch meal that would be perfect with a little meat and cheese or maybe even a salad.

Tortilla de Patatas
2 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thin and quartered
1.2 white onion, finely sliced
salt
6 eggs
olive oil
 

Heat a generous amount of oil and fry the potatoes and onions with a pinch of salt until tender for about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent them from sticking or browning. Remove from the heat and drain the excess oil. Let the potato mixture cool to room temperature.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat well. Add the potatoes, onions and a large pinch of salt to the eggs.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas

Add 2 tbsp of oil to a small frying pan over high heat. Ladle the egg and potato mixture into the pan until it is 3/4 full. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until egg begins to cook. Turn down the heat and let the tortilla cook until the egg becomes slightly firm around the edges.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas

Delicately loosen the outer edge of the tortilla with a spatula. Cover the pan with a large plate. In one quick but controlled motion, flip the pan onto the plate. Beware of the runny egg and hot skillet. Now, carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan from the plate to cook the other side.

Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. The egg inside should be cooked, yet not too dry, as the Tortilla is much tastier when it’s slightly runny.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tortilla de Patatas

I tried my hand at a couple pintxo recently with the guidance of this book. I’ll share some of those later this week but in the meantime, enjoy this Spanish omelet!

As they say in Catalan, bon profit or que aprofiti!

Tortilla de Patatas
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thin and quartered
  • 1.2 white onion, finely sliced
  • salt
  • 6 eggs
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat a generous amount of oil and fry the potatoes and onions with a pinch of salt until tender for about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent them from sticking or browning. Remove from the heat and drain the excess oil. Let the potato mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat well. Add the potatoes, onions and a large pinch of salt to the eggs.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of oil to a small frying pan over high heat. Ladle the egg and potato mixture into the pan until it is ¾ full. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until egg begins to cook. Turn down the heat and let the tortilla cook until the egg becomes slightly firm around the edges.
  4. Delicately loosen the outer edge of the tortilla with a spatula. Cover the pan with a large plate. In one quick but controlled motion, flip the pan onto the plate. Beware of the runny egg and hot skillet. Now, carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan from the plate to cook the other side.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. The egg inside should be cooked, yet not too dry, as the Tortilla is much tastier when it's slightly runny.
 

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