It’s food time!!!!
I love eating, but I’m so extremely picky~~ it’s all my father’s “fault”, if you could even blame him for this at all. My dad is an excellent cook. My family runs a Chinese restaurant, considered by many the best in my city, and not only he cooks at the restaurant, he also loves cooking at home on his days off. It is quite unusual to find a cook who is still willing to cook and create outside of his work time~ but my family is just lucky enough 🙂
Anyway, because my dad always cooked me anything I wanted and exactly the way I wanted, I turned out to be quite picky, and one of the hardest parts about living in Korea is to find food that’s tasty yet healthy for me. So the only option I have left, is to cook by myself. Unfortunately, I can only do this from time to time, and I’m not far as good nor experienced as my dad. But hey, I have started cooking and it’s not that bad either ^^ hopefully my gens got some cooking talent!
Today I want to introduce a very Spanish dish. It sounds plain, but it’s such a confort food for me and many other Spaniards abroad, that I wanted to start with this one instead of the classical Paella (which I have never cooked anyway).
The Spanish Omelette! Tortilla Española!
Please do not confuse a Spanish omelette with a French omelette, because although we both use eggs, ours usually have potatoes and are more fulfilling, being even a full dish by itself.
And please do not confuse it with a Mexican tortilla because these two have absolutely nothing in common!
A Mexican tortilla is used to wrap food, and it’s made out of wheat or corn. Spanish tortilla is made of eggs, potatoes, onions and/or other ingredients and you cannot wrap things in it. Actually, the reason why the names are similar and confusing, is because Mexican tortillas come from the “tortas”.
After these 2 clarifications, let’s finally see what a Spanish Omelette (from now on just “Tortilla”) looks like:
There are many types of tortillas, almost as many as cooks & mums (that cook). It is one of those dishes that are so easy to change and adapt, but yet it always remains a Tortilla. You can eat it in different ways: on a plate, inside a “bocadillo” (something like a sub), on a pintxo (refer to the pic), etc.
You could change the looks and taste of a tortilla by playing with the amount of eggs to potatoes, with the way of cooking the potatoes (boiled or fried), with the time you leave the potatoes on the egg, or with the time you leave the omelette on the pan.
You can also add virtually anything into the mix. Some popular choices are Spanish chorizo or vegetables. But even top chefs from Spain are playing with traditional recipees and making new textures out of tortilla. If you know about cooks, you probably have heard of Ferran Adrià; he has popularised a Tortilla made with potato chips, rather than natural potatoes, to add a crunchy consistency to the omelette. Must try!
In any case, I am presenting today a recipee for a very basic potato omelette. I am not sure where it came from, but it’s a combination of an online recipee I found and the advice from my father, my cousin David, and a woman that worked for my aunt, who made the yummiest omelettes. It is beginners level, and all you need is fresh ingredients and the right cooking pan. Without those, even the most basic recipee could go wrong ^^ Are you ready?
Tortilla de papas Mimi [style A]
For a small omelette (3~4 people as starters) you will need:
- A pan conceived for Tortillas. I have a set that has 2 small pans that can be attached to each other, perfect for flipping things! This might be hard to find here, so just use any flat pan with a plate of similar size. If you’re making a small omelette for 2~4 people, I recommend a small pan. If it’s too big, the omelette will come out too flat and harder to flip.
- 6 Eggs (mine were medium~small)
- 4 Potatoes (mine were medium~big)
- 1 Onion (optional)
- Olive Oil for cooking (I used canola oil for the frying part, but olive oil for the tortilla cooking. If olive oil is affordable, use only olive oil)
How to do it:
Preparation of the ingredients:
- Wash and peel potatoes, then cut them into thin slices. Try to make them of the same thickness. Put in a bowl with water for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients..
- Beat the eggs in a bowl.
- Peel and cut the onion in small pieces.
Starting to cook:
- Put the pan on the fire, heat the oil and introduce onions.
- When onions are brown, put aside. On the same pan, add enough oil to cover a layer of potatoes and fry. Add more oil later if necessary.
- When you finish frying all the potatoes, put them back in the big bowl together with the onion. Stir, and add the egg to the mix. Mix well together.
- Clean the pan of oil and possible leftovers with a tissue, and then add some olive oil (maybe a spoonful but not much). Pour in the tortilla mix (eggs, potatoes and onions, all well mixed together).
- Let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, depending on the egg cooking grade that you like. I like omelettes a bit juicy, rather than well cooked, so I don’t leave it for too long. Also bear in mind the thickness of the omelette. If it’s really thick, it will need some more time (and therefore, use a low-medium fire instead of medium).
- Flip the tortilla! This is fun, but can ruin completely the looks of your tortilla. So you will need to use a big plate enough to cover the pan, or have mastered the ability of flipping food on the pan… If you are lucky to have a pan like mine, all you do is connect the 2 pans, and flip the omelette. Still, the key is in doing it fast, without hesitation. Once you flipped it, you can still fix it if it broke a bit. Good luck! 🙂
Tortilla de papas Mimi [style B]
This is a slight variation that I use most of the times. If you have some more time to cook and want a slightly healthier Tortilla, get a pot with boiliing water and boil the potatoes (full pieces, not cut yet) while you bat the eggs and cut the onions. When the potatoes start to soften, but not too much, take them out, slice then, and fry them with the onions (step 2 of the normal version).
Like this, you can avoid using so much oiil for frying, but you need to add one extra step for boiling the potatoes and take a look at them. Overcooked potatoes will make a bad tortilla, so get them on the point when it’s possible to pierce through most of it but not all! Also, don’t burn yourself while cutting hot potatoes ^^