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Spanish tortilla is a great thing to make for parties, but also perfect for dinner or a simple snack. And since it’s equally delicious served hot or cold, leftovers are never a problem. The olive oil ends up deeply flavored from the potato and onion, and can be used over and over again. It’s an incredibly simple dish, but there is a lot of variation for personal preference, and it goes great with almost anything.
8 extra large eggs or 10 medium eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (Yukon gold is great, you can also use a starchy potato like russet if you prefer a creamier texture), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 pound Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 liter of olive oil
Place both halves of a spanish tortilla pan* over medium heat and add the potatoes to one and the onions to another, cover with olive oil and bring them to a medium simmer (they should bubble but not be frying). Cook until soft, about 30 minutes. If you prefer more of a caramelized flavor you can bring the heat up a bit on the onions to brown them lightly.
In a blender combine the eggs and salt and mix until frothy and homogenous. You can also do this with a whisk or hand mixer it just takes longer. Pour into a large bowl.
Using a large colander, drain the oil from the potatoes and onions, reserving the oil. Add the potatoes and onions to the eggs and mix well.
Heat a few teaspoons of the reserved olive oil in one half of the tortilla pan over medium heat, add everything from the bowl to the pan and cook until the center starts to set slightly (about 5 minutes).
Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in the other half of the pan over another burner over medium heat, when hot pour any excess olive oil over the top of the tortilla, lock the pans together, and carefully and smoothly flip the pan over a sink to catch any dripping. Return to the heat, uncover, and cook for about 5 minutes more.
At this point it depends on how done you like your tortilla. For a wet center cook for two more minutes per side. For a set center 5 minutes per side with the heat slightly reduced.
Remove to a plate or cutting board (carefully place the cutting board over the pan and invert), and allow to sit and cool for about a half hour before slicing.
* You can make this dish with one pan also, but it can be rather messy until you get skillful at flipping (you’ll want to use a large plate to cover the pan, then slide the flipped tortilla back into the pan). I found the tortilla pans to be a great investment and make all of my eggs in them pretty much, along with other fun dishes like french toast.
**To store the used oil, allow it to settle, then decant into a clean bottle, leaving any water/solids remaining at the bottom (this can be put into a soup and will add nice flavor). I usually store in a one liter bottle and top it up with new olive oil to exclude air. The flavor will continue to deepen as you re-use the oil, and since you never use high heat, there is minimal degradation.
Some wonderful things to have with tortilla include but are not limited to: allioli, crème fraîche, a dusting of Shabazi, caviar, chives, an arugula salad (use some of the cooking oil to make a dressing), pickles.
Even the inclusion of onions is frowned on by some purists, but I find that this base is a great blank canvas for a tasteful addition or two. Focus on ingredients that are relatively low in water content to keep the tortilla from ending up too wet. Try adding to the basic recipe above: brown butter and Lula N41, or diced roasted red pepper and Izak N37, or shredded ham, cheese, and Espelette (in this case cut back on the salt you add).
The cooked onions and potatoes are fantastic as a topping for a pizza if you want to make a bit extra. Buy or make your favorite dough and top with the potatoes and onions, optionally some fresh parsley and/or ricotta, sprinkle with your favorite spice blend, and bake. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.