As I said, I decided one evening to teach my American roommates how to make tortillas. My Spanish roommates found it hilarious. A young American trying to teach someone how to cook one of his most expensive meals! In a true Spanish spirit, they decided to make it a party. The music came on, the tapas and wine came out and we got down to business. All eyes were on me and as I chopped, stirred and jumped, I knew I was being judged. Finally, the tortilla was ready and the time was right. Everything was quiet as the tortilla was handed out and sampled. The smiles, the laughs and the “wows” told me everything I needed to know. I had passed the test.
I love telling this story. And I make tortilla so regularly now that it has become a favorite of many of my friends and family (in fact, my dad considers it one of his most beloved foods of all time. ). There are so many good things about tortilla: it’s super delicious; it’s made with very few inexpensive ingredients that you probably already have; it can be served hot, warm, at room temperature or cold; and it can be garnished with a salad for dinner or sliced ââand served on bread as a sandwich on the go. Better yet, it’s the perfect night out: open a bottle of Rioja, whip up a tortilla and a simple green salad, and save some batter.
2 lbs Russet potatoes (about 5 small), preferably organic
2 medium yellow onions
3 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Fill a large bowl half full with cold water. Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick). Put the potatoes in the water to remove some of the starch and prevent them from browning.
2. Cut the onions in half lengthwise, peel them, then cut them into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a large frying pan with plenty of olive oil (at least 1/2 cup) and sautÃ© over medium heat until it begins to wilt. Drain the potatoes, then add them to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the potatoes and onions are tender.
3. Drain the potatoes and onions in a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Reserve olive oil. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Beat the eggs together, then add the potato mixture and toss gently to incorporate the egg.
4. Over medium heat, heat a frying pan (I usually change pan at this point and use a non-stick coating; this is about the only time I would recommend a non-stick coating, but you won’t regret it) and add about 1 tablespoon of reserved olive oil, stir around, then add the potato mixture.
5. Flatten it with the back of a spatula and use the spatula to keep the tortilla round while cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes, gently rocking the pan back and forth to prevent the tortilla from sticking.
6. Flip a large, flat plate over the top of the tortilla, then turn the pan and tortilla over onto the plate. Return the pan to medium heat, add another tablespoon of reserved olive oil, turn the pan and slide the tortilla, uncooked side down, into the pan. Use the spatula again to keep the tortilla round.
7. Cook for about 5 more minutes, gently rocking the pan back and forth to keep the tortilla from sticking. Flip a large, flat plate over the top of the tortilla, then turn the pan and tortilla over onto the plate. To serve!