The long chewed over recipe of the Tortilla Española is finally over. No British, you will not defile the dish with your peas or other such ridiculous vegetables any longer. The time has come to put an end to this nonsense, and print the truth (you will no longer have egg on your face!) but can enjoy al fresco dining with a traditional Spanish dish once more.
I’ve attempted this dish a few times now and, after messing it up (think uncooked potato and raw egg stuck to the bottom of the pan) I’ve come to learn the secrets of the omelette lie in the heat of the pan, and also how much oil you put in to begin with.
Having peeled eight medium-large potatoes, slice them into a bowl, discarding the outer peel. You need to make the slices very thin, so I usually keep the peeler on to do them. Slice one large onion and add that to the mix. Once you have sliced them all into a bowl, sprinkle a few lashings of salt on top.
Meanwhile, heat about 1 ½ cm deep of olive oil in a skillet until hot – keep the skillet on a medium to high heat throughout the process.
Tip the mix in and immediately start to weave the oil in with the potatoes with a wooden spatula, keeping an eye so they don’t stick to the bottom or start becoming chips. Keep ‘weaving’ for 20 mins, or until the potato is soft when you test it with a sharp knife.
Take a bowl and whisk four eggs together. Tip the potatoes in with the egg until evenly mixed. Transfer back into the skillet and flatten the mixture down slightly, before gently lifting the sides of the omelette with the spatula so that you get a nice thick omelette with a neatly rounded edge.
Do so for about 4-5 mins, letting it cook, and then toss. I usually use a plate: place upside down on the top of the omelette whilst it’s still in the pan, spread your fingers over the plate and flip the pan over (carefully! Perhaps best to do over the sink so the hot oil doesn’t go everywhere), then slide the transferred omelette from the plate back into the pan. Do the other side, perhaps for slightly longer to get a lightly browned look.
It’s delicious with a salad of cannellini beans, chopped onion, cucumber and tomatoes, with a dash of olive oil, salt and lemon juice or vinegar, and perhaps a little spicy salsa on the side. Don’t forget to make some pan con tomate to go with it too! Drink with … … well…. what would you suggest?