SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
I hope your Labor Day holiday was great and that in all the variety of weather this weekend, you found something you loved.
This week, fall vegetables are beginning to arrive. Potatoes are here, as are leeks and the last week or so of tomatoes. The farm urges you to use them up. The winter squashes are arriving too; this week it’s delicata, one of the most delicious squashes of all.
So, let’s use those potatoes to make Tortilla Espagnola, one of Spain’s national dishes. I first sampled it in sandwich form on a train from Barcelona to Madrid. Yummy!
8 large eggs
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
1 1/2 lbs potatoes (I love Yukon Golds the most), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced crosswise.
3/4 lb onions, thinly sliced
1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs well, with a large pinch of salt until frothy. Set them aside.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it is “wavy”. Add potatoes and onions; they should gently (but not vigorously) bubble in the oil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and onions are tender, about 25 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl and drain the potatoes and onions of excess oil. Reserve the oil.
3. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a heatproof bowl and season them generously with salt, stirring well to combine. Beat the eggs vigorously to make them frothy again, then scrape the potatoes and onion in and stir until they are thoroughly combined. Set aside for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved frying oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it is wavy. Scrape the egg mixture into the skillet and cook, swirling and shaking the pan rapidly, until the bottom and sides begin to set, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, press the edges in and continue to cook, adjusting the heat to prevent the bottom of your tortilla from burning, while it is starting to set around the edges, about 3 minutes longer.
5. Place a large overturned flat plate on top of the skillet and, in one very quick motion, invert the tortilla onto it. Add 1 more tablespoon of the reserved oil to the skillet and return it to the heat. Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet and continue to cook until the second side is beginning to firm up, about 2 minutes. Press the sides in all around to form a rounded puck shape. Continue to cook the tortilla until lightly browned but still tender in the center when pressed with a finger, about 2 minutes longer.
6. Carefully slide the tortilla out of the skillet onto a clean plate and let it stand at least 5 minutes before serving. The tortilla can be cut into wedges for a larger meal or into cubes for an hors d’oeuvre–sized snack. It is just as good, if not better, at room temperature. Leftover tortilla can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
HELPFUL HINT: This is a lot of olive oil, which can get expensive, but it’s necessary for properly cooking the potato and onion, and adds tons of great flavor to the dish. You can use a less expensive oil, since cooking neutralizes a high-quality oil’s nuances You can reuse the leftover oil in other dishes. You will find it quite flavorful, having been infused with the flavors of the onion and potato.
ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: Flip the tortilla over the sink.
I hope you love this dishas much as I do! Enjoy, and have a delicious week.