Wednesday, 18 July 2012

spanish tortilla on the floor



I only went and dropped the f**king plate... apparently you're not supposed to do that!

spanish tortilla... writing those two simple, rather wonderful words fill me with fear and dread. Never before did I worry and care so much about the outcome of such a simple dish...

... as you'll know The Viking and I have just come back from a quick break in the sun.  We often go to the island of Mallorca as, i've explained in previous posts, not only is it conveniently close, inexpensive and nice and sunny but because my family have had a holiday home there for nearly 30 years I feel like I know it well enough to arrive and be on holiday immediately... which I think you'll agree is quite an important part of taking a break... we don't have to find the local panaderia or that delightful place to eat... we can quite literally kick of our shoes and relax... the only problem with this is that I feel we've become a little complacent and have stopped discovering... which I also think is one of the wonderful things about travelling... I love the idea of discovering something exciting and new about a place I think I know...

... last week my cousin had first dabs at the holiday home which left us to discover a charming small hotel nestled into the steep cliffs of a quiet seaside town... it was rustic and home-spun but so delightful we're already planning our next visit... I also discovered the joy and now horrors of the spanish tortilla, in a quaint little restaurant slightly down the hill from the hotel...

... don't get me wrong, it wasn't the tortilla itself that was the issue... that was, in fact, divine... it was the decision i've taken to make my own version and write about here... never before in my trawl through cookbooks and the internet have I come across such vitriolic, venomous, rudely-patriotic and quite frankly stubborn collection and varied descriptions of how to make such a simple simple dish which in essence is an egg and potato pie cooked in a pan!... and I thought the Jews were a proud race...


spanish tortilla
it does seem there are a billion ways that 'traditional' Spaniards prepare and cook their tortilla... slice the potatoes... dice the potatoes... slice the onions... chop the onions... don't even add onions... deep fry the potato... don't add herbs... add peppers... and it seems every abuela from every village, right across the Spanish Plain has their own little twist and addition... this is mine...

you will need a large, non-stick frying pan - i used my 10 inch le crueset pan

roughly 500g potatoes - I used some British small new potatoes
1 medium onion - sliced
6 free-range eggs
a lot of olive oil (more than you'd think)

- im not peeling my potatoes but most recipes say you should, then cut lengthways, then slice into one pound coin thick slices

- quarter the onion then slice to a similar thickness

- put the onions and potatoes into a bowl, season, then mix them up

- place a very large amount of olive oil into your pan and heat gently then add the onion and potato mix to the pan - the oil should almost cover the mixture - turn the heat down and let it cook gently for 20-30 minutes, you want the potatoes to be fall-apart-soft and not too brown at all

- once the potato is cooked through take it out of the pan and allow the oil to drain off

- in a large bowl, mix the eggs then tip the potato and onion mix into the eggs... at this point you can either leave the potato in this mix for a while before cooking so that the onions permeate into the eggs or you can cook directly

- re heat the pan, add a little oil this time and pout the mixture in

- cook gently and slowly, checking with a spatula how the underside is browning - you're looking for a gentle golden colour - the top probably won't be cooked and still a little runny - this is ok

- once browned, take the pan to the sink, place a large plate over the top and quickly flip the pan transferring the tortilla to the plate....then drop the plate... no... don't... place the pan back on the heat and slide the tortilla back into the warm pan and gently cook again for a further 5 minutes or so until the underside has turned golden... check it though as you don't wont the tortilla to be too dry

and that my dear friends is that... and the thing is, you may be thinking 'is that it..? all that fuss of an omelet...' but let me tell you... this is a heavenly thing... and try really hard not to drop the fucking plate!

... the tortilla is delightful hot, warm or at room temperature... but never refrigerated... or so i'm told

eat and of course enjoy!

31 comments:

  1. I never met a potato I didn't like...I'm going to make this...yum...

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  2. Lol, I do love tortilla, had no idea it had so many difft recipes. Will try yours as am sure it's the best x

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  3. Sounds delish, and I couldnt care how authentic or otherwise it is (never been to Spain!). I also like that you're being good'n'patriotic during our washout Summer of union twattery by asking peeps to cut into pound-coin thicknesses. Good work old chap!

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  4. All that effort finding the right recipe, then you drop it on the floor! Looks great though, I make a version but I cook it in the oven, its my go to dish when there's not much in the fridge.

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  5. My boyfriend's mum makes an amazing tortilla, I was actually thinking of asking her to do a guest post on my blog! She dices rather than slices her potatoes and uses about a gallon of oil but other than that I don't know the recipe!
    Whereabouts in Majorca/Mallorca were you? I'm going in a few weeks for the first time, staying in an apartment (there are 5 of us, leaving the menfolk and in one case child at home!) I think in Cala Pi.

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    1. we went to Cala San Vincente which is to the North of the Island near Pollensa.. it's very special.... x

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  6. Sometimes the "simple" dishes are the best, because they have usually stood the test of time.
    Did you drop yours because you were trying to photograph it?

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    1. no... dropped it on the flip... pan too hot, slipped out of my fingers... onto the floor... but amazingly the plate didn't break!

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  7. I think you have given me the idea to try this again, what could be better than potatoes and onions cooked in lots of olive oil to give the tortilla it's wonderful flavour.
    So after it got dropped did you eat it anyway.....what;s the etiquette for that sort of thing??!!

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  8. Not only has this made me determined to make tortilla again but I am frankly relieved that it is not only me that drops the fucking plates. Good work.

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  9. Another delicious dish you've introduced me to, Dom - it does sound wonderful and I really appreciate that there's only a handful of ingredients. When it comes to travel, I tend to be far too complacent, especially if I've been somewhere before. In fact, I like to go back to the place I do know just so I can be complacent. Or as you say, kick back and relax. And I'm good with that ;)

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  10. This looks so delicious - potato and onions cooked like this simply can't fail to please. I know exactly what you mean about the familiarity of a holiday home - we've been back to the same place in Fuerteventura a number of times and 'cause we know it so well, we are unpacked and relaxing within 30 minutes of arriving!

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  11. I really think you ought to remove the expletive from your opening gambit or have a warning that this site is not suitable for under 18's! I really like your blog and you're better than that:-) you like rainbows and nice things remember!

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  12. WHAT a shame Dom, and after all that recipe research too! I am a BIG fan of the tortilla and let's face it, anything with spuds and eggs has my name all over it, even on the floor! Karen

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  13. Forgot to say, the plated photo is bloody lush Dom!

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  14. I thought there was just one recipe for tortillas...thanks for sharing!!!
    xox

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  15. You are such a stitch!!! (That's a fun thing to be.) I hope Peter and I will get away to the beach in Delaware (only just over 2 hours from us) sometime this summer.

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  16. Oh Dear Dom, you forgot to mention the superior Breton version which I make several times each holiday.
    I use Roscoff onions, Ile de Batz potatoes and eggs from my neighbour's hens. Wonderful!
    LOL! You're sounds great :-)

    PS I use ikea plates, so accidents don't hurt too much!

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  17. Sounds delicious! Thankfully the plate didn't break! I have to use a hot pad when working with cast iron do you?

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  18. I love this post. I'm a fairly new follower of the blog and I've watched you navigate some fairly tricky recipes over the last couple of months with aplomb so it makes me smile that the tortilla has given you such a run for your money. Try this to avoid plate dropping. Cook the tortilla as usual and then when the underside is done instead of juggling plates put the whole pan under a low grill to cook the top, believe me it works. Serve the bugger from the pan too so you don't even need to wave a plate anywhere near it! Works for me every time. x

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I had read about the 'under the grill' method but didn't feel it was authentic enough for my first effort. That'll teach me I guess!

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  19. I love Spanish tortillas - and I say bravo! They actually are not the easiest things to perfect. I've had amazing ones and I've had ones where I would have rather spit them out then eat it. Yours looks amazing, Dom!

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  20. Its amazing how something so simple and delicious can turn into something pedantic - and then the flipping......yes well not too many other words are appropriate when the bloody thing ends up on the floor.

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  21. Looks delicious! My Gran used to make this for us and grand kids, she would add some fried ground beef with it and raisins. It's so good and I love it so much because of its sweet savoury taste. : )It was a staple at home.

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  22. Oh, the horrors of trying to flip the effing totilla! It's always a heart stopping moment ... hahaha! I can just see the look on your face ... and hear the obscenities flowing ... and the Viking chuckling. Poor dear!

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  23. The boy always makes Spanish tortilla in our house as he used to live in Valencia, but even after all these years, he still has the occasional tortilla-drop! Reminds me of that episode of Friends where Rachel and Chandler eat floor pie from Mama's Little Bakery Chicago, Illinois...

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  24. Hahaha oh I know that feeling! That scary moment when you're trying to flip the tortilla, breath held, hoping all lands back in the pan in one piece. I love tortillas, my version is pretty much like yours, but I can't resist adding herbs most times, and yes lots and lots of olive oil!

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  25. I hope you employed the 5 second rule :) I love tortilla but have never made my own - not sure why. Hmm... guess what's on the menu tomorrow? :)

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  26. I am too jealous for words. Sun, spain, tortilla, sigh. Glad you didn't break the plate though!
    p.s Do you have a winning savoury scone recipe? I need one with the wow factor. If you don't, let me know who does (and that goes for all you other commenters too!) x

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  27. Hahaha sorry am laughing about the dropping plate part, I am queen of clumsiness and forever dropping or breaking things in the kitchen - can highly recommend not dropping bottles of j20, the sticky mess is a nightmare to clean up!

    Still the tortilla looks delicious, there does seem a million different ways to assemble and cook it but all delicious I think!

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  28. Think you must have found the tortilla secret. A simple dish it may be, but I have never managed to recreate the slice of tortilla we bought in a bar on my one trip to Spain many years ago. It was divine - it must be that lake of olive oil!

    Sorry about the plate, it's just too horrible when these accidents happen - hope there wasn't too much mess and the plate wasn't precious.

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