Spanish Tortillas with an American Twist

Posted by in Breakfast, Brunch, Recipes, Travel

I spent the summer between my high school junior and senior year in La Coruña, Galicia, a little town on the west coast of Spain.  I encountered the opportunity to spend an entire summer with a Spanish speaking family through some mutual family friends and could not pass it down.  At the time, I was obsessed with the Spanish language and was eager to be fluent.  The family I stayed with did not know a word of English, so by the end of the summer, I totally passed as a native.

My host mom, Loli, and me in La Coruna circa 2005

Not only did I learn an incredible amount of Spanish, but I also learned so much about Spanish culture and food, specifically Galician cuisine.  Sangria, paella, tetilla cheese, chorizo, and tapas of pulpo, olivas and gambas were consumed on a regular basis.  Oh and tortillas…Spanish tortillas to be precise (not the Mexican ones).

Tortillas are essentially an omelet stuffed with potatoes and onions, cooked in olive oil.  The tortilla is usually consumed as a light meal with a salad or a tapa or in my case, breakfast.

My friend Samantha was visiting for the weekend and I wanted to cook us up something for breakfast besides my usual sunny side up eggs and bacon.  I saw some left over potatoes from last week, along with an onion and decided immediately that I was going to make a Spanish tortilla.  My host mom, Loli, taught me how to make them years ago and our time in her kitchen is one of my most memorable parts of that summer in La Coruna.

As I was assembling my ingredients, I found some fresh bacon from my butcher in South Philly and decided, “What the heck?  I should totally Americanize this recipe.”  Because what is more American than bacon?  Ok, there are more American things than bacon, but bacon is super awesome.

For the Spanish Tortilla, you will need:
– 6-8 eggs
– 1-2 medium Idaho potatoes (can use a large sweet potato too)
– 1 medium white onion
– 4 slices of bacon
– olive oil (preferably not extra virgin)
– sea salt and pepper to taste

To make the Spanish tortilla:

  1. Peel the potato(es), rinse with water, and pat dry.
  2. Cut the potato(es) into 1/4″ rounds and cut the rounds into quarters.
  3. Peel the onion and dice.
  4. Heat a heaping tablespoon of olive oil into a pan and fry the potato pieces and onions until cooked through on medium heat.  You’ll know when the potatoes are done when they’re soft, but not browned.
  5. While the potatoes and onions are cooking, cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a separate pan on medium heat.  Once the bacon is cooked through, pat dry with a paper towel and place in the same pan as the onions and potatoes.
  6. Crack the eggs into a bowl and stir vigorously until the eggs are completely blended.
  7. Pour the eggs evenly over the potatoes, onions, and bacon.  Allow the egg to cook around the edges, 5 minutes.  Carefully lift one side of the omelet; if it is slightly browned, it’s ready to be flipped.  The center of the egg mixture will still be slightly runny, that’s ok!
  8. Ok, here comes my favorite part: over the sink, place a large round plate upside down over the omelet and flip over.  Gently slide the uncooked end onto the pan.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes and you’re done!

I recommend letting the tortilla cool down for a few minutes and serving it into small pizza-like slices.  This time around, I sprinkled goat cheese on top, which was divine.  I also like to eat tortillas with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream.  Or you can make yourself a small side salad to go with it.