Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tortilla de Patata

Tonight Obachan gave me the site and the instructions on how to watermark my photos. Thanks to a helpful friend.
One of the times I studied in Spain, the family I lived with taught me how to prepare the tortilla de patata. The tortilla with a green salad and french bread and a glass of red wine makes a wonderful meal.
On the table I have 2 skillets, a colander used to get the water from the potatoes & later to drain a little of the olive oil from the potato egg mixture, a bowl & whisk, measuring spoons and cup, and 2 large plates (they should be able to cover the skillet) and a large pot.
6 large potatoes, 2 onions (chopped), 1 cup olive oil, 4 eggs, and 2 tsp. salt
Tomorrow I'll post some more pictures & instructions. Too tired tonight.

Well, I should have included the finished product first so that you could have an idea of what I was talking about but it was too much to handle that night. I have a series of pictures that demostrate the process but it might be overkill for many. I hope I can show enough of the essentials.

1. Pare the potatoes then cut them into small chunks and/or slice them into water so they won't .
get dark.
Once the potatoes are cut, I chop the onions, put them in a bowl and set them aside.
In another bowl crack the 4 eggs, add 1 tsp. of salt & whip them with a fork or a whip. Set aside.

Now we're ready to add 1 cup olive oil to the skillet, drain the potatoes and add to the skillet when the oil is heated. Stir the potatoes so that the oil gets mixed throughout the potatoes. Add 1 tsp. salt and repeat the stirring. Fry the potatoes for about 5 minutes before adding the chopped onion. Continue frying until the potatoes and onions are cooked.
I'll finish this tonight. :)
Well, a little late but the next step is to drain some of the olive oil from the potato/onion mixture. I found putting the colander in a container helps to collect oil.

Pour the mixture from the colander into a bowl and then add the beaten eggs to the potato mixture. Reheat the skillet, add a spoonful of the oil to the skillet and pour in the egg/potato mixture.

Press on the mixture in the skillet so that there are no gaps and that the tortilla is solid. I also go around the edges to push it in slightly from the side so that it is solid. The heat should be between medium and high.

The whole time you should be moving the skillet back & forth on the burner so that the tortilla doesn't burn. The tortilla is ready to be turned out on the plate when you can see -OOPS! I thought you would be able to see the little spaces where the air bubbles had come to the surface but you can't. Maybe lifting the tortilla carefully at the side of the skillet you can tell if it is ready.

I put a plate over the tortilla and very carefully using hot pads I turn the skillet over.

I've just lifted the skillet off of the tortilla. Then I put a tablespoon of oil in the skillet and gently slid the tortilla from the plate into the hot skillet. Keep moving the skillet on the burner and cook for
a few minutes until the other side is done. How do you know it's done? Well I repeat the process of putting the plate on the tortilla and turning it over. If you see it isn't cooked enough, put it back in the skillet for a few minutes more. If you think it is done, but you don't like the color of that side of the tortilla, I get another plate ,cover the tortilla and turn it over. I think that is what I did with this tortilla.

I have cut this tortilla into squares, stuck a toothpick in the squares and taken the dish to parties as an appetizer. In Spain we have ordered rolls with tortilla as a filling. When I was a poor student in Spain, one of the cheapest meals I had was in a bar standing at the counter with a "ración" of tortilla and a glass of"tinto". Bread always came with the order.
Hope you try the dish.


  1. Hi! I'm so glad that it worked. Your photo looks really nice.
    Can't wait to see the instructions.

  2. Obachan:
    Thank you so much for your help. I sure am slow to complete this one.

  3. Hi from Rob at the Apple store!

  4. This is wonderful. I never thought of using the plate and the tortilla. Thanks so much.

  5. Obachan: Thanks for your kind words. I finally got back to writing. I'm looking forward to seeing the dessert recipe.

    Nickie Goomba: How do you turn the tortilla? Good eating!

  6. Hey Mom, a lady at our church asked me for this recipe today so I am glad to find it on your blog. I will send her this link and you will soon have one more vistor to your little world.

  7. Hello Diana,

    I finally got to your website and I am totally impressed with all you have done. Your photos and comments are so professional. I will use your cooking lesson for the tortilla. Brian Boitano (ice skater) has a cooking show and made it tonight but your instructions are better. Domoo arigato. Your walking partner, Ruth.

  8. Hi Ruth,
    So glad you find the Patata instructions useful.
    Have a great week in Tahoe.

  9. Hi Jain,
    So glad you mentioned you had written. Hope you use your story notes after you finish your great endeavor. You are a good story teller -use your pseudonym and I'd bet money no one would be able to tell.