When I was in my early twenties I was lucky to share a house with some Spanish girls who were working locally. It is a haze now but I do remember how to make a mean Tortilla or Spanish Omelette.
It’s been a long time since my early twenties. Much has happened between then and now, indeed my brother in law now lives in Madrid. So that means that authentic Spanish food has taken on a whole new meaning to us.
Genuine Tortilla uses very few ingredients but it does hinge on using quality ones. The flavourings are simple and I use tomatoes and yellow peppers to cut through the egg as I can find it heavy at times. That’s a personal taste though, and the kids love to eat this omelette by the handful with no accompaniment.
My house share companions were adept at using good ingredients frugally. I still strain off my olive oil and filter it through a muslin cloth when cool so that it can be used again in another dish. I do then pour it into a dry, clean bottle with a stopper, unlike one of the girls who kept hers in an uncovered jug. That came to an abrupt end one day when she arrived home to discover a visitor having a grand swim around in there.
Anyway, lesson learned, if you’re going to reuse your oil make sure you strain it directly into a bottle with a lid.
- 1 White Onion
- 200ml Olive Oil (not extra virgin, it’s a waste)
- 3 Medium Waxy Potatoes (roosters are a good variety)
- 4 Medium Eggs
- Chopping Board
- Sharp Knife
- Oven Proof Frying Pan (watch your handles!)
- Large Slotted Spoon
- Vegetable Peeler
- Large Pyrex (or similar heatproof) bowl
- Metal Sieve
- Small heatproof bowl
- Peel and chop the onion into thumbnail sized pieces.
- Pour all the olive oil into the frying pan and place the pan on a low-medium heat.
- Add the onion and gently fry. Do not let it get any colour.
- This stage will take about 5 minutes. If you see the onion colouring at all, lower the heat a little. The oil should bubble gently.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the potatoes into the same size as the onions.
- Once the onions are soft, put the sieve over the bowl then strain the onions from the oil.
- Carefully return the oil to the frying pan on the low-medium heat and add the chopped potatoes.
- Put the onions into the bowl.
- Gently fry the potatoes in the same way, do not let them colour at all.
- As they’re denser this stage will take about 10 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are soft, remove them from the oil using the slotted spoon and put them into the bowl with the onions.
- Crack the 4 eggs directly on top of the hot onions and potatoes.
- Stir loosely, don’t worry if you don’t combine the whites with the yolks, just make sure that the egg coats every piece of onion and potato.
- The eggs will start to cook almost straight away from the heat of the vegetables.
- Pour 3/4 of the remaining oil in the pan into your heatproof bowl and leave to one side to cool to use another time.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the pan on a low heat and cook gently for 7 minutes, until you see the egg mixture is beginning to cook through.
- Then, put your grill (broiler) on medium and put the frying pan under the grill until the omelette is brown on top.
- Set your omelette to one side to cool completely before serving with a fresh salad.
- As always, season after cooking to taste so as to limit the salt intake for any small children in the house.
- The omelette will feed 4 hungry adults and also keeps in a sealed container for 48 hours in the fridge.