How to make the perfect tortilla Española
At Stripped Back, one of the things that really grabs us is the quality of Spanish food, most of all in Seville. In order to fully understand the art of Spanish cuisine, we really think you need to have a stab at making it yourself. After all, nothing beats an afternoon in the kitchen, flamenco gently tickling your ears from the stereo, a cold beer on the side and the smell of onions (one of the top 10 smells; as voted by us) frying in a pan.
So to kick off our cooking class, we’re going basic, back to the roots and the strong hold of the Spanish vegetable scene: the humble potato tortilla.
Potatoes: 6 – 8 medium, freshly plucked straight from the earth.
Onions: 1 big one.
Eggs: Around 5 depending on size. Please go organic, for our sake as much as the chickens.
Salt: crazy amounts.
Extra Virgin Olive oil: a whole heap.
1. Okay. So your first choice is to peel or not to peel. The average tortilla you will eat has had the potatoes has peeled. The adventurous chefs out there may wish to take a gamble on our sneaky advice that the skin adds a nice quality and texture to the dish – do wash them well though.
2. Next up, if you want to lightly par-boil this will speed things up a notch, otherwise head straight in to the chopping stage.
3. Chop the tats in half and then length ways in half again. Now thinly slice the hell out of them and begin the long slow frying process in that whole heap of virgin olive oil from the ingredients list.
4. Meanwhile you have the brave decision of whether or not you’re going to add onion to your masterpiece. Spaniards remain divided on the idea. We say do it.
Get it nicely chopped (the big onion) into small bits, gently fry until soft and lightly brown and place to one side.
5. By now your potato should be arriving at a good consistency. Do not get scared. It will stick to the pan. It will get mushy. You will want to take it out before its ready – don’t. It needs to be really soft – if the potato hasn’t cooked in the oil, it won’t cook once you add it to the final concoction – so make sure its well on its way to being mashed potato, whilst still retaining some resemblance of the fine slices of veg it was when you put it in there. Once it’s ready, take it off the heat.
Frying time: anywhere from 20 to 45 mins. Go slow.
6. The egg stage: whisk the eggs up nicely, and add those crazy amounts of salt. This is what gives the dish its flavor, don’t go nuts, but be generous.
7. Mix up the egg, onion and potato in a big pan. Now you can consider adding those secret ingredients: Some fried chorizo, or a nice handful of chopped coriander is a beautiful addition.
8. Pour the whole lot into a decent sized frying pan well coated with oil: the one you fried the potatoes in will do fine. Using a thin spatula or a small round plate, roll around the edge of the pan to make sure that the sides are not sticking.
9. After about 5-10 minutes, you will notice the mix starting to harden up and take shape. Put a plate big enough to cover the whole frying pan over the top and flip the tortilla quickly over and slide it back in to the pan to fry the other side for another 5-10 mins. This is by far the scariest part of the procedure, and the make or break of the dish, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right first time; a good tortilla is an art form. Flip it back on to the plate, and leave to cool.
The best tortilla is cooked so that the egg is still a tiny bit runny in the middle. Enjoy.