Tapas are the Spanish version of appetizers which are fun and easy way to entertain without making a grand dinner. Historically, tapas were small food offerings to guests at Spanish inns. Now, tapas are often served in the late afternoon at bars to pair with beer and wine selections. Patrons will linger with a drink, chatting and snacking the afternoon away. Spain can have a meat heavy cuisine, but one of the most classic snack offerings is the delicious egg and potato Tortilla Española.
Tortilla Española is a mix between a frittata and an omelette that is served as part of tapas. In the USA, it is specified as Española, to distinguish it from the flat Mexican corn tortilla. In it’s classic form, it is a very simple dish consisting of eggs, potatoes, onions and olive oil. In this version I substitute vegetable oil for some of the olive oil because olive oil can be a pricey ingredient. I like to serve it with garlic aioli for spreading, which adds a lovely garlicky tang to the soft egg tortilla. Serve with olives or any other finger foods for a great tapas spread.
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb russet potato
- 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 eggs
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped (optional)
Peel the potatoes. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise, and slice into 1/8 inch pieces with a knife or a mandolin. Place the potato and onion into a large bowl and toss with the salt. In a 6 inch non-stick or well seasoned cast iron skillet, heat the olive and vegetable oils over medium heat. Add a single potato piece. When the potato floats and fries vigorously, add the rest of the onion and potato mixture. Fry the potatoes until they become very soft for 15-20 minutes, turning gently every so often. Drain the potatoes in a colander or sieve, reserving 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Let the potato and onion mixture cool until luke warm or enough to not cook the eggs when they are added.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs together. Add the potato mixture and stir gently to coat. Wipe out the skillet and heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the reserved frying oil over medium heat. Pour in the potato mixture and spread out evenly. Swirl the pan and using a spatula, pull the edges of the tortilla towards the center to allow liquid egg to run out of the sides. Cook for 3-4 minutes undisturbed. Place a large plate or pan over the skillet. Holding the skillet handle in one hand and the plate firmly over the top of the skillet in the other, quickly swing up and over to flip the tortilla onto the plate in one smooth motion. Add the remaining tablespoon of the reserved frying oil to the pan. Slide the tortilla back into the skillet so that the undone side is now on the bottom. Cook for another 3 minutes. Slide the tortilla on to a clean plate and let it cool. Garnish with chives if using. Serve in wedges warm or at room temperature with garlic aioli for spreading.
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