Miami board member shares her memories of the Spanish classic Tortilla Española

By Common Threads | Aug 26, 2020

Elizabeth Halle, a member of Common Threads’ Miami board loves one of Spain’s classic dishes, the Tortilla Española. In this special blog, she shares her experiences of enjoying Tortilla Española during her travels, and now at home during quarantine.

By Elizabeth Halle
Aug. 20, 2020

My first introduction to Tortilla Española was over 10 years ago when I was living in Spain as an exchange student. Much to my surprise, egg and potato were an important part to the foundation of the gastronomy of the country. Only years prior, as a college freshman, had I ever tried eggs so this was something “newer” for me. To allow us to immerse ourselves immediately in the everyday culture, 10 of us from our program were brought to a family house and taught to make the dish. I remember being so surprised that the simplicity of materials used in the recipe could lead to such a delicious meal. It was also incredible to see with what ease our Spanish host flipped the tortilla onto a plate and back into the pan again for the final touches.

I fell in love with Spain on that trip and a decade later, I fell in love with and married a Spaniard! This has given me the chance to explore its food culture once again and let me create it as my own. There are many versions of the tortilla depending on where you go—some don’t include onion, others add fillers like chorizo or bonito (tuna), and some are of a “betanzo” style. The betanzo tortilla means that once you cut the tortilla, the egg inside is runny.

3 russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, thinly sliced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2 cups olive oil

10 inch non stick pan
13 inch non stick pan
1 Small Bowl
1 Medium Bowl
1 spatula

Step by step:

1. Heat large sauté pan (I use a 13 inch— different to making the tortilla) on medium high heat.

2. Add 2 cups oil to sauté pan.

3. Once oil begins to bubble slightly, you know it is hot enough to add onion. Cook until translucent, approximately 4-5 min. The oil should remain at a steady simmer. If onions aren’t fully covered in oil, add a bit more.

4. Stir onion every so often to avoid burning.

5. Add pinch of salt to the mixture.

6. Next, add potatoes to the mix and cook for 9 minutes. You’ll know the mixture is ready when the potato is fork tender.

7. Stir potato and onion mix every so often to avoid burning.

8. After the 9 minutes, drain and reserve the oil in a small bowl. Leave onion and potato in the strainer and let cool 10 minutes.

9. Crack 6 eggs in medium bowl and whisk.

10. Add potato and egg mixture to the eggs. Add salt.

11. Heat a 10 inch sauté pan on medium high heat.

12. Add 2 tablespoons of drained olive oil to the pan.

13. Add egg mixture and use spatula to even out. Leave in pan for 1 and a half minutes.

14. Take a plate or double sauté pan and flip the tortilla and put it back into the pan.

15. Cook for 1 additional minute— if you want a bit more cooked, cook for 2 minutes.

16. Transfer onto a plate and enjoy!

Finished Product: