THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY A TORTILLA!
Okay, with that out of the way, for anyone new to this grand daddy of Spanish cuisine, it’s more like a super-flavorful savory omelette loaded with bacon, potato, onion and garlic, then fried in olive oil - but not in an exclusively breakfasty kind of way. We make it as an appetizer or tapas item, though really it’s an anytime-morning-day-or-night kind of thing. The “tortilla” in the name refers to a small “torta”, literally meaning “small cake”, and it’s often served cold or at room temperature.
We love making Tortilla Española because like many of the classics, it’s built on a few simple ingredients that, when combined in just the right way, make fireworks in your mouth. Plus your kids will like it, so there’s that. It’s a dish that gets better with time, so if you’re one of those cooks with advanced planning powers (we’re more of the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants variety) it can be made a day ahead, but at the very least you’re in for some amazing leftovers if your dinner guests don’t completely clean you out.
Lastly, there’s plenty of room here for trying your own additional ingredients. Spanish cooking purists would say a true Tortilla is limited to the potato, onion and garlic ingredients. We added bacon because...well, BACON! But if you like a spicy kick, throw in some chili flake. Just harvested asparagus from the back yard veggie box? Sounds delicious. Like your eggs topped with Mexican crema? Do eeeet! We like to serve it with a smoked paprika aioli, and pretty much eat nothing else ‘till it’s all gone.
- 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4” slices
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, diced
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 1 12oz pack The Baconer Lardons
- 5 large eggs
- Starting with an 8-9” skillet, heat olive oil until hot
- Add garlic to pan, fry till fragrant (about 30 secs)
- Alternating ingredients, quickly add potato slices, onions and a sprinkle of salt in layers (2-3 layers of each)
- Cook slowly over a medium heat, turning mixture occasionally so to avoid burning. Potatoes should be tender, starting to brown, and will likely break up a little bit
- Meanwhile, cook the lardons on a separate pan following The Baconer’s secret method. Set aside
- In large bowl, beat the eggs and add salt & pepper to taste
- Transfer the potato/onion mixture to a strainer and drain the oil into a small bowl for later use
- Add the potato/onion mixture and the lardons to the eggs, mixing gently until incorporated. Let sit 15 minutes
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil in large skillet (I prefer a non-stick or a very seasoned cast iron) until very hot. Add the egg mixture to the pan rapidly, spreading it out over the pan until even. Cook on medium-high and shake the skillet often to avoid sticking
- Once the bottom is golden brown, use a plate of the same size to flip the omelet onto the plate and slide it back into the skillet to cook the other side (this maneuver can be a little tricky, best advice is to do the flip quickly. If you hesitate and flip slowly, raw egg batter will leak out the side)
- Finish cooking the second side until cooked through and golden brown
- Transfer omelet to a serving dish and give it a light sprinkle of salt plus some fresh chopped herbs if you like for presentation. Let sit at least a few minutes
- Serve hot or at room temperature
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