Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tortilla Espanola

I've found some old meatless recipes that are wonderful for the Lenten season. Today's oldie is a delicious potato frittata, an entree of Spanish origin, that's good for brunch or dinner. I like to serve it with an avocado, orange and almond salad that also comes from Spanish peasant kitchens. The two make a lovely and complete meal when combined with a Spanish bread such as Pan Galllego. A real Tortilla Espanola is made with lots and lots of oil. It's absolutely delicious. I know many of you won't try a recipe that calls for almost 2 cups of oil, so I'm going to present two versions of the tortilla. One, of course, is the real thing; the other is a low fat version that's not a bad substitute. I must admit to some prejudice here. I have no problems with most "light" recipes. A lot of time and money has been spent to make them acceptable substitutes for their more calorific cousins. I've learned, however, that my family is fine with "light" recipes only if they've never had the real thing. This recipe in not in my standard rotation because I'd rather have the frittata once a year in all its awful splendor than its substitute once a month. I'll let you take your pick. One is great, the other good.

Tortilla Espanola

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/8-inch slices
2-1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided use
1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1-3/4 cups canola oil
1 pound yellow onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
6 large eggs

1) Place potatoes in a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons salt. Set aside.
2) Place oil in a 10-inch skillet with high sides. Heat oil until very hot. Slip potatoes into oil and cook, turning occasionally, until potatoes are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer potatoes to a colander that has been set over a bowl. Let potatoes drain.
3) Add onions and garlic to oil. Cook until onions are soft and translucent but not brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to colander and allow to drain.
4) Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from skillet.
5) Add eggs to a large bowl. Beat with 1/4 teaspoon salt until blended. Add potato mixture from colander to eggs. Mix gently to combine.
6) Heat oil remaining in skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture and spread evenly. Cook for 1 minute, then lower heat to medium-low and cook until eggs are completely set around edges and tortilla moves easily in pan , about 10 minutes. Carefully flip the tortilla onto a flat plate. Return tortilla to pan, cooked side up, and cook until a knife inserted in center comes out clean and hot, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges or small squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 4 main course or 12 appetizer servings.

Reduced-Fat Tortilla Espanola

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced and cut in 1/8-inch slices
2-1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided use
1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided use
1 pound yellow onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups egg substitute


1) Place potatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons oil, onions and garlic in a large (12-inch) microwave container. Toss to combine. Cover. Microwave on High power for 10 to 15 minutes, turning at 5 minute intervals until potatoes are just tender. Remove. Drain. Set aside to cook slightly.
2) Place egg substitute in a bowl; mix with reserved 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add drained potato mixture. Mix gently to combine.
3) Add reserved 1 tablespoon oil to a 10-inch skillet with high sides. Heat on medium-high until very hot. Pour in egg mixture; spread until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook until eggs are set at edges and mixture firms and moves easily in pan, about 10 minutes. Carefully flip tortilla onto a flat plate. Return to pan, cooked side up, and continue cooking until knife inserted in center of tortilla comes out clean and hot. Transfer to a serving platter. Let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges or small squares. Yield: 4 main course or 12 appetizer servings.

This entry is being sent to the Potato Ho Down for March. The event is sponsored by Cathy at Noble Pig. It is hosted this month by Krysta of Evil Chef Mom fame.


Anonymous said...

I think I prefer the deep fried potatoes (version) better. However, I have promised my Hubby that I will not serve him anything deep fried anymore :(

Unknown said...

looks like a pie, a very yummy pie... :)

Donna-FFW said...

Deep fried for me:) Although, they both look delcious, I like to live dangerously;)

Mary Bergfeld said...

We all then are in agreement!!!We are deep fried junkies.

Netts Nook said...

Oh Mary this look incredible can't wait to try. OH they look so good thanks for sharing your great recipe.

Maria said...

Great entry!! A nice way to use potatoes!

Pam said...

I love deep fried anything. I am always on the lookout for new Spanish recipes - this looks great.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

;) I have no problem with have the one once a year and the other every month. I'm fine with difference.
I totally love the Spanish tortilla!

Kiezie said...

This looks wonderful and comforting!! Thank you for the beautiful comments on my nachos too!

Deborah said...

It sounds delicious, and it's beautiful too!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Hi Deb...hope all is well. I'll bet the baby is growing like a weed. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to make one these, so so yummy Mary!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Cathy, it is very good. I'm sure you've had this. It's not that hard to do and the only moment of prayer occurs when you have to flip it.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

This definitely looks worth a try. I could see the lighter version might not be up to par. Go for the real thing, I always say.

Lisa said...

Funny, but I was doing exactly the same thing this week, trying to make a lighter version of my recipe for Tortilla Espanola. My original recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. I found that I could still cook the potatoes in a non stick skillet in 1/4 cup of oil. I think my downfall was using 6 egg whites with 3 whole eggs. The finished tortilla was good, but far from great. The original recipe is much, much better, a real treat that my family loves. A good Tortilla Espanola is truly one of my favorite foods.

Anonymous said...

Giggle, I would have no problem with all that oil!

Phoebe Lapine @ Feed Me Phoebe said...

Was just looking for the perfect Tortilla Espanola recipe, and I think the full fat version is just the answer! thank you!!!

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