Potato omelette, also known as Spanish Omelette, tortilla española or Tortilla de patatas, is a popular fried egg delicacy from Spain. While potatoes form the central ingredient of this thick omelette, often other vegetables, like red peppers, onions, artichokes and chives may find their presence in it. Tortilla de patatas or tortilla potatoes are bright yellow and round, resembling a solar disc.
Origin of Tortilla de Patatas
The Spanish potato omelette finds recorded mention in a Navarrese document of 1817, where the dish was mentioned to be eaten by the highlanders. Legend speaks of the dish being an invention of Tomás de Zumalacárregui, a Carlist general, at the time of Bilbao’s seige.
Potato Omelette Recipe Overview
Ingredients: Olive oil, peeled and sliced baking potatoes, salt, yellow onion and eggs.
Preparation Overview--The potatoes and onions are fried in olive oil and immersed in a bowl of whisked and salted eggs. The entire combination is then poured into a skillet with hot oil and fried by flipping to one side and then to the other side, so as to ensure the egg is cooked on both the sides and is completely set. Often, a special ceramic utensil, which looks like a lid and is known as vuelve-tortillas, is used for flipping the omelette for this particular traditional dish. To retain the juiciness of the omelette, the egg may be fried for lesser time.
Variations in Potato Omelette Recipem
Apart from the addition of chopped multi-colored bell peppers to the classic Tortilla Espanola, the popular Spanish sausage called chorizo, smoked ham or Canadian bacon slices may also be added to the dish. In rare cases, aubergines, courgettes and mushrooms also find their way into the omelette.
The potato omelette that uses peas and red pepper is called tortilla paisana. Some Spanish omelette recipes also suggest the use of Cheddar cheese, butter (instead of olive oil), ground pepper and garlic. Fresh herbs are also suggested by many recipes and these commonly include parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage.
Some prefer cooking the potatos for the omelette in the oven first. For this, the potato slices are layered in a greased roasting pan. The potatoes are seasoned with salt and drizzled with oil. Further layers are created with onions and more potatoes and olive oil drizzle. The potatoes are lightly roasted and the seasoned beaten egg is poured over them, covering the potatoes. In a skillet, this mixture is fried by flattening and flipping with a spatula.
Serving Suggestions for Spanish Omelette
Once the potato omelet has cooled down somewhat, it is cut into wedges, squares or triangles, seasoned with salt and sometimes, pepper too, and finally, served with a drizzle of lemon juice. The dish is best served warm, although, some prefer eating the cold version of the omelette.
It is mainly served as an appetizer or as a side dish, as a part of the main course. French bread, baguette slices, Sofrito and Bocadillos are common accompaniments to this egg dish. In Spain, the omelette is traditionally served with breads and olive or gherkin pickles.
The omelette is also enjoyed as a tapa, i.e. a snack, as they call it in Spain. It is also a popular picnic dish. The bite size pieces of the egg, when served on cocktail sticks are called pincho de tortilla.
- Tortilla de patatas is also called tortilla española by some to differentiate it from tortilla francesa (or French omelette), which contains only egg and no potatoes.
- In some Spanish regions, where potatoes are called papas, the dish is known as tortilla de papas.