When we have neighbourly get-togethers, our Spanish neighbour Jesus often arrives with the most delicious tortilla.
He always graciously insists they’re not as good as the ones his mother makes. So when his parents came from Guadalajara to stay for a couple of weeks, Jesus invited us for supper and his mother, Maria Carmen made her tortilla with the practiced skill of someone who, by her own admission, has made thousands of them and of course they were superb. Thick with slices of potato and onion, but soft and yielding and utterly delicious, so here is Maria Carmen’s best tortilla.
She made two omelettes using double quantities to this one, but a smaller one is a bit easier to handle.
4 potatoes peeled and sliced
1 onion peeled and sliced
6 large eggs
Fill a sauté pan with approx 2” of olive oil and place over a medium heat.
Test the temperature of the oil by putting a slice of potato into the oil, if it sizzles gently the oil is hot enough.
Onion and potato gently frying
Carefully add the rest of the potatoes and the onions.
It will seem as if there are far too many potatoes for the pan, but they will collapse as they cook down.
Leave the mixture to cook gently for about 20 minutes.
While the potato mixture is cooking, beat the eggs in a bowl, season with salt and set aside.
Draining the onion/potato mixture
As the potatoes begin to soften, break them up a little with a wooden spoon.
When the potato are soft and yielding, use a slotted spoon to lift the mixture into a clean bowl, draining as much olive oil as you can.
You can save the olive oil for another time.
Mix the beaten eggs with the potato and onion mixture and combine.
Put a tablespoon of the olive oil into a clean omelette or frying pan and place over a medium heat.
Put the onion/potato/egg mixture into the frying pan. Place it over a gentle heat, otherwise the bottom will cook too quickly and burn.
Now comes the tricky bit. As soon as the base has cooked but the top is still soft, take a pan lid, place it over the frying pan and turn the whole thing upside down balance it on the pan lid then quickly slide it back into the frying pan.
Maria Carmen’s tortilla
Continue cooking the tortilla on a gentle heat. Flip it a further couple of times to make sure the egg is cooked through and then slide onto a plate and serve.
Maria Carmen served her tortilla with a mixed salad of tomatoes, olive, mango, blackberries, basil and walnuts. Delicious.