For many many years a proper Spanish tortilla has been one of my absolute favourite dishes. It’s the dish that got me to like eggs. In my early years I really vehemently hated eggs, even now I only like them in scrambled or omelette form, I can’t eat the whites and the yolks separately (I know, I’m weird). We used to visit Spain a lot when I was younger and tortilla was an absolute staple. I can still remember the smell of a freshly cooked tortilla on summer holidays and although I didn’t want to try it, because I hated eggs, I always remember thinking it looked so golden and delicious. Eventually I caved and from then on I’d request it for lunch every single day of our family holidays for the rest of my childhood.
Back to the present day, my parents keep chickens in their lovely Essex country garden. I visited a few days before they were going on holiday I was the lucky recipient of 18 fresh eggs as my Mum off-loaded the entire contents of her fridge so she wouldn’t have to throw it away or leave it to go off. I also received several half empty bags of salad, two thirds of a cucumber and half a pavlova, but the eggs were the most useful.
The Boyfriend’s birthday was coming up and we were having people over at the weekend for drinks and a games night and I was planning on doing some food for everyone. Not wanting to do a formal sit down meal and with a vegetarian guest in tow I opted for a veggie buffet type meal and a tortilla made the perfect centre piece. Always wanting to put my own little twist on a recipe I mixed things up a bit and used a mixture of sweet potato and a regular white potato. The trick to a good tortilla is slicing your potatoes nice and thinly and making sure it’s nice and dense with potato and not too many eggy gaps as then it starts to turn into more of a frittata. Approximately 2mm is an ideal thickness and is totally achievable with an ordinary kitchen knife so no need to use a mandolin.
Of course you could customise this recipe in hundreds of different ways and loads of different seasonings or chuck in some extra veggies but I think the simple and classic combination of potato and onion works best.
1 white onion, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, finely sliced
1 medium regular potato, finely sliced
7-8 eggs (As many as it takes to cover the potatoes in the pan)
2 tsps salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 tsp paprika
1tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Heat a little of the oil in a large frying pan on a medium to high heat.
- Gently sauté the onions until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In batches gently fry the potatoes until slightly softened and starting to golden, if the pan starts to fry out, add a little more oil. Set each batch aside ensuring the pan doesn’t get too crowded.
- Meanwhile whisk up the eggs and season with the salt, pepper and paprika.
- Turn the heat down a little and return all of the potatoes and onions to the pan ensuring everything is evenly spread about.
- Pour in the eggs and allow to set on the bottom. Cook gently for about 5-10 minutes.
- When the bottom is cooked and eggs are only still runny in the middle, put the pan in the oven to finish off.
- Take the pan out after 5-10 minutes or when you can see the top is cooked, the eggs have puffed up a little and started to go golden.
- Place a board on top of the pan and flip over, turning the tortilla out onto the board.