We’ve made plenty of variations on Spanish potato omelettes or tortilla but it’s hard to know when the centre is cooked. We’ve also found grilling the surface under the grill much less daunting than trying to flip a semi-liquid pan full of hot ingredients! So we were relieved to read that Claudia Roden has had similar issues and this time followed the advice she got from a Spanish friend and recounts in her fabulous book The Food of Spain. The trick is to use a smaller non-stick pan and a slightly concave saucepan lid, larger than the pan, to catch the liquid when you turn the omelette upside down. It worked for us!
Tortilla de patatas – to serve 4
- 250g new or waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in 1.5cm cubes
- 300ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 6 large eggs
Heat the oil in a smallish non-stick frying pan that will hold all the ingredients over a medium heat and add the potatoes and onions. Cook and cook over a low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Give them a gentle shake now and again and don’t let them colour. Drain in a colander and keep the oil which you can use again. Spread the potatoes out on kitchen roll and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Beat the eggs lightly and add a little salt. Add the potatoes and onions and gently mix together.
Pour 1 tbsp of your reserved oil back into the frying pan and heat until almost smoking. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the eggs set at the bottom, shaking now and then with a circular motion to stop it sticking. Put a slightly concave lid larger than the pan on top and flip the pan over quickly to leave the omelette on the lid of the pan. Pour another tbsp of the reserved oil into the pan and gently slide the omelette back in, uncooked side down, and lower the heat. Cook for 2 minutes more until just set. Run a wooden spoon round the edge of the omelette to make it neat before turning out.