Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spanish Potato Tortilla

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Smitten Kitchen. 
Potato Tortilla [Tortilla de Patatas]
Adapted* from The New Spanish Table
Serves 6 to 8 as a tapa, 4 as a light main dish.
3 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and quartered lengthwise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
6 large, very fresh eggs, preferably organic
2 tablespoons chicken stock or broth
1. Using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, slice the potato quarters thinly crosswise, 
then pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Alternately, you can use a mandoline set to 1/8-inch thick. 
The original recipe then says to rub the potato slices with salt, but for the life of me I could not
 fathom why I should bother with such a tedious step (I had hundreds of small slices), and simply 
seasoned the potatoes after I cooked them.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the potatoes in even layers. Cook, stirring occasionally, 
to prevent the potatoes from sticking and browning, until they are half-cooked, about 7 minutes. 
Stir in the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook the potatoes until all of them are soft, 
about 15 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and onion to a 
colander set over a bowl and let them drain thoroughly. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the 
cooking oil and strain the rest for another use. Season the potatoes with salt.

3. Place the eggs, chicken stock, and a couple of pinches of salt in a large mixing bowl 
and beat until just scrambled. Gently stir in the potato mixture. Mash and stir the 
egg mixture gently with a fork to crush the potatoes just a little and mix them up 
well with the eggs. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

4. Heat 5 teaspoons of the reserved olive oil in a heavy 8-inch skillet, preferably 
nonstick, over medium-high heat until it is just beginning to smoke. Pour the 
egg mixture into the skillet and flatten the potatoes with a spatula until the top is 
fairly even. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, moving and shaking the skillet, 
running a thin spatula around the edge and sliding it into the middle so that some 
of the egg runs under for about one minute, then let it cook undisturbed until the top is 
a little wet but not liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Run the thin spatula under the tortilla to 
make sure that no part of the bottom is stuck to the skillet. Top the skillet with a 
rimless plate slightly larger than the skillet and, using oven mitts, quickly invert 
the tortilla onto the plate. If the skillet looks dry, add a little more olive oil. 
Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Shake the skillet to 
straighten the tortilla and push the edges in with the spatula. Reduce the heat to very low 
and cook the tortilla until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 3 to 4 minutes. 
Invert the tortilla again, as before, to cook on the first side for another minute.

5. Invert the tortilla onto a serving plate and pat the top with a paper towel to get 
rid of excess oil. Let it cool a little, then cut the tortilla into wedges and serve warm 
or at room temperature. To serve as a tapa, cut the tortilla into squares and serve with toothpicks.

* Even though I am indeed in love with this cookbook, I had to make a few adjustments to the recipe in places where it confounded me: I clarified the thickness of the potato slices, limited the egg-pushing step to one minute (it led to the slightly busted appearance of mine, and made little sense) and cooled the potatoes a bit more than suggested, for fear of cooking the eggs in the bowl, not the pan.

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