Some would argue that if Spain had an official national dish, it would be the tortilla. A tortilla is simply Spain's version of the omelette–a far cry from the flour or corn tortillas of Mexico. But although it's held in high regard and common all throughout the country, no one seems to agree on the right way to make it! A traditional tortilla de patatas (potato omelet) has only four ingredients: eggs, potatoes, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Yet many Spaniards would consider a version without onions to be incomplete.
I love my classic tortilla de patatas with diced potatoes, farm fresh eggs, and slightly caramelized onions. And I like the tortilla slightly undercooked, so that the middle is gooey and delicious.
But despite the success of Spain's classic omelet, plenty of people make their own by adding extra ingredients. From peas to chorizo, a tortilla can really include just about anything. I recently stumbled upon the following recipe for a tortilla with cured ham and fresh mint, and knew it would be delicious. I love mint in savory dishes, and here it gives a refreshing twist on a classic.
You can enjoy this Spanish tortilla hot off the stove or at room temperature. Easy to prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it's the perfect any time food.
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
- 5 large eggs (free range eggs make a huge difference)
- 2 ounces of diced cured ham (jamón Serrano is ideal)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of chopped mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
First, you have to sauté the onions in olive oil over a low heat, stirring every couple of minutes until they start to caramelize.
Add in the potatoes and about 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat up to medium and cover. Stir every two minutes for about 10 minutes in total, and then uncover and cook until the water is evaporated and the potatoes are cooked through (but not mushy).
Remove the onion and potato from the frying pan and let cool.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs and season them with salt. Add the cured ham, minced garlic and chopped mint. When the potatoes and onions have cooled down a bit, slowly whisk them into the egg mixture (make sure the heat doesn't scramble the eggs).
Leave the mixture alone for about 15 minutes.
To prepare the omelet use either a medium sized frying pan for a large tortilla or make two to three mini tortillas by using a small frying pan (this method will make it easier to slide the omelet in and out of the frying pan to turn it over).
Coat the frying pan with olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. Fill with the egg mixture and cook until the bottom has formed a slightly browned crust.
Put a plate over the top of the frying pan and flip the tortilla onto the plate so that the uncooked side is facing down. Then, slide the tortilla off of the plate and back into the pan.
Cook until a crust forms on the other half of the omelet, around two minutes. Depending on your preferences, you may wish to cook the tortilla completely through, or allow it to be a little undercooked on the inside.
Allow your Spanish omelet to rest for at least five minutes before slicing, and it can also be served at room temperature.