We are sharing our family recipe of the Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Tortilla. This is a very popular traitional dish along the Camino de Santiago. Whilst walking the Camino de Santiago you can find the Spanish Tortilla at almost any establishment, but presented in numerous variations. You can find the tortilla on it’s own, with chorizo, in-between bread, under fried peppers, etc. The options are endless! However you order your Spanish Tortilla, we are sure you are going to love this simple dish.
It is thought that the concept originated in Persia and moved West. As it spread to various areas in Europe, many cultures made it in a slightly different way. Therefore, creating different versions to call their own. In Persia the dish is called Kookoo Sabzi. Whilst, in Italy it became the Frittata; and in our neighbouring country France it is named (what we know it as)- the Omelette.
It is not clear how the Tortilla became so widely eaten in Spain. Most take on the belief that it originated when a General of the Spanish Army visited a local home during the First Carlist War. This was was fought in Spain between 1833-1839. So the story goes, a poor Navarre housewife scrambled together a dish for the General on his surprise visit. All she had was eggs, potatoes and onion; thus, she created the Spanish Omelette.
However, others take on the belief that is was actually General Tomas Zumalacarregui who invented the Tortilla Espanola. This is because the dish was a simple and fast nutritious meal to serve the troops. However it came about, it has spread throughout the entire country and we love it!
The Tortilla Espanola recipe below is straight from the kitchen of Vanessa’s (one of our Andaspain leaders) mother, Mayra, who has perfected the dish. Although simple in ingredients, the technique of flipping the tortilla is always a task of self-pride.
6 Russet Potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
healthy amount of olive oil
1 small onion (optional)
chorizo and/or peppers (optional)
- Peel potatoes and cut into slivers about 1/4 inch thick. Chop onion. In a round frying pan, heat a large amount of olive oil (enough to cover the potatoes). Deep fry the potatoes and onion until tender. *Add chorizo and/or peppers if desired
- Beat the eggs with salt.
- When the potatoes and onion are tender, drain excess oil leaving just a thin coat of oil in the pan to prevent sticking. Allow the potatoes and onion to cool slightly.
- Combine the cooled potatoes and onion with the egg mixture. Pour back in to the pan. Cook on medium heat while shaking the pan to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook until you see the sides begin to turn golden.
- Now comes the challenge part – the flipping! If you have a tortilla pan, this part is easy. If you don’t you will want to try the typical Spanish method of flipping. Place a plate, slightly bigger then the frying pan, on top of the frying pan. Then, place your dominate hand on top of the plate and do a quick flip. The Tortilla should now be on your plate with the cooked side up. Carefully slide the Tortilla back into the frying pan to cook the other side.
- The Tortilla will be done once the egg is cooked. This time depends if you prefer a runny inside or a harder inside. Once you have trialled your Tortilla a few times, you will learn the exact timing for you and your loved ones. It is hard to give an exact time as it is due to personal preference.
We hope you enjoy making your own Spanish Tortilla at home. When you arrive to Santiago de Compostela, we think you must try the Spanish Tortilla at Cerveceria Milongas.
It is our favourite when we finish the Camino de Santiago!
Spanish Tortilla – A Tapas Favorite. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://blog.streaminggourmet.com/2010/08/27/spanish-tortilla-a-tapas-favorite/
The Mysterious History of the Tortilla de Patatas. (2014, August 28). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://runningofthebulls.travel/la-pamplonica/gastronomy/the-mysterious-history-of-the-tortilla-de-patatas/