What you have to know about Spanish omelette: tips, tricks and curiosities
What you have to know about Spanish omelette or “tortilla de patata” is that there are as many recipes and ways to cook it as there are Spaniards all around the world. Each of us has the best technique, knows how to make the perfect one with the right texture and flavour, and obviously, each of us makes THE BEST one. Without a doubt!
Sometimes we take food matters too seriously, at least in Spain: the sacrosanct paella, the untouchable Spanish omelette, for example. Don´t dare to put chorizo in the paella; don´t compare the tortilla de patatas with a frittata, ¡por Dios! Let´s relax and just enjoy food. Don´t take this post too seriously, ok?
What you have to know about Spanish omelette
- You just need 4 ingredients: potatoes, eggs, salt and olive oil. Hang on! 5 if you are a “cebollista” and love to add onion to the mixture!
- Spain is divided between “cebollistas” and “anti-cebollistas”: the ones that defend the Spanish omelette MUST have onion and the ones that hate this vegetable in the omelette. And each group hold unbridgeable stances! I´m fine with both but the anti-cebollistas should reconsider their gastronomic taste. Just saying. 🙂
- In this case, we accept putting chorizo in it. But don´t do that in the paella! Or you can add vegetables like the Campera omelette.
- Although the onion is THE controversial ingredient, the protagonist is the POTATOES, of course. We normally use the Kennebec variety. Monalisa can work too.
- The ratio potato-egg is important if you want to have a gooy or dense omelette.
The art of flipping
- Never ever cook the Spanish omelette in the oven. Flip it over in a pan! It´s what I call “the Spanish omelette challenge” in my Online Tapas Cooking Classes. I´m proud of Cesare, in the picture, flipping his omelette like a pro during one of my Online Cooking Classes. Well done!
For the timid, afraid of spilling the omelette mid-flip, you have the option of making “huevos rotos”. Check the post as there are pictures of the full proof step-by-step process.
- “Darle la vuelta a la tortilla” (flipping the omelette) is a set phrase in Spanish. Check the meaning in my “Bites in Spanish” section.
Don´t mess around with variations
- Another perennial disagreement about the Spanish omelette is set or runny consistency. In this case, you always can get a middle point; just a bit gooy in the middle BUT set. Like the “anti-cebollistas”, an omelette shouldn´t be eaten with a spoon! from my perspective.
- The runniest Spanish omelette in Spain is made in the town of Betanzos. This place is popular for this liquid, a bit slimy, omelette. By the way, they don´t put onion.
- Ferrán Adriá was the first chef that dared to change the dish. He didn´t change the recipe but the way to present it: the famous “deconstructed Spanish omelette” served in a glass. We only let HIM do that, of course.
- Each cook has his/her own recipe, ways to cook the Spanish omelette, different tricks and secrets. All are good but my mum´s is the best. And mine is not bad taking into account what I learnt from her.