Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ham and Potato Spanish Tortilla

There are days when you don't plan ahead or something comes up that changes what your plans were for the day. Dinner time is just a few hours away and you don't know what you are going to make. One of my "go to" meals is a Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Española). This tortilla has nothing to do with tortilla chips or the Mexican flat bread known as a tortilla. It's nearest equivalent is an Italian frittata. This recipe is mostly my moms with a few tweaks from me. It's loaded with sweet onion, potatoes and ham and is perfect for an easy weeknight meal or Sunday brunch.

Ham and Potato Spanish Tortilla 
Serves 2-4

8 ounces ham 1/4" thickness, cubed into 1/2" dice
1 large Spanish onion
2 medium russet potatoes
6-8 beaten eggs*, sprinkled with 1/2 teaspoon of  sweet Spanish paprika, 1/4 cup of milk or water and a pinch of salt.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Salt to taste

Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot with water, making sure water level covers the tops. Cover and boil for about 15 minutes or until a sharp paring knife easily pierces through to the center. Once done  under cold running water remove peel  then set aside or place in coldest spot in freezer to cool, then cube into 1/2" pieces. I do it this way because I found that when I cubed the potatoes and then boiled them they tended to break apart easily.
Heat one 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon of butter in a 10" non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally  You want to sweat the onions not brown them.  The salt helps bring out the onion's juices and adds that special sweetness that to me is a characteristic of a Tortilla. Mix in the potatoes and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Add ham, stir and cook another 3 minutes. Pour in egg mixture, and make sure to distribute ingredients in the pan throughout, so that each slice has a generous portion of potato, ham and onion. Leave the pan alone for 5 minutes and then gently slide a spatula around the edges, ever-so slightly pulling in. Doing this builds up the edges and will make flipping it over easier. Once you see that the top is almost set, it's time to flip your tortilla. 
Get a plate that is at least 2" wider than your pan. Position if over the top of the pan, using pot holders or silicone gloves hold bottom of pan and plate firmly and very quickly flip. Place the plate on the counter and gently lift the pan. Put your pan back on the stove and let it heat up, gently slide the tortilla off the plate and back onto the pan. if you line the right edge of your plate with the bottom right edge of your pan it should slide out with no problem. Cook another 2 minutes to set bottom, take off heat, slide into a clean plate of leave in your skillet. 
Cut into wedges and serve with thick crusty bread and a light salad.


  1. A good tip is that you can put almost anything in it! It really is a life saver and that pic is gorgeous and mouth watering!

    1. That is true, it's a clean the fridge out kind of dish.