Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tortillas de Patatas

This dish was one that actually grew as I did in a culinary sense, until I realized that there was a name for it and people made it on purpose.  Years ago potatoes became a regular ingredient in Omelets for me really out of lazyness if I threw the "hash browns" meat vegetables and eggs into one pan, flipped it (just to show off) then served it, I got to ham it up a bit and only had one pan to wash when it was all over... great!  After a while the omelet turned to quiche (Ok it was the 80s and 90s people ate quiche).  Then Tortillas de Patatas came into being, really another word for Fritata but I didn't know that at the time.  I would start by sauteing the potatoes in my Iron Skillet adding the rest of the ingredients then finishing the dish off in the oven.   I had been making this for years, not because I am a huge Fritata fan or anything, but just because it is easy and I can use some left overs in it.  When the In laws visit Potatoes are usually part of the dinner menu and since I fear running out of food a little more than death I make way too much of everything.  The answer to that is serve the same food the next day disguised as a unique breakfast.

A few weeks ago I was reading an article on Epicurious, I think anyway, for the life of me I can't find it now. that talked about the dish that I had been making for ages Torillas de Patatas.  The article described it in an almost romantic way talking about how humble shop owners in rural Spain would bake large skillets of this dish in the morning then set it on the counter and sell it by the slice to their guests when they came in to buy coffee (or more likely whiskey).  The prose painted a very picturesque Norman Rockwell  type of scene around this dish.  It really is a winner for a lazy breakfast or brunch kind of meal because it is as good at room temperature as hot so you can eat at a leisurely pace or (often in my case) have it for breakfast and lunch.

The whole thing is so simple and the ingredients, as I so often say, are just a starting point, really put what you want to in it the one in the picture went like in this:

1 TBS butter
1 cooked potato (I usually use leftovers so guess, about a cup)
1 clove Garlic
5 eggs well beaten
1/2 zucchini sliced
1 Leek cleaned and sliced 
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar in this one)
Salt and pepper to taste

This is all done in a 7 inch Iron Skillet.  Melt the butter then add the garlic then potatoes over medium heat and saute until warm.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, I use my fingers but you can use a spoon if touching raw eggs grosses you out.  Then put into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Take it out and let it rest for a few minutes then slice it up and it is ready to go.  If you have more guests double and use a bigger skillet... I love that in a recipe.


  1. Ohh I LOVE tortillas de patatas!
    Your picture looks fantastic BTW, I'm a fan

  2. We enjoyed these a lot in Spain!They're great because they're just as good at room temperature as they are hot. Great photo!