Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Making a Spanish Tortilla (College student style)

A real Spanish tortilla cooked by one of my amazing couchsurfing hosts in Seville, Spain. 

Now that I'm a full time graduate student (at least for the summer) with no car and a limited budget, I need to get a little bit creative about what I make. I realized tonight that I had a copious amount of potatoes and a half dozen eggs that I hadn't touched since I moved in a week and a half ago. The first recipe that came to mind when I combined those two foods in my brain was a Spanish tortilla. No, not a Mexican tortilla, the bread made with corn or flour, but the potato/omelette/pie dish that I've only ever eaten in Spain. It looks slightly complicated, especially when you need to flip near the end, but I was really surprised how easy it was and how well it came out. Also, for those of you living in Korea, this would be a really easy dish to cook! **Note: This is the college student version. Cheap ingredients and makeshift cookware. A cook in a well equipped kitchen would be able to make this look much nicer**

-Potatoes (however many desired, I used 4 large baking potatoes)
-Onion (again, as much as desired, I used about half of an onion because that's what I had available)
-Oil (Most recipies call for several cups of olive oil. I used vegetable oil. I didn't measure, but I just made sure there was enough to coat all the potatoes with a little extra in the bottom)
- Salt (as much as you like, I didn't put too much)
- *Optional* Other vegetables (typically Spanish tortillas only have potatoes and onions, but I think other veggies or even meat would taste great)

 Before cooking

First I took the four potatoes and peeled and cut them in to thin slices.  Chopped up the onion and just a little green pepper that I had sitting in my fridge and threw them all into a pan. Recipes say that a cast iron pan is the best for tortilla, but, this is the college student version. I just used a non-stick pan that was deep as opposed to flat on the bottom. If the pan is too wide and flat you will need more egg to compensate for things spreading out. This should be the thickness of a pie when it's done. Then I added just enough vegetable oil (again, not olive oil as the other recipes call for) to cover all the potatoes, then fried them until they were cooked and slightly brown.

A few minutes after I added the eggs

Once the potatoes were cooked all the way through (easily breakable with a knife or spatula), then I poured in my eggs. I used four eggs, scrambled. One or two more eggs probably would have been better, but again, this is the cheap college student version. 

I let the eggs cook on a low heat, covered for a while, occasionally checking the sides to make sure that nothing was sticking to the bottom of the pan.


Now, here is the tricky part (should have photographed this, but it's hard to take a photo of yourself doing something difficult). Put a large plate over the pan and flip the tortilla onto the plate. The bottom should be brown, like above (or hopefully slightly less brown if you're a good cook). Then slide the flipped tortilla back into the pan to cook the top (now bottom) side. Let this cook for a few minutes, it should be mostly cooked now anyway. 

El fin

Finally, slide your tortilla onto a plate and you have enough tortilla to make several meals. I will probably make at least 3 if not 4 meals out of this guy. Cheap, moderately easy and still good if you screw it up. Perfect for any college student OR expat in Korea who wishes they could make some non-Korean food cheaply.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! I'm going to try that! I will try making it sometime and will add some poblanos and cheddar cheese or some brocolli and cheddar. Thanks for sharing and giving me some ideas!