It’s the first day with my Spanish Couchsurfing hosts outside of Madrid. This is our fourth country in 6 days, and we’re feeling every mile in our jetlagged and somewhat stinky bodies. I’d love to go straight to bed, but I know that this culture is known for late dinners, and I’m kind of excited about the Spanish home cooking we are about to experience. My host, Carmen, takes me through the steps. Recipe below.

Spanish home cooking - Slicing potatoes for the tortilla

Making the Spanish tortilla


Olive Oil – about an inch in the pan, with an inch above it.
Potatoes – 1 for each person – yukon gold or other waxy potato – Idaho potatoes are too starchy
Onion – just a little bit for flavor – perhaps 1/2 a small onion for 8 people
Eggs – one or two for each person – we used 9 for 8 people
1/2 – 3/4 c. milk
Two pinches of salt

Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Peel potatoes and slice into uniform small chunks.

Put the slices in the hot oil, let it cook for a while (35 – 40 minutes) add onion about midway through.  Turn them at least once. You could also add fish, peppers, or chorizo at this point.

Spanish home cooking - Frying potatoes for tortilla

Beat the eggs with milk and salt, remove potatoes with a slotted spoon, and let the potatoes soak in the mixture for 5 minutes.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan on medium-high heat.  Add just enough of the mix to coat the bottom, with enough egg to cover the potatoes. When the bottom is firm enough that you can shake it in the pan, flip it.  You should hear a sizzle as you shake the pan. Flip the tortilla by sliding it onto a plate, and then turning the pan upside down on top of it. With a full body twist, invert the tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of this part of the process!

Tip: Run the plate under water for a second to keep the egg from sticking when you flip the tortilla.

When it’s solid and browned on both sides (listen for the sizzle), slide it onto a plate. Cool for a few minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Spanish Home Cooking - the Spanish Tortilla