Omelettes, our tortillas (nothing like their mexican namesakes), are one of the most popular dishes for dinner. The most common noise you´ll hear drifting on the wind of an evening is the clickety clack of a thousand forks beating ten thousand eggs in their bowls.
Potato omelette (of which more another day) is the most famous, and the one that has the name of Spanish omelette, but it´s just one of many.
The difference with fritattas and omelettes is that tortillas require nerves of steel. Blood must be summoned, upper lip stiffened, oven mitts worn, and prayers said. Please understand that the Italian method of starting on the stove top and ending under the grill is strictly for little girls. Likewise the French sissified folding thing. A true tortilla is round, and golden from contact with the well oiled pan on both sides- which can be tricky.
If you have what it takes, you can do the Spanish machote thing and flip the tortilla in the air.
If you don´t (needless to say, I don´t), here´s the normal method.
(I know this is a pretty silly post, being mostly self-evident, but I wanted to try my hand at step by step instruction drawings. Bear with me.)
First,(1) get your filling ready. This can be the classic potatoes and onions, or it can be sauteed courgettes, spinach, artichokes, tuna, peppers, anything you like, basically. Mix it with beaten eggs.
(2)Pour the into an oiled pan. Let it set, on low heat, shaking it a little so it doesn´t stick. When you see it´s golden underneath,(3) transfer it to a plate.
Now,(4) with oven mitts, put the frying pan on top, and do the next step over the sink. (this is also for spineless little girls, but I find it makes for easier breathing).
(5)In one swift, resolute movement, turn the tortilla.
Put the pan back on the hob, and set the other side. It will take less time than the first. You want the inside to be still juicy, jus this side of runny.
I've made tortilla (the real way!) a couple of times; the first time was scary, but after that I started to understand it better. I love tortillas (well, and I love the Italian and French ones, too!).
your drawings are absolutely delightful. I just found your blog and now I have all the past posts to explore. what a pleasure.
La mía tampoco hace volteretas en el aire pero ¡¡¡¡QUIERO EL DIBUJO para mi cocina!!!!!
lydia: I love fritattas and omelettes, too, I just can´t resist taking a little dig at the neighbours.
casey: thank you very much!
guru: oh, tuyo es.
The best is yet to come.
Adorable drawings! Never seen tortilla flipping look so lovely and chic :) My cousin does it perfectly...while my mom and I are sissies and use a cheater's pan -- like 2 skillets hooked together for easy flipping -- a sacrilege I know!
joey: that sounds like a great gadget, no sacrilege at all. I´m the biggest tortilla wimp that ever was
I love the drawings, but wondered about something showing movement in (or between) 3-4 and 4-5. If I was just looking at the images, I'd be a little confused. They're fine with the written description too, but the first 2 pix don't need words and I LOVE instructions that don't need words - hey - don't shoot me... I do the words for interactive help/tutorials for end user interfaces on web apps, so I like few words ;-)
There is an omelette in the Nicois repertoire called trouchia that uses this same technique. It's made with a big bunch of chopped Swiss chard, herbs and just enough egg to hold it together. You cook it very slowly on one side with the lid on and flip it over - so I know about that moment of truth! But nothing can be scarier than turning out tarte Tatin with all that hot caramel.
For years I flipped tortillas with no problem at all, just following the advice my Spanish host mother gave me to always flip it quickly and confidently. But then one day the plate slipped, hot oil and uncooked egg went everywhere, and my confidence vanished without a trace! I'm still working on coaxing it back, but in the meantime I've discovered that using two plates - sliding it onto one, covering it with the other, flipping, and then sliding it back into the skillet - is messy but almost foolproof.
LOVE IT! Great illustrations (as usual). One of my favorite 'souveniers' from our trip to Madrid was the recipe for Tortilla de Espana, and I have used the plate trip from the beginning!!!!
elegantsniff: you´re right. still, I never expected that it could be understood just with the drawings. I´ll keep that in mind for the next time, thanks.
rosa: that sounds a lot like tortilla de acelgas. and yes, the tarte tatin thing is my favourite nightmare.
melissa: the two plates thing sounds very good, I´ll keep that in mind if my confidence goes (and it´s pretty shaky as it is)
heather: good for you, I¨m glad it left a good impression.
Ximena - your drawings are gorgeous, and you're funny as well:) I cannot help but visualising a girly Italian, sissy French and macho Spanish tortilla making now:) Great post!!
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