Spanish tortillas are nothing like the thin corn-based flatbreads used in Mexican cooking. Tortillas españolas are hearty slices of omelet stuffed with potato — and often other vegetables — and they’re nearly ubiquitous in Spain, where they’re served for breakfast, as a snack or as tapas.
Making a tortilla española involves frying potato slices in oil and then adding in scrambled raw egg, resulting in a dense and delightful omelet stuffed with bits of soft home fries. They get fried, flipped and then finished in the same skillet — unlike frittatas, which are cooked in a pan and then finished by baking in an oven.
With minimal ingredients and easy prep work on the stove, the tortilla española is undeniably simple. But Spanish-American chef José Andrés, an internationally renowned cook and human rights activist, has an inventive take that makes the tortilla española even easier. By substituting potato chips for sliced potatoes, Andrés adds more crunchy texture while saving time you’d spend peeling, slicing and frying a spud.
Go with regular potato chips — or follow food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s lead and use salt and vinegar. The thin potato crisps folded into soft cooked eggs will result in layers upon layers of slightly greasy potato within sumptuous eggs.
Potato chip tortilla española
“Spaniards love eggs … especially when they are prepared in the form of a tortilla or omelet,” Andrés wrote in the recipe included on José Andrés Foods, his retail site. “The traditional tortilla has four ingredients — eggs, potatoes, extra virgin olive oil and salt — but I like to be a bit more adventurous. If you master the art of the tortilla, you can delight your guests by mixing up the ingredients.”
This recipe was originally published on JoseAndres.com and is reprinted with permission here.
8 large eggs
1. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and mix in salt. Add 2/3 of the bag of chips and stir, crushing them a little as you blend the eggs together. Allow the mixture to sit until the chips absorb most of the egg, about 5 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small sauté pan over a medium flame. When the pan is hot, add the egg mixture and stir briskly a few times with a wooden spoon to prevent the eggs from sticking. Shake the pan in a circular motion for 10 seconds to keep the mixture loose as the eggs start to cook. Lower the temperature and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Place a plate over the pan, and invert the pan and plate together so the tortilla winds up on the plate, raw side down. If the pan looks dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Return the tortilla to the pan by sliding it back in, raw side down. Cook for another 60 seconds, until the bottom has fully set. “To me, the perfect tortilla is very creamy and slightly runny in the middle,” Andrés said on his website.
4. Slide the finished tortilla onto a serving plate and garnish according to the recipe. Serve warm, room temperature or cold — just be sure to garnish right before serving.