Torta espanola (also known in Latin America as torta de papas or tortilla espanola) is a popular appetizer (tapa) in Spain as well as South America. Typically the torta is cut into small squares and served on top of a piece of bread. In the United States this dish is known as a Spanish tortilla (though it has nothing in common with Mexican-style flour or corn tortillas), and is more often served as a main course.
Torta espanola makes a simple yet satisfying meal, and is fun to make. The basic elements are potatoes, onion, and eggs, but you can add other things to make it more interesting or to use up what's in the fridge - vegetables, olives, chile peppers, cheese, etc. This version of torta espanola has sweet potatoes in addition to yellow potatoes, bacon, and a hint of maple syrup, giving it a breakfast-y vibe.A good nonstick skillet is essential if you plan to flip the tortilla (traditional method), but if you don't have one you can finish the torta off under the broiler (in that case use a skillet that can go in oven). This recipe is for a 12-inch skillet, so it should be scaled back for a smaller one.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 1 large Spanish tortilla
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 4 pieces of bacon (about 1/4 pound)
- 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl of salted cold water until ready to use. Peel and slice the onion into thin strips.
- Place the bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove bacon and set aside to drain on a paper towel. Discard all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Add the onion to the skillet (with the 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease) along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the onion starts to caramelize.
- Drain the potatoes and dry them briefly on paper towels. Toss the potatoes with the 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the potatoes to the skillet and cover, turning the heat to low. Cook the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Whisk the eggs together with the cream, and add 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Finely chop the cooked baoon.
- Once the potatoes are cooked and tender, sprinkle the chopped bacon over them, then pour the egg mixture into the skillet, tilting it to evenly surround the potatoes with the egg mixture.
- Cook on low heat, covered, for several minutes, checking frequently, being careful that the bottom of the tortilla doesn't burn. Cook until edges and bottom of the tortilla seem set. To flip the tortilla, place a large plate over the skillet, and quickly flip the skillet over, so that the tortilla falls onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back onto the pan, uncooked side down. Cook for several minutes longer, then flip or slide tortilla onto a serving plate to serve.
- To finish tortilla in the oven, without flipping it (preferred method if you don't have a nonstick skillet): While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven broiler. Once eggs are set on the bottom and sides of the tortilla, place the skillet under the broiler to finish the cooking, until tortilla is gently browned and firm. Serve warm from skillet.