Tortilla Española - The Geriatric Gourmet

Tortilla Española - The Geriatric Gourmet

Tortilla Españaola

Spanish Omelette

Pepe Rodriguez worked at the BX on the

Spanish Air Force Base (Constantina) where

I was stationed in the 60s. Pepe and I

became good friends and his family

occasionally invited me for lunch or dinner

at their home in Triana. Señora Rodriguez

knew that I liked cooking and taught me

things; among them the Tortilla Españaola. I

heard it referred to a few times as a Tortilla


As it happens, I am having a leftover piece

for breakfast at this moment.


1. 5 or 6 Eggs

2. 2 medium sized red or yellow Potatoes

3. 5 or 6 fat Garlic cloves

4. A bunch of Green Onions

5. Olive Oil

6. Butter or Margarine

7. Cheese…………your favorite kind. I

like Manchego if I have it but otherwise

I just use whatever I happen to have in

the fridge.

Gather a nice little pile of Spanish looking


There might be several ways to cook it and

one is to bake it. If you chose this method,

you first find a nice blue, oven safe thing

and put it in the freezer.

Of course the more traditional way is to

cook it in a skillet or Omelette pan but if I’m

not baking it, I like to use a Teppanyaki

gizmo that you find at Asian stores. The

tortilla won’t come out perfectly round like

it’s supposed to but you can do several at a


Cut the Potatoes into bite sized pieces.

Set them to boil in a pan of water.

Find a can of Tomatoes and smack the

Garlic Cloves as hard as you can.

This will make the peeling slip off easily.

chop the Garlic.


Pour enough Olive Oil in a pan to cover the


Scoot the Garlic in.

Cook it on low for just a moment or

two…………don’t let it brown and turn off

the fire.

Don’t let the potatoes get mushy. When you

can just pierce them with a fork, turn off the


Dump them in a colander.

And squirt some water on them to stop the


Scoot them into the pan with the Garlic.

Cover all and set the fire on low.

Cut off the root ends of the Green Onions.

And plant them.

Cut the Green part into many itty bitty


About now, the Potatoes will have browned

a little so dump in the onions.

And turn off the fire.

Stir the Onions around with the Potatoes.

The reason I don’t put them in until last is

because I want them to keep their nice

Green color. If you were going to do it the

traditional way, you would dump the eggs in

now, cook the whole mess until its all firm,

put a plate on top of the pan and turn it over.

But I cheat a lot and I’m not going to do it

that way.

Put the Eggs in a mixing bowl. About now,

you could preheat the oven to

°375………..not too hot.

And beat them until frothy. Get some air

into them.

Now, if you have decided to bake it, you

glop a nice blop of Margarine or Butter into

a cup. I like butter as much as Julia Child

but these days I more often use the

Margarine that's no Cholesterol and all that

healthy stuff.

Microwave it for 20-30 seconds until it all


Now you take the blue thing out of the oven

and brush the Margarine/Butter all around it.

The reason for having it cold is so the

margarine will stick to the sides and make it

easier to get the thing out later. Note: I tried

Promise Margarine this time but I found out

that Smart Balance (or Butter) works better

for no stick.

Dump the Potato mess in the buttered blue


Cover it all with cheese. This Cheese

happens to be a mix.

And dump in the Eggs.

Pat it down so it’s all level.

Stick it into the °375, preheated oven.

However, if you happen to have one of these

Teppanyaki griddle things, you could do

the whole mess in it and make several at one

time. I like this method because, while the

end result is not all round and perfect, it’s

quicker and easier.

Pour on some, no Cholesterol and all that

healthy stuff, Eggs. Flip them when they get


Sprinkle on some Cheese……… this

case, Parmesan.

When I was a young poot and living in

Spain, I liked to drink and carouse with the

Gypsies boys in Triana. I traded Chuck

Berry and Jimmy Reed for Flamenco lessons.

Often I nursed my hangovers in the

Parque de María Luisa at

Restaurante La Raza, which was just a little

gazebo thing with outside tables back then.

My regular breakfast was a few snifters of

Fundador (hair of the dog), a Tortilla

Española with Sardines on the side and a

bowl of Strawberries.

I still have it this way occasionally only now

instead of Fundador, I have Soy Milk or

Fruit Juice, plenty of Geriatric Pills, Fish Oil,

Maple or Berry Syrup and sometimes

Kippers instead of Sardines.

If you went to trouble to do it the oven

method, it should be getting done by now.

Test the middle, when it’s all puffed up, to

see if it’s firm yet………..if not wait a little

until it is.

Even tough you greased the side, you still

might need to run a knife around the

edge………..and prod the bottom a little if it

needs it. I had to this time because the new

margarine I tried didn’t work very well.

Just like with the traditional pan method,

you put a plate on top.

And then turn the whole thing over to plop

out the Tortilla.

As you can see, after all that fuss, that I was

so proud of, with the freezer, the new

margarine didn’t work very well and the

bottom got messed up. If this happens, you

could throw it over the fence and your

neighbor’s dog will be happy to eat

it………………and then do a little

Falmenco dance.

Or, just turn it over and it will still be pretty

on the other side.

Serve it with some pills, Wine and a little


I couldn’t eat the whole thing so we cut it up

like Pizza. This would be how to serve it as


¡Buen Provecho!

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