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
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
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
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
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
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………..in this
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
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