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 Recipe: Spanish Tortilla (Potato Omelet) 
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Post Recipe: Spanish Tortilla (Potato Omelet)
by: Dr. Marta Katalenas

If you go to a restaurant in Spain and ask for a “tortilla”, they are not going to bring you the flat, flour pancake like they would in the United States. You are going to be presented with a golden color potato and egg, round, pie-like dish I assure you are going to love.

I can save your airfare right now by showing you how to make Tortilla Espanola, right here. In the United States we think about breakfast when we serve eggs in any form, but Tortilla Espanola is mostly eaten as part of lunch or dinner, or as a “tapa” at any time of the day.

The nutrition advantage starts with the proportion of carbohydrates and protein provided by the potatoes and eggs; it also includes onion, adding vitamin C and fiber; and it ends with the flavor of olive oil that helps maintain your cholesterol in balance.

In itself, Tortilla Espanola is a meal. You can serve it for dinner and, with a lettuce and tomato salad, the Mediterranean flavor is complete. You may as well be sitting in a terrace at a café in Madrid.


4 medium potatoes.
4 eggs.
1 medium onion.
Olive oil.

Cut the potatoes in small cubes, after peeling them; add salt. Fry them in abundant olive oil.

Now, when it comes to answering the question of how much olive oil to use, I only can tell you A LOT. I remember when I prepared Tortilla for some friends in California, at their house, and they gave me a tiny container of olive oil to fry my potatoes. At the time, in the 80’s, there was a big “low fat” and “fat free” movement. The whole population was scared about eating anything containing fat, even if it was natural, monounsaturated fat that is good-for-you, as is the case with olive oil. My friends did not want to listen to my arguments and requested that I boil the potatoes, instead of frying them. I did, but the result was not spectacular, like it should be.

I encourage using enough olive oil where you can easily fry your potatoes without them becoming too dry and sticky. Mince the onion and add it to the frying pan after about 5 minutes, since onions cook faster than potatoes. During the frying process, I like to mash the potatoes with a rubber spatula, as they become softer. They are done when they are lightly brown. Take the potatoes and onion mixture out of the oil, squeezing out extra oil, and reserve.

Beat the 4 eggs and add salt to them. Add the fried potatoes and onions to the beaten eggs and mix all well.

In an 8” frying pan, put 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat it up. When is hot, add the eggs, potatoes and onions mixture and turn the heat to medium. Shape the sides with a fork, making the edges round and smooth. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the omelet by placing a plate over the pan and flipping it over. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and place the omelet in the pan to cook on the other side for about 4-5 minutes.

Tortilla Espanola makes a nice dish that is enjoyed by all ages. If you have a concern about calories, eat a small piece. Remember, it is best to eat good quality food in small amounts. Get your stomach used to handling smaller portions of nutritious foods and you won’t feel hungry as often.

About The Author
Pediatrician Dr. Marta Katalenas - - is an enthusiastic home cook who uses her love of cooking to create healthy, delicious recipes that help in her campaign against childhood obesity. Dr. Katalenas practices at the Pediatric Center of Round Rock in Round Rock, Texas.
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Wed May 26, 2010 9:33 am
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