Award-Winning Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Española)


Hello darlings,

One of my dearest friends holds an annual summer celebration at the little known horseshoe pits in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. (Or I should say the “infamous” horseshoe pits as it’s featured in the book, Fifty Places to Make Love in Golden Gate Park.) 😉

My friend — the gracious host — reserves the horseshoe pit, rents the gear, and gently encourages attendees to bring food and drink to share. That is, food and drink containing bacon to share. (Bacon-themed parties have existed since the invention of picnics, and they never get old.)

I scoured blogs, food sites, and pinterest for inspiration (finding so many drool-worthy recipes along the way here, here, and here). But as things go, I spent more time being wooed by the recipes and, because I couldn’t commit, ended up with a tried-and-true dish — the tortilla espanola. Traditionally made with fresh eggs, potatoes, and onions — this rustic Spanish tapa was begging to be transformed with bacon.

The dish was the talk of the horseshoe pit. And it was so easy to make!

Now there are only four main ingredients, so treat each one as though they are a dear friend joined together in one last hurrah.

Enjoy the recipe, my dear friend. We slice ours in little cubes, right in the pie pan, and each bite can be slipped out with a toothpick. Truly a dish meant for sharing with good friends and good wine.

Until next time, take good care of yourself and perhaps we’ll see each other someday at the horseshoe pit!

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Spanish Tortilla
tortilla española

4 small-medium yukon gold potatoes (russet also works)
1 medium onion
8 eggs
4 slices of thick-cut bacon
salt and pepper


Step 1: Cook perfect lardons. Cut bacon into small strips and cook low & slow. I start my bacon on a cold skillet over medium-low heat. For thick-sliced bacon, it takes about 4-5 minutes per side. It’s annoying and painstaking to flip over each piece, but I get crazy focused on perfectly cooked bacon and use chopsticks to turn over every, little lardon. Remove cooked bacon from the pan. Drain oil but leave enough to cook your onions and potatoes.


Photo from OhMyVeggies

Step 2: Caramelize your onions, in bacon fat. Slice the onion in half, and then into thin half-rings. With this recipe, I cook my lardons first, drain off most of the fat, and save some to cook the onions. OhMyVeggies has a great tutorial on how to cook perfectly caramelized onions. (I was so tired of burning my onions!) I don’t have the patience to follow OhMyVeggies’ instructions exactly, so it takes me about 20-25 minutes on medium to medium-low heat to get caramelized onions that I love.
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Step 3: Prepare and cook your potatoes with the softened onions. The slicing here is important. Slice them thinly if you want the egg to seep in between layers of potato and onion. Or, chop them in chunks if you like heartier bites of potato. But whatever you do, add the potatoes to the softened onions so everything gets coated in bacon fat.

Step 4: Add the eggs. Gently beat the eggs with a fork and add a dash of salt. Add the cooked lardons into the bowl with your eggs. Then pour the egg+bacon mixture over the potatoes and onion. Gently move around the potatoes so egg seeps into every nook and cranny.

Btw, when it comes to choosing eggs, GreenPlateRule and HoneyAndHuckleberries did some digging and found the only differences in the quality of the egg is what grade they are (A, AA, B) and whether they’re organic. The rest is a food industry gimmick — cage-free, free range, brown, white, and vegetarian are basically the same quality.

Step 5: Lift and flip! Lift the edge of the egg and tilt skillet to let uncooked egg run underneath, until bottom and edge of tortilla are set but center is still wet. Set a large plate on top of skillet. Swiftly invert tortilla onto plate, then slide back into skillet, cooked side up. Cook until center is just set, about 2 minutes longer. Cut into squares.

Party Tip:
When I’m bringing this dish to a picnic or a friend’s party, I prefer cooking the entire egg mixture in a pie pan in the oven. Then I can take the dish out and carry it directly to my party. It’s a bit of a cheat since this means I don’t end up flipping it. But so convenient and tastes just as great.

Just mix the cooked potatoes, onion, bacon, and raw egg in a greased pie plan. Put in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until all of the egg is cooked but still looks a little wet in the center.

Bon appetit! 🙂


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