As part of a Mother's Day feature, Manuel Roig-Franzia shared this recipe from his mother, Norma Roig. She was Italian, her husband was Spanish, and somehow in the kitchen she molded the two cultures together.
This potato omelet, a quintessentially Spanish dish, is a tapas-bar staple and also makes a nice sandwich with French bread. Don't be ashamed to say a novena, if that's your thing, or to take a sip of sherry from Spain's Jerez region to get through the trickiest parts of the preparation.
For a twist, ham can be added to the potatoes and onions before cooking. The nonstick pan is a must.
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more as necessary
- 6 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
- 2 cups diced yellow onions
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large, nonstick skillet over low heat, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil or enough to lightly coat. Add the potatoes and onions, cover the skillet and cook until the diced potatoes are softened but still intact, about 15 minutes, depending on the consistency of the potatoes. Stir periodically to avoid burning. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Once the mixture has cooled, add the beaten eggs, salt and pepper to taste, mixing gently until the potatoes and onions are well coated.
In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Pour in the potato-onion mixture and even out the surface with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally running a spatula along the rim to shape the outer edge of the tortilla. Remove from heat when the underside is solid and no longer moist. It should slide back and forth easily if you tilt the skillet.
Have ready a plate large enough to fit across the top of the pan, and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate. You can add more oil to the pan if desired, but there will be probably enough residual oil that this will be unnecessary. Slide the tortilla from the plate back into the skillet, and cook for another 5 minutes until the underside is solid. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
Adapted from Norma Roig.
Tested by Pam Kendrick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.