Before we went to Spain, I had always pegged tortillas as round Mexican flatbreads made from corn or wheat flour, so I was totally taken aback when presented with my first 'Spanish' tortilla. Nothing emotes tacos, quesadillas or burritos like a hearty breakfast-like potato omelette, eh? Just sayin'...
And above and beyond tortilla ignorance, I, at the ripe old & cocky age of 16, sure had a lot more to learn about this foreign land that was neither Mexico nor the republic of South America. I also had to grudgingly concede that some of the locals didn't really have a speech impediment. What was up with their pronunciations of "c" and "z" anyways? Try saying 'athuthena' instead of 'azucena' or 'el thielo es athul' instead of 'el cielo es azul.' SHEESH- that's a tongue twister even for Elmer Fudd! Needless to say, our profesor at the Colegio was not amused and probably thought I was an imbecile, or at the very least, supremely naive.
2 onions, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
Salt & pepper
1. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add diced onions & minced garlic. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook about 15-20 minutes until onion is very soft and even lightly caramelized. Remove to a bowl or platter and set aside.
2. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the same skillet and heat over medium heat. Add sliced potatoes and season with 2 tsp. of salt & 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook until potatoes are just tender (total cooking time will be about 30 minutes - check and stir potatoes every 5 minutes).
3. Once potatoes are cooked through, remove from heat and combine with the cooked onions & garlic. Set aside and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together 12 eggs and a pinch of salt. Pour the cooled onion-potato mixture into the bowl with the beaten eggs.
5. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil over high heat in the same skillet. Pour in egg mixture then turn the heat down to medium low. Occasionally lift the edges of the tortilla with a spatula to see if egg is setting. Once the tortilla is about 3/4 set (approx. 10-15 minutes), cover the top of the pan with a large platter and flip the tortilla onto it.
6. Reheat skillet over medium heat with another 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Slide tortilla back into the skillet to finish cooking the other side (approx. 5-7 minutes).
7. Plate tortilla and serve sliced either hot or at room temperature. Remember, there's always that bocadillo for lunch tomorrow!