La Tortilla Española

Last night I was so lucky to walk into the kitchen at just the right time!  I have asked Fina, in the past, to teach me how to prepare a tortilla, spanish omelette, but have never been around to catch her before dinner is served and it is too late to learn.  But today, after my run, I popped my head into the kitchen to find her just beginning to cook.  IMG_1566

It was so much fun to spend time cooking with Fina.  Food really does bring people together.  Cooking with her made me really feel like I was at home.  At first she was hesitant to let me do anything, but I think my persistent “quieres ayuda” and “yo puedo” annoyed or convinced her enough of my eagerness and ability.  We talked about the current scandal about the Spanish Infanta who was on trial this weekend, divorce, my family and the problem with not cooking food from scratch.  And as per usual, Fina fed me, while we cooked!  Not that I was turning her down by any means.  The strawberries were delicious, they are getting sweeter everyday, and I ate a potato out of the raw egg mixture, under Fina’s guidance (demand). I guess that just reminds me of how crazy we are in the U.S…. always worrying about contamination and bacteria, since Fina didn’t even think twice.  So hopefully next week’s post has no news about E. Coli…

Here is the recipe and pictures for those interested!

Ingredients (Yield: 3 Tortillas)

  • 3 medium potatoes, dicedIMG_1576
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Salt


  1. Dice the potatoes.
  2. Salt the potatoes and set aside.
  3. Fill a small frying pan with Olive oil. Let it get hot.
  4. Add salted, diced potatoes.  The oil should just about cover the potatoes.  Turn the  heat to medium and cover.  Cook this way for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.
  5. Thinly slice onion and add to the potatoes.
  6. Cook potatoes and onions for another 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.
  7. Drain extra oil from potatoes and onions.
  8. Separate yolk from the white.
  9. Beat whites until frothy.
  10. Add yolks beat until frothy.
  11. Add potatoes and onions to eggs.  Mix well.
  12. Coat a small frying pan with olive oil.
  13. Add 1/3 of the egg and potato mixture to pan and cover.


    Steps 14-17

  14. After about a minute and a half, flip omelette onto a lid or plate and put uncooked side down into pan.
  15. After another minute, flip again.  Push down onto omelet using spatula.
  16. After another minute or so flip again and cover.
  17. Continue flipping every minute or so until omelette is cooked through. 9-10 minutes total.IMG_1606

5 thoughts on “La Tortilla Española

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! This brought tears to my eyes because Fina was my Senora and I have since lost touch with her since my stay in 2001. She is such an amazing woman and it’s amazing how much of a grandmother she feels to me even though I haven’t communicated with her since the day I left Spain. It warms my heart to know that she is still doing well and cooking amazing food! We are so lucky and spoiled to have her as our Senora. She is looking great! I always begged for her to teach me how to make La Tortilla and unlike you I could never catch her in the act. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Tanya! I told Fina what nice things you had to say. I showed her your picture on facebook and she remembered you immediately. She sends her love and thinks your son is so “guapo.” I hope you don’t mind me doing a little facebook creeping. “Besitos cariño”

  2. Fina was my Senora the same time as Tanya (though I was only there 2nd semester 2002). I too have lost touch with her, but I think about Fina ALL the time! She is the best! Would you please give her my love?

    Thanks for writing and enjoy your time!


    • Wendy same to you as to Tanya above. I didn’t have a picture to show Fina but she remembered both you and Tanya. She sends her love! It was so nice to share the kind things you both had to say with her. Thank you!

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