tortilla de patatas
I've looked at several recipes and there seems to be a great deal of variation in the potatoes to eggs ratio. Any opinions on the number of eggs to amount of potatoes (in weight)? What about type of potatoes, while you're at it. Thanks!
I don't actually have a recipe, but I think there should be just enough egg to hold everything together. I like to taste potato and olive oil, not the egg. I use white boiling potatoes, which is normally the only kind available where I live. They work fine.
Another variation is on how the potatoes are cooked before adding the egg. In some recipes they are fried in quite a bit of olive oil. In fact a short-cut is to start with good quality potato chips.
You may just have to try different proportions of egg and potato, and decide for yourself whether you want potatoes barely held together with egg or an omelet with potato filling, or something in between.
I'll try to remember to post a paraphrase of the recipe I use from Penelope Casas, but I really wouldn't start with potato chips, though I've not tried it. Can't imagine getting the desired result. Her recipe calls for a slow saute of onions in olive oil (a lot of olive oil), then adding the potatoes.
Don't start with potato chips! I may be a traditionalist in saying so, but frankly the thought it kind of horrifying. I am also not the kind of person who really cooks by strict recipes. Here's what I do:
Start by peeling and cutting potatoes into smallish pieces, not as thin as a chip or even a gratin, but fairly small. Heat olive oil in your pan and put in potatoes till the pan is fairly full. You are going to go against all conventions for frying now, because you are going to just dump all the potatoes in there without worrying about over-crowding. The oil shouldnt be too hot, because you are looking to cook the potatoes gently, not really brown them. They need to be able to soften fully cooking in this manner before any egg is introduced. I also like to add a small amount of finely diced onion, and pieces of zuchinni the same size as the potato. The zuchinni will help prevent over-browning by introducing some water into the mix. Then you are going to have to eyeball enough egg to cover the mixture, which, of course is going to vary greatly based on the size of the pan. Make sure that you keep the heat low at this point because the egg needs to cook through, and no one wants their tortilla overly browned. Now - here is the hard part - flipping the damn thing. Here is where i will diverge from tradition: stick the pan in the oven when you put the egg in and let it fritatta. Otherwise, i recommend sliding the tortilla out onto a plate, turning the frying pan over onto the plate and flipping that way. good luck! it will take a few tries to get it right, but eventually it will be second nature, quick cooking.
Now you warn me! It's too late, I already tried potato chips, several times in fact. I first encountered the idea in 'The New Spanish Table'. It works just fine. I'm more likely to take this route when preparing a small tortilla, enough for 2 people, as opposed to 6.
'... One of the creations he [Ferran Adria] is most pleased with ... involves a bag of potato chips. Galicians, who are the great tortilla de patata masters, Adria notes, like their omelets with patatas a little bit crisp. To simulate the effect and eliminate the task of frying the potatoes, Adrias fills potato tortillas with chips...' p 143
Adria recommends 2 oz of chips for 4 eggs. He lets them soak 5-10 minutes before cooking, so they do soften.
Jose Andres calls his version, 'Tortillas al estillo Route 11', a reference, I believe, to his favorite brand of Washington DC area chips.
"You might think that using chips—even good-quality, hand-cooked ones —would be a cheap twist on the classic tortilla de patata. You'd be wrong. ... This dish proves that a good tortilla is simply egg, potato, and the right frame of mind.