Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Tortilla de Patata (Spanish omelet)
Category:
Food

This versatile dish is a staple at lunch-time and tapas-time at bars and in homes everywhere in Spain. The trick to making a really good tortilla is to avoid the temptation to slice the potatoes into straight, uniform slices. Doing so robs the resulting omelet of the nooks, crannys, and voids that are necessary for the eggs to do their thing. The other advantage of more randomly shaped, multi-faceted potato chips is that each piece of potato has the full range of potato textures, from the disintegrating thin edges, to the thicker centers, which are fluffy with a firm bite.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 8 to 10 eggs
  • 2-3 cups olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Equipment

  • 1 large non-stick frying pan
  • 1 small non-stick frying pan
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 slotted spoon or small strainer
  • 1 flexible spatula
  • 1 plate, large enough to cover the small frying pan

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes, and rinse clean. Peel the onion.
  2. Cut the potatoes into uneven, multi-faceted chips. The idea here is for each slice of potato to have a thicker area (though no thicker than half an inch), and thinner, tapered edges. You can accomplish this by cutting the potato in hand with a paring knife. Randomly rotate the potato in different directions as you chip off slices, using a slightly curved slicing motion (imagine that you’re whittling a piece of wood).
  3. Cut the onion in much the same way, but with thinner slices, no thicker than ¼ inch.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the potato and onion slices.
  5. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat enough olive oil to almost submerge the potatoes and onions. Cook the potato and onion, stirring occasionally, until the potato pieces are completely tender, fluffy at the thickest parts. They will likely begin to fall apart before they’re done, that’s okay.
  6. While the potato/onion mixture is cooking, crack the eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until combined.
  7. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or small strainer, let the excess oil drain off, and add them straight to the bowl of eggs. Make sure to gently fold them in, and get the eggs moving a bit. The heat of the potatoes is going to begin to cook the eggs, and this is critical to the success of the omelet. However, if you dump in the hot potatoes and don’t stir a little, the heat will scramble some of the egg, and leave the rest cool. What we want is an even thickening. The heat of the potato & onion mixture will cook the eggs to a thick custard, which will allow the omelet to set up much faster on the next step, and cook through without overcooking the surfaces.
  8. Season the egg, potato and onion mixture with salt to taste. It takes more salt than you might think to make this delicious, so add it gradually, tasting the mixture as you go. Keep in mind that these are usually eaten at room temperature, and thus need a little more salt to taste fully seasoned after they’ve cooled. When in doubt, add another pinch of salt!
  9. In a small non-stick fry pan, heat some of the olive oil that the potatoes were cooked in, enough to coat the surface of the pan.
  10. Add the egg/potato mixture to the pan, filling it almost to the top, and cook over medium/low heat until the mixture is beginning to set. It will still be quite liquid on top, especially in the center, but around the edges you’ll see it setting up. Gently lift an edge so you can take a peek and see if you’ve got some color on the bottom surface. Some people like a very pale omelet, without much color, others like a lot of golden brown coloring on the surface.
  11. When you’re ready to turn the omelet, place the plate over the top of the pan. Invert the pan and plate together, so that the omelet is now sitting on the plate. Return the pan to the heat, add a bit more olive oil to coat the surface. Using a spatula to nudge it along, slide the omelet back into the pan, this time with the uncooked side down against the heat, and the cooked side facing up. Tuck in the edges a little, and cook over medium/low heat until it feels firm when pressed in the center, and has the color you’re looking for on the bottom surface.
  12. Flip or slide the omelet onto a serving plate. It can sit out for hours. When ready to serve, cut into squares or wedges.

Classic accompaniments are roasted peppers, smoked salmon, tuna or anchovy conserva, pisto (the amazing Spanish take on ratatouille), and of course… bread!

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Tortilla de Patata (Spanish omelet)

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Food

This versatile dish is a staple at lunch-time and tapas-time at bars and in homes everywhere in Spain. The trick to making a really good tortilla is to avoid the temptation to slice the potatoes into straight, uniform slices. Doing so robs the resulting omelet of the nooks, crannys, and voids that are necessary for the eggs to do their thing. The other advantage of more randomly shaped, multi-faceted potato chips is that each piece of potato has the full range of potato textures, from the disintegrating thin edges, to the thicker centers, which are fluffy with a firm bite.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 8 to 10 eggs
  • 2-3 cups olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Equipment

  • 1 large non-stick frying pan
  • 1 small non-stick frying pan
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 slotted spoon or small strainer
  • 1 flexible spatula
  • 1 plate, large enough to cover the small frying pan

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes, and rinse clean. Peel the onion.
  2. Cut the potatoes into uneven, multi-faceted chips. The idea here is for each slice of potato to have a thicker area (though no thicker than half an inch), and thinner, tapered edges. You can accomplish this by cutting the potato in hand with a paring knife. Randomly rotate the potato in different directions as you chip off slices, using a slightly curved slicing motion (imagine that you’re whittling a piece of wood).
  3. Cut the onion in much the same way, but with thinner slices, no thicker than ¼ inch.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the potato and onion slices.
  5. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat enough olive oil to almost submerge the potatoes and onions. Cook the potato and onion, stirring occasionally, until the potato pieces are completely tender, fluffy at the thickest parts. They will likely begin to fall apart before they’re done, that’s okay.
  6. While the potato/onion mixture is cooking, crack the eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until combined.
  7. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or small strainer, let the excess oil drain off, and add them straight to the bowl of eggs. Make sure to gently fold them in, and get the eggs moving a bit. The heat of the potatoes is going to begin to cook the eggs, and this is critical to the success of the omelet. However, if you dump in the hot potatoes and don’t stir a little, the heat will scramble some of the egg, and leave the rest cool. What we want is an even thickening. The heat of the potato & onion mixture will cook the eggs to a thick custard, which will allow the omelet to set up much faster on the next step, and cook through without overcooking the surfaces.
  8. Season the egg, potato and onion mixture with salt to taste. It takes more salt than you might think to make this delicious, so add it gradually, tasting the mixture as you go. Keep in mind that these are usually eaten at room temperature, and thus need a little more salt to taste fully seasoned after they’ve cooled. When in doubt, add another pinch of salt!
  9. In a small non-stick fry pan, heat some of the olive oil that the potatoes were cooked in, enough to coat the surface of the pan.
  10. Add the egg/potato mixture to the pan, filling it almost to the top, and cook over medium/low heat until the mixture is beginning to set. It will still be quite liquid on top, especially in the center, but around the edges you’ll see it setting up. Gently lift an edge so you can take a peek and see if you’ve got some color on the bottom surface. Some people like a very pale omelet, without much color, others like a lot of golden brown coloring on the surface.
  11. When you’re ready to turn the omelet, place the plate over the top of the pan. Invert the pan and plate together, so that the omelet is now sitting on the plate. Return the pan to the heat, add a bit more olive oil to coat the surface. Using a spatula to nudge it along, slide the omelet back into the pan, this time with the uncooked side down against the heat, and the cooked side facing up. Tuck in the edges a little, and cook over medium/low heat until it feels firm when pressed in the center, and has the color you’re looking for on the bottom surface.
  12. Flip or slide the omelet onto a serving plate. It can sit out for hours. When ready to serve, cut into squares or wedges.

Classic accompaniments are roasted peppers, smoked salmon, tuna or anchovy conserva, pisto (the amazing Spanish take on ratatouille), and of course… bread!

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Tortilla de Patata (Spanish omelet)
Category:
Food

New Workshops

No items found.

Alert! Workshop Space Available



About

Esalen Team

Tortilla de Patata (Spanish omelet)

About

Esalen Team

//