Monday, November 14, 2011

Tortilla De Patata Con Ajo Y Perejil (Spanish Tortilla)

The past couple months my friend Ginny and I have been training for the Palermo, Sicily half marathon which is this coming weekend.  It will be my first half marathon. Eek! I met Ginny in 2007 when our husbands were both stationed at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC.  We became fast friends and soon began training for the Cooper River Bridge 10k run.  I had never run a race and at that time could probably only run one mile.  It took me several months to be able to run 4 miles without stopping.  To my credit I WAS pushing a jogging stroller which makes running much more difficult.  Ginny is a natural runner.  She ran the Disney half marathon without training.  I didn't even know that was possible.  Ginny was such a sweetheart and was really patient with me during our training.  She never complained when I asked to walk, which I did often.  We never ran the full 6 miles while training for the run, so I was super excited when I ran the entire race without stopping. Here we are after the race.

Fast forward a few years and our husbands are once again stationed together.  I love how the Navy can bring wonderful people back in your life even half way around the world.  This past September Ginny ran the Dingle Marathon in Ireland along with her husband James, my husband Brandon, and my next door neighbor, Jen. Here is a pic of the runners after the race.

Jen's husband Mike did a half iron man the same weekend in Galway, Ireland.  Here is a pic of him with his darling daughter.

It was Brandon's first full marathon and he did great finishing in 4 hours 15 minutes even though the course was extremely hilly and very tough even for experienced marathon runners.  He is also training for the Palermo half marathon.  Here is a pic of him running in Dingle. It was a beautiful course.

Jen and Mike are rockstars. Even after just racing in Ireland they flew to the states a couple of weekends ago and ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  I am surrounded by running greatness!  They all inspire me to keep going and not give up.

A couple of weeks ago Ginny and I ran an eleven mile long run. It was hard and I will confess I walked a tiny bit.  I don't particularly enjoy long runs but after burning over 1100 calories, I love getting to eat whatever I want.

Needless to say, I am extra hungry on long run days. So mid-afternoon as I was finishing cleaning my house I realized I was getting really hungry. I was just getting ready to find something to eat when  I got a call from Jen saying that Mike, who is a great cook, had just cooked a Spanish Tortilla and wanted to know if I wanted any. I was not familiar with the dish and was excited to try it.  The aroma was wonderful and I knew if it tasted anywhere near as good as it smelled, I would want to blog about it, so I took a picture just in case.

The Spanish Tortilla, or potato omelet, is a typical Spanish dish and one of the most popular tapas. Tapas are little meals or appetizers and are eaten anytime of the day or night. In Spain you will find an abundance of tapas bars/restaurants. We had an opportunity to eat at one while touring Barcelona. We enjoyed some delicious tapas and seafood paella but at a hefty price. That lunch costs us over $100!  Just think how much money I am saving you by sharing this recipe! The restaurant where we ate was on La Rambla a very popular street in Barcelona. There were lots of shops and restaurants. It reminded me a lot of the states.

La Rambla
street performer in Barcelona
and another one

I was very impressed with Mike's cooking skills as the omelet was beautifully browned to perfection. It was absolutely scrumptious! The protein from the eggs and the carbs from the potatoes made it a perfect post-long-run snack.

If you are not familiar with this dish, it may be helpful to check out this link for a step by step pictorial of a similar recipe. This dish makes a perfect breakfast or brunch food.

Tortilla de Patata Con Ajo Y Perejil
(Potato Omelet with Garlic and Parsley)
Source:  Rockstar Runner Mike Delicioso! The Regional Cooking of Spain
Serves 8-12 for tapas, 4 for supper

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 medium-large baking potatoes, peeled, and sliced into 1/8 inch slices
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
5 large eggs
Heat the oil in an 8 or 9 inch skillet until just hot enough to sizzle a piece of onion, and cook the onion very slowly for about 20 minutes (alternatively, the onion can be sliced and cooked with the potato without discarding). Skim off the onion and discard. Add the potato slices one at a time, making layers and salting each layer lightly. Cook slowly (in effect, "simmering" the potatoes in the oil) until the potatoes are tender (they should not be brown), lifting and turning them as they cook (this may also be done in the basket of a deep-fryer). Drain in a colander and pat with paper towels. Reserve about 2 tablespoons with the oil. Wipe out the skillet and scrape off any stuck particles.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork and add salt to taste. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Add the drained potatoes, pressing the potatoes with the back of a pancake tuner to completely immerse them in the egg. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the reserved oil in the skillet to the smoking point. Add the potato mixture all at once and press with the back of a pancake turner to spread the mixture evenly in the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until the tortilla is lightly brown underneath, shaking constantly.

Slide the tortilla onto a dish, cover with a second dish, and invert. Add another teaspoon or so of reserved oil to the skillet, heat again to the smoking point, slide in the tortilla, and continue to shake the pan until the tortilla has browned on the other side, tucking in any tough edges with the back of the pancake turner. Turn the tortilla, twice more, to perfect its shape and cook it a little more (about 30 seconds on each side). It should remain juicy within. Cut into wedges or 1 1/2 inch squares that can be speared with toothpicks. Serve warm or at room temperature (it can be made several hours in advance).

Nutritional Facts per 1/12 serving
195 calories
15.6 grams of fat
3.7 grams of protein
1 gram of fiber

Buon Appetito!


  1. Way to go!!!!!!!! And the food looks great too! Please tell Jinny I said hello! Yall make me want to move there so badly!! Hope things are going well! Much love, Leigh

  2. Thanks Leigh! I will tell her you said hi! They are now letting civilians move in housing so come on over! :)

  3. Hello Joy, I love your recipes and your post!!!!

    Just a little comment about your Spanish tortilla. We normally cut the potatoes diced and not sliced. That will give the tortilla more consistency.

    God Bless!

    Marian S.