Tortilla de patatas—Spanish potato omelette—is one of those things I try to make all the time but never get exactly right. Oh, I come up with something good enough to satisfy myself (and occasionally others), but it's never anything like the comforting wedges of rich, soft-textured omelette that I remember eating in Barcelona and Valencia. Not as good as the ones made by my brother's co-worker for their office parties, either.
Nonetheless, when I have the ingredients on hand I give it a shot. I dutifully slice the potatoes and onions, saute them in olive oil until they're cooked through and not brown, and then pour the beaten egg, seasoned with some salt, over the onion and potatoes in the pan. I let the combination sit until the bottom is firm. I cover the pan with a large plate, invert the pan so the omelette falls onto the plate, and then slide the uncooked side back into the bottom of the pan. I let the new side cook. Then I tip the omelette out, let it cool, and cut myself a wedge.
It's never as good as I want it to be: the potatoes are either not soft and creamy enough or the textures aren't melded. I assume either wrong potato variety or improper technique, usually; here, I've clearly not sliced the tubers fine enough. Yet it never tastes bad, because eggs and potatoes and onions are a magical combination. When placed between two halves of a lightly toasted roll, even my botched omelette is close enough so that I'm reminded of how the bocadillos tasted in Spain. One day, I'll get it right.
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