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Friday, February 4, 2011

Basque Potato Tortilla - French Fridays with Dorie

I don't usually like to repeat recipes--there are so many new things waiting to be tried--but the potato tortilla is an exception. Some things are best kept simple: potatoes, onions, olive oil, and eggs. That's all it takes to make this classic, and delicious, dish.

The method Dorie uses for this tortilla is a little different than the technique I learned. My tapas instructor said we should slice the potatoes (rather than dice them) and gently poach them in a LOT of olive oil. The disadvantage of this method is that it takes so much olive oil. The advantage is that the potatoes taste like olive oil. I wasn't sure the two tablespoons of oil used to cook the potatoes would be enough, but it worked.

I liked cooking the potatoes with garlic and rosemary. They both left their flavors behind, even though they got dumped before the final result. (It was nice not to have to take out the little green germ--a step that seems annoying to me, but I do it because I'm told to).

After the potatoes, onions, and eggs are mixed together, it takes only about five minutes until everything is almost cooked. If you didn't finish it under the broiler, though, the bottom would be too brown or the top would be too runny. I was hoping I could avoid the broiler step, but it turned out to be necessary.

Anytime you have to turn something over from a skillet to a plate, you hold your breath because things could go wrong. (At least I hold my breath--maybe everybody else keeps breathing). Nothing went wrong.

This is so good. The potatoes were cooked perfectly. I don't like al dente potatoes. The onions were just sweet enough. The eggs are pretty much a binder, but they taste good too.
I like the bonne idees--adding ham, spinach, herbs, or mushrooms--but it's so good just the way it is, I bet I'll never get around to any of the variations.


  1. Beautiful results, all puffy and nicely browned. It looks delicious.

  2. Very nice - there is nothing like the golden crunch of cooked potatoes. MMMM

  3. The top looks so golden brown, yum! Im glad you thought it was so good! I loved it! It's nice because you can tweek the recipe to any way you like!

  4. Your crisp topping looks fantastic...I'd want to eat that part first. Lovely presentation :)

  5. LOL I hold my breath too when I unmold things upside down!

  6. SeattlePastryGirl,
    Thanks (love your name, by the way--and love Seattle).

    You are so right!

    Yes--golden brown is the best color in cooking.

    You would have to fight me for it.

    Glad to hear from a fellow breath-holder!

  7. It looks beautiful, Marie. Not sure why you were scared because you did great. Just curious, how does it compare, in taste, (if you still remember) to the tortilla I made?

  8. Hanaa,
    I'm always scared of anything that requires manual dexterity. :-)
    The texture was basically the same as your Moroccan tortilla (except that the potatoes were cubed, of course), but a very different taste because this one is flavored only with salt, pepper, and a hint of cayenne, while yours had much more bold flavors. Although they're similar, they're as hard to compare as chocolate cupcakes and angel food cake!