One of my favorite foods in Spain was tortilla espanola or Spanish omelet. Don't let the word omelet fool you, this is different than your average breakfast egg. Made with eggs, potatoes, and onions, this food shows up in a variety of ways: wedges several inches thick on lunch menus, thin pieces on chunks of bread like a sandwich, or on the Tapas scene in small, toothpick adorned pieces ready to be served the beverage of your choice (and in a lot of places, included with the price of your drink!)
I haven't really explored many actual areas of Spanish cooking yet, though there are several recipes on the list of things to try, this is the first thing I really wanted to make. I didn't try at all until a few weeks ago, and was sad to report that the attempt failed miserably, largely in part to a bad recipe and the fact that I didn't really know what I was doing.
For anyone who knows how to handle an egg, the concept of a tortilla espanola is simple enough: it's basically finely sliced potatoed cooked in an egg. But this little tortilla is tricky! My first attempt worked well enough until a bit past the midpoint, the dastardly flip. This is accomplished using a plate, and you actually have to turn the tortilla out of the pan and put it back in again (in Spain there's a plate especially made for tortillas!) My first time through there wasn't enough egg on the bottom of the tortilla, and it crumbled when I flipped it out of the pan. So we pretty much had scrambled eggs with potatoes, which wasn't good at all! (I mean, it tasted fine, but it wasn't a tortilla...) The reason I said this attempt was with a bad recipe was because it called for the potatoes to be fried, and then for the egg to be poured over them in the pan. This doesn't cut it. Period.
The second time around I was a bit nervous, so I followed a recipe from Latina.com that showed up in my inbox a bit after the first attempt, only I made it half the size! The idea was the same as the first but there were some key differences: make sure to use enough oil when frying the potatoes to cover them, mix the eggs with the potatoes outside of the pan, and the option (which I chose) to let the fried potatoes and egg mixture sit together in a bowl for like 10 minutes before putting them in the pan to fry. The difference was so incredible, and the end result was an actual (mostly) intact tortilla!!!