Mini Spanish Potato Tortilla

Potato tortilla

I love Spanish cuisine. Recently I had the opportunity to learn how to make one of its stars, a “tortilla,” from my Spanish born-and-raised girlfriend Visi. When I arrived at her home I found out I wasn’t the only one dying for a Spanish cooking lesson. Six other enthusiastic cooks were chatting with excitement about making Visi’s “Tortilla de Patata” (Potato Tortilla) a dish it turned out we all loved. Today’s recipe is an appetizer-sized twist on this traditional recipe that Visi brought to my Spanish themed party I recently hosted.

Visi’s Spanish Roots

Visi grew up helping in the family restaurant in Bilbao (Spain’s Basque Country). In her teen years, she spent countless hours cutting potatoes for Tortilla de Patata, a tapa typical to the Spanish Basque region.

Tapas Trivia

The word “tapas” is derived from the word “tapar”, which means, “to cover.” Why? Because tapas were originally small pieces of bread topped with a slice of cured ham that bartenders used to cover your glass of wine, to keep flies out. Today, the concept has evolved to include little dishes of all sorts of hot, cold and marinated foods.

What none of us had realized before we arrived for our Tortilla de Patata lesson was that Visi had prepared an entire tapas meal.  Nothing starts an evening better. We dove right into the Marcona almonds, olives and Manchego cheese swimming in a pool tangy olive oil, vinegar, garlic and black peppercorns.

olives-and-gazpacho

Visi’s Gazpacho with crusty bread croutons was a welcome refresher, with temperatures up in high 90’s that day.

chorizo bread

Visi dazzled us too with her baked Hornazo (bread filled with Spanish chorizo) and her own signature, fruity Sangria for us to sip.

After sampling these treats, the lesson began. I helped peel potatoes, which she had me do with a paring knife. She is highly skilled at peeling potatoes.  I am not. She peeled & sliced four potatoes to my one. Give me a vegetable peeler and a mandolin any day.

While we were peeling and slicing, Visi was heating up olive in a pan for the potatoes.

Spanish tortilla-potatoes-cooking

When it was hot Visi, a seasoned expert, dropped the potatoes in the hot oil with her hand. Bubbling oil makes me nervous, so I use a slotted spoon.

Spanish tortilla-potatoes-eggs

She added onions, and once they were all cooked, she added them to the whisked eggs with a sprinkling of chili pepper flakes. She spooned the mixture into a mini cupcake pan and broiled them for 5 minutes. She had marinated red peppers ready to top the mini tortillas once they were out of the pan. It made for a beautiful presentation. For a marinated red pepper recipe click here.

Mini tortillas with roasted peppers

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mini Spanish Potato Tortilla
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups olive oil for frying
  • 1¾ lb. (about 5 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2¼ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 extra large eggs
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • Marinated red bell peppers for topping
Instructions
  1. In a 10½-inch nonstick skillet that's at least 1½ inches deep, heat the oil on medium high.
  2. While the oil is heating, slice the peeled potatoes thinly, about ⅛ inch. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle on 2 tsp. of the salt, tossing to distribute it well.
  3. Once the oil is very hot (it will begin to bubble) gently put the potatoes into the oil with a slotted spoon. Fry the potatoes, turning occasionally (trying not to break them) and adjusting the heat so they sizzle but don't crisp or brown.
  4. After 5 minutes add the chopped onion to the potatoes.
  5. Set a colander over a bowl. When the potatoes and onions are tender, after 10 to 12 minutes, transfer them to the colander to drain.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, ¼ tsp. salt, and the chili pepper flakes with a whisk until blended. Add the drained potatoes, onions, and mix gently to combine with the egg.
  8. Spray a mini cupcake pan with cooking spray. Spoon the tortilla mixture into each cup, filling it to the rim.
  9. Turn your preheated oven to broil.
  10. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean with no uncooked egg on it.
  11. Transfer the mini tortillas to a serving platter and let cool at least 10 minutes.
  12. Put a toothpick in the center of each mini tortilla and wrap a marinated bell pepper around it.
  13. Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly cool.
Notes
Eggs keep cooking even when you remove them from the heat, so be careful not to overcook in the broiler. || Serves 6.

Spain will always have a special place in my heart because I got married in Palma de Mallorca.cathy and steve arkle wedding photo

Our wedding reception was at a local International School where we were served another favorite Spanish dish of Paella, because the chef at the school was renowned for this most festive local favorite! Good friends had arranged our magical day, one that I will never forget.

When I sample my Mini Spanish Tortilla de Patata or hear the word Paella, I smile a special smile I still smile. 🙂
…and then, she paused 4 thought.

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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25 Responses to Mini Spanish Potato Tortilla

  1. In Erika's Kitchen August 6, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I’ve made Spanish tortilla before but never thought to put it into a muffin tin for individual servings. That is brilliant.

    • cathyarkle August 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      Thanks Erika, I wouldn’t have thought of it either if Visi hadn’t made it. It is the perfect finger food at a tapas party.

  2. Lentil Breakdown August 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    I loved that dish in Spain, but this is an even more beautiful presentation!

    • cathyarkle August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks Adair, Visi really did a great job with this dish.

  3. Judy at Two Broads Abroadd August 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    What a great idea and even a better story. Will have to give this a try.

    • cathyarkle August 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks Judy, it is super easy to make and a fun story to tell.

  4. Susan Herrmann August 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Yum! This mini tortilla is so enticing….perfect idea, and what a special memory it brings!

    • cathyarkle August 9, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks Susan. It is a great idea for entertaining.

  5. Ruben Abengoza August 8, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    5 stars for the Basque Country restaurants… now I can remember this restaurant and our house in Tutulu Street (Bilbao) #OMG

    • cathyarkle August 9, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks Ruben for stopping by.I can only imagine how wonderful it was to eat at this restaurant.

  6. Kim August 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    What a lovely evening! And your story… it makes me smile that it makes you smile. I’m a firm believer that half the reason for eating the foods we eat is to remind ourselves of such moments in life.

    [K]

    • cathyarkle August 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Thanks Kim. I couldn’t agree with you more!

  7. sippitysup August 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the Spanish tortilla and the idea of making them mini is brilliant. GREG

  8. Cheri Cameron Newell August 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Those potato appetizers look to die for!!! YUM!

    • cathyarkle August 12, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Thanks Cheri, you would love these tasty bites and they are are easy to make.

  9. Valentina Kenney (@cookingweekends) August 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Spanish tortilla is one of my favorite things in the world, and this one looks perfect! I loved hearing about your wedding in Spain. How lovely! I lived in Madrid for about a year many moons ago — LOVE it!

    • cathyarkle August 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks Valentina, I think you will really enjoy the mini tortillas at your next party. Spain is such a wonderful place and you are very fortunate to have lived there for a year! Hope you get back soon.

  10. nusrat2010 August 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    That very last line is such a show-stopper 🙂
    You’re an amazing story teller, Kathy. Have been a crazy fan of your photography and will remain the same forever 🙂
    Lovely post with cuddly pictures 🙂

    • Cathy August 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      Thanks Nusrat, your stories are amazing too! Thanks for the encouragement and kind words as always.

  11. wen September 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    how far ahead of time can I make these

    • Cathy Arkle September 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

      They taste best on the same day, but they also were good a few days later. I think you could safely make them two days in advance.

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