This dish and I have come a long way in the preparation and the pleasure of eating it. You can't escape it when your grandparents are from Spain. Venezuela (where I'm from) opened the doors to immigrants during WWII and today there is a huge Spanish influence in most aspects of our modern society, art, music and much sure, the food. Especially the food.
The traditional Spanish omelet is a culinary challenge. You don't have to be Spanish to be successful at this dish, but you have to be good at cooking and by that I mean a good cook. Onions and potatoes are cooked together and finally tied together by beaten eggs cooked to perfection over low heat ... everything happens in the same perfectly orchestrated pan. These omelets tend to be tall, about an inch high. A touch of browning on both sides is a must if you really want to call yourself an expert.
Making a Spanish omelet is difficult, but this is mainly due to traditional guidelines and expectations. if you stick with tradition, sometimes things tend to get a little risky and only the force of repetition can help. If you decide to step away, however… new opportunities for simplification could present themselves and in our particular case, they will be. Let's not waste any more time. The easiest Spanish omelette procedure is done in a flip of the page. Keep reading!
Why are Spanish omelets delicate?
I'm glad you asked! Cooking eggs is tricky (everyone knows that). Cooking omelets is very delicate (the movies even tell you that). Cooking a Spanish omelet is a real pain in the ass. Tradition places many constraints in the process of making this thing. Onions and potatoes should be cooked together. The omelet needs to be golden brown on both sides (it's not really an imposition but it's fine when it happens) which implies that somehow we have to flip this thing before it is not finished cooking, so browning the other side will not overcook the thing. If you've tried to do this, you know what I'm talking about. Maybe you've mastered it which is awesome, share your secrets in the comments section or skip ahead to the next Michelin-starred food blog. I didn't and I'm sick of it being that hard so I'm going to cut a few corners (a lot of thought has been put into this… trust me I'm a professional pilot… uber) and share this with you now. But before that, let me answer a few key questions.
Should onions and potatoes be cooked together?
NO. I mean, this one is obvious. There is no benefit to cooking these 2 together other than speed and reducing the number of pots to wash later. My problem with cooking the 2 together is that onions and potatoes have very different cooking times. I usually start with the onions, then add the potatoes and make it work somehow, but cooking the 2 separately is a lot easier and you have more control.
Is the reversal necessary?
NO, but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah (stop it, Vicky). Because there is browning involved, you want the golden side of your omelet in front of the crowd to look amazing. So, yes, you will have to reverse that at some point. If it were a French omelet, you wouldn't have to face the complication of turning it over. Some of these Spanish omelets are thick (about an inch and sometimes more), so turning almost becomes a requirement in order to set and cook the eggs thoroughly. The thicker the omelet, the messier the flip. But is it really necessary to turn these guys over? How about finishing them in the oven? this is what I usually do to process the thicker ones. Otherwise, I keep the thickness at about half an inch or less and the eggs will set without having to flip. Yeah, you're welcome. Tip number 1.
Is burnishing required on both sides?
It doesn't really have to be, but it's nice to see a bit of browning on both sides, especially if you're making a larger omelet (an inch or more). In my opinion, a bit of browning on one side will do in most cases. If you're keeping your omelet under 1/2 inch, there's really no need to brown both sides, that's exactly what we're going to do here. Tip number 2? I suppose.
Ingredients (Omelet for one person):
1 medium waxy potato cubed like Yukon (roux works but ... it's just not the same)
2 eggs. Beaten (see notes below)
2 green onions. Finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Salt to taste.
Beat the odds ... I mean the eggs.
There are many ways to do this and while it may seem ridiculously simple to do, egg beating can be improved. I grew up trying to master the art of beating eggs with a fork. Eventually I switched to a whip when I started this blog and it wasn't until recently that I finally discovered the blessing of using a container with a screw-on lid. SO EASIER !!! And you won't be developing carpal tunnel anytime soon (oh my god, is that number 3? ... it is). It's also much faster and one less thing to clean (the fork / whisk) Have you tried hand washing a whisk? This tool was specially designed to make you cry while you do the dishes.
I usually mix olive oil with eggs before cooking (wait what? Tip number 4 !?… Yeah). Unorthodox but I love it. The oil and the eggs emulsify together. I just reserve a little to coat the pan before cooking. So add the eggs, about 2/3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt to a container, screw the lid on and shake a few times and set aside. You are done here.
Green onions… say what?
Ok this is totally optional but tastes amazing and cooks so much faster. You can stick with regular onions if you prefer. I would suggest using yolks or whites. Shallots work great too. Try not to use red onions. These will give a really funky shade to your omelet. I've been growing my own scallions at home lately and let me tell you they taste amazing in your Spanish omelet. Chop them finely and cook them in a little olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat. A little browning is ok, don't be shy. Reserve.
Onions are actually a modern addition to Spanish omelets, but potatoes are a staple. I like to cook them in boiling water until they are tender with a fork. Depending on the size of the potatoes, the weather will change. You can cubes them to speed things up if your potatoes are too big. I like working with smaller waxy potatoes and it usually takes about 5 minutes in boiling water. I start the potatoes in the pan with cold water so that they don't overcook on the surface. I cook the potatoes with the skin on too and I leave them when I make the omelet, but it's up to you. Waxy potatoes have a very thin and delicate skin. If you go for the mighty roux, I would definitely suggest throwing in the peel for a better omelet experience.
You can also vacuum the potatoes, which takes all guesswork out of the equation. 87C for an hour should do. Cut the potatoes into half-inch or half-inch slices before vacuuming them. You can vacuum them up without a bag, but I wouldn't recommend it. I did, but the starch and sand could (and will, especially if you do it often) get into your circulator, possibly causing problems. So keep the taters in bags, please.
Once you have finished cooking the potatoes. Cube them small and get ready for the next step.
Put it all together.
Heat your nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add a little olive oil to coat it. You can use the vaporizable ones if that's the one you have (love them). Bring the potatoes and onions. Mix well and make sure they lie flat on the pan on an even layer. Now add the beaten eggs making sure they completely cover the bottom of the pan. The size of the pan is the key here. For an omelet for one person, an 8-inch pan will be large enough. If you are doubling the recipe, be sure to work with a 10-inch pan. If you want to make a bigger omelet, you'll either need a larger pan to reduce the thickness to less than 2/3 of an inch (so the flip doesn't ruin your life) or check out my tutorial on making traditional spanish omelet.
Once the ingredients are in, it's all about patience and attention. Keep a lid on the pan until the eggs set to the surface, then remove it. At this point you can reduce the heat and keep an eye on the price. Using a silicone spatula, watch the progress of the browning by carefully lifting the omelet just enough to see what happens. Don't let the browning darken. It's game over… let's repeat… GAME OVER. Looking for a pretty light beautiful golden finish. Now get ready for the flip.
The dry flip.
It's not even a real flip. Your omelet should be completely set and nicely browned on one side. All that's left before enjoying it is the "flip". And let me tell you… this flip, the dry flip, couldn't be easier when compared to the wet flip found in most traditional recipes. Make sure the omelet does not stick to your pan. Use a silicone spatula to go under the omelet and release it if necessary. Now take a plate or cutting board larger than the diameter of your pan and place it on top of the pan. Flip. Finished. No mess. I'm outside. And as anticlimactic as it sounds, you've reached the end of our tutorial / omelet creation journey today. Eat a lot. Enjoy! And please leave your comments or suggestions in the comments section below. I really need to sleep now. Happy Valentine day! I love you!
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch exercices to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping céréales in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.