Next month I will be graduating from college. As I near this monumental time in life, my tendency towards nostalgia is stronger than ever, and I constantly find myself reflecting on these past four (and a half) years with great joy and yes, a tinge of sadness as well. From Florida, to Spain, back to Texas and everywhere in between, my college years have been replete with constant adventure and growth. There has yet to be a dull moment.
While every phase of my journey has played a significant role in who and where I am today, I can’t help but refer to my time in Spain as one of the most life changing. In Spain, a part of my soul was awakened, my perspective drastically magnified. In Spain, I fell in love with a people, a culture, a cuisine, and a language. Little did I know it would all change the course of my life forever…
Spain taught me the importance of slowing down and living in the moment and the unimportance of resigning to the thralls of the unsustainable American pace. Simply put, Spain taught me to follow my dreams. And so, while I have not yet returned (okay.. maybe once!), a piece of Spain will always reside in me. And, when I find myself aching to experience it all over again, what can a person do but make some tortilla española like my “madre” did, smile, and thank the Lord I am where I am today. ¡Buen provecho!
Servings: 6-8 as tapas, 3-4 as a main
3 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
sea salt and pepper
6 large, very fresh eggs, preferably organic
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, to prevent the potatoes from sticking, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in the onion and cook with potatoes about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain potatoes and onion on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Remove all but ~3 tablespoons oil from the pan.
Whisk eggs in a bowl and add potato/onion mixture. Pour into skillet (on medium heat). Cook, pressing down, moving and shaking the skillet, running a thin spatula around the edge and sliding it into the middle so that some of the egg runs under for about one minute, then let it cook undisturbed until the top still jiggles, about 6 minutes.
Top the skillet with a plate slightly larger than the skillet and quickly invert the tortilla onto the plate. If the skillet looks dry, add a little more olive oil. Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Shake the skillet to straighten the tortilla and push the edges in with the spatula. Reduce the heat to low and cook the tortilla about 3 to 4 more minutes. Cut like a pie and serve, preferably at room temperature.
Oviedo, Asturias…where I lived