TGIF, and thank God my appetite is back. It’s near impossible for me to cook without an appetite. If you don’t feel inspired to eat anything, what’s the point in cooking? Thankfully, I live with someone who did not lose his appetite nor his interest in cooking, and he lovingly nourished me through the doldrums. There is only one thing that I was interested in cooking during this past couple of weeks, precisely because it felt like an f you to cooking (and health!), potato chip tortilla Española. That’s right, a recipe where the main ingredient is potato chips. I know, I know. Why not just eat the chips out of the bag, Nicole? Don’t worry, dear reader. I did that too.
My mom was the one who phoned me up and said she was going to try this crazy-sounding tortilla recipe with potato chips. I was incredulous. I thought, there’s no way that would work! Chips are too thin. Would there be any substance to the tortilla? Tortillas are something my grandma used to make, and my dad now also loves to make. For an authentic tortilla Española (or tortilla de patatas, as it’s called in Spain), you have to carefully fry onion and potato slices in a pan until tender, then mix in eggs and let them set before flipping the whole tortilla over and cooking the other side. I’ve made far too many burnt and broken tortillas to harbor any desire to make them anymore, which is why this recipe sounded too good to be true. I had to see if it’s really a thing, which is why I turned to the how-to Mecca, YouTube. Delightfully, I came across Spanish Chef José Andrés’ passionate and hilarious potato chip tortilla tutorial.
Once I knew that a Spanish chef had approved of this adulterated Spanish tortilla, I had to make it myself (sorry mom, I should have just trusted you from the beginning). It’s as simple as pouring a bag of chips into a bowl of beaten eggs and letting them sit for a few minutes before cooking them quickly in a pan. You still have to flip the tortilla over, but please don’t do as Chef Andrés does in the video, or you’ll end up with half a tortilla stuck to your stove, as I did. Just follow my instructions below.
This salty, gooey dish has been our dinner for the past couple of Fridays, accompanied by the indispensable, beer. Nothing says f you to the week, to cooking, and to health better than eating a bag of potato chips and beer for dinner, except, maybe, finishing it all off with some ice cream too. Now and then, that feels pretty damn good to do. Especially in these times.
Potato Chip Tortilla Española
- 5 eggs
- 100 grams of potato chips (see note)
- A generous pinch of salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Beat the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. I know that potato chips are salty, but you need to season the eggs too.
- Pour the chips into the bowl and mix them up well. Make sure to smother each piece with the eggs. Let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the potatoes have absorbed some liquid and are mushy. At first, it will look like there are way too many chips compared to eggs, but trust me, they reduce in volume.
- Heat a small, non-stick pan at medium-high heat. Once hot, pour in some olive oil and immediately pour in the potato chip mixture. As the sides of the tortilla start to cook, push the edges to the center a bit and tip the pan to pour some raw egg into the hole you’ve made.
- Once the tortilla is mostly intact (when you wiggle the pan), take a plate, or the lid of the pan, and slide the tortilla onto it. Place the pan on top of the tortilla and quickly flip the plate and pan over to let the tortilla fall onto the pan. Cook just a minute more until the bottom is cooked (take a peek to check).
- Slide onto a plate and serve with a cold beer or refreshing soda water. Also pairs nicely with mayonnaise, if you have some.
- You can either use the cheapest chips you can find, the really thin ones, or the more gourmet, thicker cut chips. Both work fine but impact the soaking time in step two. Thin chips only need about 5 minutes to soak; thicker chips need more like 15 minutes. It tasted sweeter than I wanted when I used sweet potato fries, so be warned about using those. I’ve also made this tortilla with leftover French fries; works great and those don’t require any soaking time!
- I say 100 grams of chips, but I’m really just eyeballing it…
- When making this recipe for one, use three eggs and half the amount of chips.