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Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelettes)

Jul 12, 1999
That's right, I am looking for the ideal knife to prepare tortilla espanola. A couple of things to keep in mind:

1. The idea is to cut *extremely* thin slices from a potato until the potato is gone. (Must be comfortable at high speed and repeated motion, as well as ultra-thin slicing)
2. The chef who will use the knife has pretty large hands--bigger than the handles on many paring knives, for example.

I've been wondering about filleting knives, bigger-than-usual paring knives, single-bevel knives (like Frosts of Sweden), maybe just a really sharp "kitchen utility" knife.

Recipe for Tortilla Espanola (from David Rosengarten, Taste (Food Network))

1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound russet potatoes
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
spanish olive oil for sprinkling the tortilla

Heat the oil in an 8-inch or 9-inch non-stick
or well seasoned cast-iron skillet over
moderate heat.
Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly
(a mandoline or slicer comes in handy).
Add the potatoes and the onion to the
skillet, and stir until they are completely
coated with the oil. Reduce the heat to
moderately low, and cook, stirring often so
the vegetables will not color, until the
potatoes are cooked through, about 12 minutes
(they should remain separate). Remove the
potatoes and onion with a slotted spoon to a
baking sheet lined with paper towels, and let
them drain.

Pour the oil out of the skillet into a cup;
wipe out the skillet and remove any piece of
onion or potato stuck to it. Add 3
tablespoons of the reserved oil back to the
skillet. Carefully, transfer the potato
mixture to a shallow bowl, pour the eggs over
them, turning to coat well, season with salt
and pepper, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Heast the oil in the skillet over moderately
high heat until very hot but not smoking, and
add the potato and egg mixture, spreading the
potatoes evenly. Reduce the heat to low, and
shake the pan often to prevent sticking.

When the top is no longer liquid (about 10
minutes), cover the skillet with a plate and
turn the tortilla out. Add 2 more tablespoons
of the reserved oil, return the tortilla,
cooked side up, to the skillet, and cook for
about 5 minutes longer or until cooked
through and the underside is moderately
browned. Let the tortilla rest until it comes
to room temperature.

When ready to serve, cut into 6 wedges, and
sprinkle each wedge with a little salt and
Spanish olive oil.

I wonder if a ceramic Kyocera chef's knife would be the ultimate slicer. Just don't drop it.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by johnniet:
1. The idea is to cut *extremely* thin slices from a potato until the potato is gone. (Must be comfortable at high speed and repeated motion, as well as ultra-thin slicing)</font>

How about a potato peeler? You wont get slices any thinner than those made with a peeler. You can even control the thickness by the amount of pressure you apply. Plus they fit in ANY size hand. Just a thought


Louis Buccellato
Knives, Weapons and equipment. Best prices anywhere.

"only the paranoid will survive"
You want a mandoline. It's called that because the motion of slicing is similar to the fast strum of playing a mandoline.

The potato peeler idea is good too, but a little slow and the slices don't present as well. You'd have to size the potatoes narrow enough for the width of the peeler slot.

I use an inexpensive mandoline, plastic, from Germany with four or five drop in triangular plates that set the thickness of the slice from about 1/16 inch on up to 1/4 inch along with julienne and french fries. Same cut every time and very fast. Dishwasher safe. About $30.00. Also handy for prepping food for stir frying and so on.

Yes, it's like those Ronco/Popiel things. Restaurant quality all metal ones are up around $160.00.

A standard department store like Dillards would have it, but you'd pay a premium price. Other kitchen/cooking specialty stores would take care of you just fine, say Lechters if you have that chain in your area.

If you like that recipe, you should also look into italian style frittata, another omelet style dish. It has the advantage of being served room temp or cool so you can make it ahead and eat it whenever. They're good hot too.


[This message has been edited by phatch (edited 01-23-2001).]
Or maybe the 2 or 4 mm slicing disk for your food processor? That works well too.

Marttiini of Finland fillet knives. They come in different sizes; mine is 9", but you would probably want one about 6" instead.

Stainless steel, leather sheath, birch handle with a copper bolster and flared pommel.

Razor sharp and stays that way for a long time, sharpened up nice on my Spyderco Sharpmaker.