Do a Google search for "Spanish Omelette" and "recipes" and you will find yourself looking at many, many ways of making the potato omelette (I ended up with 1.4 million hits!) It's pretty confusing. Some sites claim the authentic Spanish Omelette comprises just potatoes, onions and eggs seasoned with salt and cooked in olive oil. Not even pepper should be added. Others add pepper and along with it red peppers or tomatoes or cheese or mushrooms or a combination of these ingredients and then some.
It's the same with the Spanish Omelettes I've eaten in restaurants: no two have been the same.
Well, until a senora or senorita comes to me with an authentic recipe, I'm calling mine a Spanish-Styled Omelette, an omelette inspired by the tortilla de patatas.
(If you're perplexed like me, check out How To Make a Perfect Spanish Omelette in the Guardian. While it doesn't really answer the question of "What is an authentic Spanish Omelette", it does explain the different ways various chefs approach the dish. Renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria apparently uses crisps (yes, potato chips) instead of sliced fresh potatoes! The article leaves off with a recipe for the "perfect" Spanish Omelette which you may want to try)
I did however add a garnish of grated Parmesan and red chilli flakes (definitely not authentic but I like chillies) right at the end.
The potatoes and the egg make the Spanish Omelette a perfect comfort-food dish. The layers of creamy, soft but not mushy potatoes and the lightly caramelised onions that are encased in an egg custard is just so simple but so fulfilling. It's a warm dish and I don't mean temperature. It warms you up.
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
2 large onions (white or red) sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup milk (optional)
red chilli flakes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a handful of grated Parmesan
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions and potatoes and toss them in the oil. Turn the heat low and cover the pan to let the onions and potatoes stew slowly. Stir occasionally so they cook evenly. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft but not mushy; season lightly with salt.
Beat the eggs (and milk), season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and 3/4 the parsley and mix.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and when hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Keep the heat moderate to low. Cover for about 5 mins and check if the bottom is browned. When it is, sprinkle the chilli flakes and Parmesan and pop the omelette under the grill for about 5-7 minutes to firm up and lightly brown the top.
Garnish with parsley.