The tortilla is one of the totem poles of Spanish cuisine. It's up there with paella and patatas bravas as one of the country's most well-known and well-loved dishes. Yet, despite its popularity in its homeland, the tortilla is much less readily exported around the world than its carbohydrate compatriots. You're far more likely to find a bastardised version of a paella or patatas bravas on the menu at, say, a pub in Scunthorpe than you are a tortilla. Although it's ingredients are simple (potatoes, eggs, olive oil), the tortilla is a lot more complex than you might think.
There are people who spend their entire lives trying to master the art of making tortillas and still end up falling short of the golden, slightly runny perfection.
The best tortilla on Earth can, according to general consensus, be found in San Sebastián at a little place called Bar Néstor. The tortillas at Bar Néstor – consecrated with a delicate crust and filled with caramelised onions and sunny eggs – are so good that they only make two tortillas a day, one for lunch and one for dinner. Each tortilla is comprised of 16 slices which, putting my GCSE in Maths to good use, means there's only 32 slices in total up for grabs every day. You need to arrive at the bar at least an hour before it opens to even have a chance of getting your name on the list. You could very well queue up for nothing and leave totally tortilla-less yet, still, thousands of people flock to the restaurant every year to see what all the fuss is about.
Why are we telling you all this? Because we've made a tortilla recipe you can make at home using ready-salted crisps. And it's the closest you're going to get to the perfect tortilla without booking yourself a flight to Spain.
This is our cheat's guide to making the perfect chorizo tortilla. We've served it with an aioli that's so garlicky it'll make your eyes waters. You're gonna love it.
Cheat's Chorizo Tortilla
You Will Need:
4 Garlic Cloves
100g Ready Salted Potato Crisps
100g Diced Chorizo
Place a medium pan over a medium heat and cook the chorizo until crispy and it has released its fat, 3-4 mins.
Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Add the mayo into a small bowl, grate the remaining garlic into it and zest in the lemon. Season with salt and lemon juice, set aside.
Scoop the chorizo out, leaving the fat in the pan. Add 2 more tbsp of olive oil, stir through the onion and garlic, cook until softened, 4-6 min. Tip into a large bowl and let cool down slightly.
Crack the eggs into the onions and whisk thoroughly until foamy, 3-4 mins. Stir the crisps through and season with some salt and plenty of black pepper. Let sit for 2-4 mins so the crisps soften slightly.
Place the empty pan back on medium heat with another 2 tbsp of oil. Once hot, pour the egg mixture into the pan, stir rapidly, shaking the pan until the mixture thickens, 2-3 mins. Then, leave to set the sides and bottom, 2-3 mins. The mixture should still be wet in the middle.
Place a plate on top of the pan and invert the tortilla onto it. Add 1 tbsp of oil into the pan and slide the tortilla back, wet side down into the frying pan, tucking the sides in. Cook for 1-2 mins, until just set.
Slide or invert the tortilla onto a clean plate, serve wedges of it with a dollop of aioli.