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Tortilla De Patata

Spain's version of fast food is served from street vendors. The tortilla de patata, or potato omelet, is sometimes called the national dish of Spain. It's always served during the fiestas that Hemingway loved so much. In order to make it easier to eat, they often serve it inside a bun. Tortilla in Spanish means little cake, not the kind of Mexican tortilla that we are familiar with in America. Try these served warm at home or chilled at a picnic.

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/3-Inch-thick slices
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and golden, reducing the heat as they cook, about 20 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in same skillet over high heat.

Add the red potatoes and cook until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Toss potatoes often, separating the slices that stick together. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Set aside the pan with the oil in it. Add to the onions and mix together the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste. Add the potatoes to the egg mixture and toss to coat. Return the skillet to high heat to heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add egg mixture and immediately reduce heat to low. Let the omelet cook for 3 to 4 minutes, undisturbed, until the bottom is golden and the omelet is almost set.

Place a lightly oiled heat-proof plate upside down over the omelet and flip the skillet to turn the omelet over. Slide the omelet back into the pan to cook the second side. Cook until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Shake the omelet loose from the pan and slide onto a clean plate. Cut into 6 wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.

Elaine Light

Thursday, April 27, 2000

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