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Spanish Potato Tortilla with Serrano Ham

Serves: Makes 10 to 12 servings (as an appetizer or side dish)


  • 1¾ cups corn oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 5 Yukon Gold or white potatoes (1¾ pounds total), peeled and cut
  • into ⅛-inch thick slices
  • 2¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large yellow onions (about 12 ounces total), cut into ½-inch dice
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 or 3 slices thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into ½-inch pieces


Don't let the name confuse you. This is a hearty omelet, a mainstay in tapas bars throughout Spain. Serrano ham is the Iberian equivalent of Italian prosciutto; ask for it in specialty stores, or you can omit it entirely. If you own a ceramic santoku knife, use it to slice the potatoes; its smooth surface minimizes sticking.
  1. Heat the 1¾ cups oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Put the potatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Toss to distribute. Test the temperature of the oil: If a slice of potato sizzles vigorously without browning, it is hot enough. Gently slide the potatoes into the oil, using a slotted metal spatula or skimmer. Cook them, turning occasionally, until tender but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes; you may need to lower the heat. Set a large sieve or colander over a bowl. Using the slotted spatula or skimmer, transfer the potatoes to the sieve to drain.

  2. Add the onions to the pan. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed, until very soft and translucent but not browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the onions to the sieve. Pour out the oil from the skillet (save or discard). Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt just until blended. Add the potatoes, onions, and ham, and mix gently to combine with the egg. Try not to break the potatoes too much.

  4. Set the skillet on medium-high heat (if the pan isn't nonstick, give it a minute or two to get good and hot). add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. When the oil is shimmering, pour in the potato mixture, spreading it evenly. Cook just enough to set the eggs on the sides and bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then immediately lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until the eggs are set near the edge but a little loose in the center, 8 to 10 minutes; the tortilla should slip around in the pan when you give it a shake.

  5. To flip the tortilla, set a 10-inch or larger flat plate upside-down over the pan. Lift the skillet off the burner and, with one hand pressing the plate securely against the skillet and the other hand holding the pan, invert the skillet so the tortilla lands on the plate (in one piece, ideally). Set the pan down and slide the tortilla into it while using the spatula to nudge any filling back under the eggs. Once the tortilla is in the pan, use the spatula to tuck the edges in to neaten the sides.

  6. Cook over medium-low heat until the tortilla is firm in the center, 5 to 6 minutes more; a skewer inserted into the center should come out clean and hot. Transfer to a serving platter and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, cutting it into wedges or small squares.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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