Turning Your Tortilla

Posted on December 15th, 2010 by admin

Making a truita de patates (tortilla de patatas / Spanish omelette) is dead easy.  You fry the diced potatoes in olive oil till soft. You beat the eggs in a bowl, with salt. You cook the mixture in the frying pan on one side. And then you turn it – and end up with a half-cooked mess splattered all over the hob,  the floor, and your shoes, and hot oil dripping down your arm.

You need a tombatruites.

tombatruites 2The tombatruites – literally, omelette flipper –  is a large glazed earthenware plate, traditionally decorated with images of eggs and potatoes and the word tombatruita. On the underside is a large knob, specifically designed to grasp while you deftly turn those huge truites that are too big and heavy for any of your normal plates.  And it doubles as a nice platter for serving tapas, canapes, cakes and so on.

Why not give a tombatruites for Christmas?

(By the way, do beware in restaurants in Catalunya. Truita is the word for both tortilla and trout. The latter is specified as truita de riu – that is, river trout.)

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11 Responses to “Turning Your Tortilla”

  1. theresa Says:

    Great idea though have to say have never got round to buying one and tend to use extra-large dinner plate (successfully) or frying pan lid (not so successfully).

  2. Lin in Wales Says:

    I was taught by a friend of mine who’s a really good cook that the best way is not to turn the Spanish Omelette/Tortilla at all but to cook on the hob till the underneath is done and then put the frying pan beneath the grill to finish off the top. Always works well for me 🙂

  3. THeresa Says:

    In Spain most people don’t have a grill :). But, yes, absolutely cook on the hub on a low heat – covered by a lid till the underneath is done – the lid helps things not stay too runny on top. When I first started eating tortilla de patatas it had to be ‘well-done’ but now I love it relatively ‘sloppy’!

  4. Valerie Says:

    I used to use a big plate or pan lid but had so many accidents that I bought a tombatruites. But then, I do have a weak wrist!
    I like it a little bit runny on the inside.

  5. Angela Says:

    My mother in law was a dab hand at tortillas (she was a Gibraltareña) and apparently used to toss them like a pancake! Now that takes real skill. I use a plate but generally find that one bit sticks and makes it drip on the cooker.

  6. Valerie Says:

    Wow, Angela – could she really toss those huge and heavy ones made with six eggs? Like you, mine usually stick somewhere, but I get the drips down my arm as my wrist gives way.

  7. TORIL Says:

    Great!!! Will buy tombatruites for Reyes to everybody 🙂

  8. Valerie Says:

    Toril – glad you think it’s a good idea!

  9. Theresa Says:

    Angela; my husband also manages to do this on occasion!

  10. TORIL Says:

    Went to local ferretería the other day to purchase tombatruites for reyes, but they didn’t have them in menaje-section. ¿No me digas que tengo que ir al Corte Inglés?

  11. Pelayo Says:

    Again me! While living in tha Scottish highlands my l.lord was at home once and I was preparing a tortilla. They were always mistified by our habirts and all that and they had fun observing us and asking funny questions. He come to me and said “How you manage to toss and flip the tortilla?!” I asled him it was a little bit of good aim, conviction and practice. He went to get a bottle of red wine to the dinning room and I took a plate and did the usual tortilla operation. When he came he said”OH! I missed it!” I told I could not wait too long if not it was going to be too dry. He said he was going to persist!
    Well, actually to toos the tortilla or to put it in the oven or grill or the trunk of the car in mid july at 4pm is not suitable for most people in spain. The tortilla get so dry that you miss the the delicious juice coming from inside it. And if there are some remains for the next supper it will be far too dry!
    Today I have to admit it I have a nice tombatruites bought curiously in Barcelona.
    Nice post!

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