Tortilla de patata

And what brought us to Mallorca

People often ask Thomas and me what brought us to Mallorca. We have a long and a short answer to that. The short one being: We brought each other to Mallorca. When Thomas and I met 15 years ago in Berlin, we both had a secret wish for a life in flip flops. The idea of a life in the sun felt extremely inspiring to each of us and multiplied the moment we met.

Thomas had made a few attempts to move to the south before, but had never been supported or accompanied by his former girlfriends. On our first vacation together – we were on the island of Gomera – we sat on the beach and I said to Thomas: “Why don’t we actually live by the sea?” A week later, back in Berlin, Thomas called and told me: “I have cancelled my apartment. When are we moving?” So we moved to the south of France. We had a good time there, but we didn’t really set foot. So after a few months we came back to Berlin.

Some time later, Thomas and I attended the workshop of a yoga teacher from Los Angeles, whose yoga style we instantly loved. After the course I said to Thomas: “If I could wish for anything, I would move to Los Angeles and do the yoga teacher training with this woman”. The following week Thomas and I cancelled our apartment, packed up the dog and went to Los Angeles. Do you recognize the pattern ;–)?

We had a wonderful time in Los Angeles, however at some point we had to go back – our visa expired. We moved to Alsace. It was beautiful there, but a life in flip flops was only possible in midsummer. On a particularly rainy winter day we packed our suitcase and fled to Mallorca for a few days. We ran barefoot on the beach, ate tortilla in street cafés and enjoyed the Mediterranean life. Between a sip of beer and a bite of tortilla, I asked Thomas: “Why don’t we stay here?” The next afternoon we signed the lease for an apartment in the old town of Palma.

In the evening I walked through the starry night to our hotel, still completely intoxicated but also a little unsure whether we had just made the right decision or the biggest mistake. I looked up into the sky and saw a falling star. That was answering enough for me.

I met Thomas and we sat in a bar until late, eating tortilla and toasting our latest adventure: the start of a life in flip flops.

The recipe of the week

I’ve loved to eat tortillas for a long time, but haven’t bothered to make any myself for just as long. In between I made a half-hearted attempt at cooking one, which I found too dry and boring. A few weeks ago I prepared the menus for our retreats. I wanted to dedicate one evening to “Mallorcan soul food”. And a good piece of tortilla is simply part of it. So I started a couple of new attempts. I realized that a very important part of a good tortilla is the right amount of fat. The perfect tortilla is never watery or dry, but pleasantly greasy, full-bodied and juicy. I found out that the best way to achieve that is to cook finely grated potato slices in olive oil first and then bake them in the pan with fried onions, eggs and salt. That’s the trick. And this way the tortilla tastes incredibly good. So good that you could get stupid thoughts, pack your bags and head south. Or you just walk into the kitchen and get another piece of the delicious potato cake. Either way, everything will be fine. In flip flops or without. Promised.

And now my question to you: do you sometimes long for a life in flip flops? And what do you do about it?

Tortilla de patata

Servings 4 people
Prep Time 45 mins
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 700 g potatoes
  • 300 g onions
  • 6 tbsp olive oil plus a little more for frying
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt heaped

Equipment

  • mandolin (fine kitchen slicer)

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into very thin slices using a mandolin (fine kitchen slicer). It is important that the slices are thin, otherwise the cooking process will take too long. Soak the potato slices in cold water for 10 minutes, then strain.
  • Peel the onion and chop finely.
  • Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the onions and simmer for about 8 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour into a bowl.
  • In the same pan, heat gently with the rest of the olive oil and add the potato slices. Simmer over low heat with the lid closed for about 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Stir in between.
  • Put the potatoes in a bowl. Using a whisk, beat the eggs with the salt vigorously. Add to the potatoes. Also add the fried onions and mix everything together.
  • Heat the pan again, add a small amount of olive oil and pour in the potato, onion and egg mixture. Fry for about 5–8 minutes, until the sides of the tortilla set. Now the tortilla needs to be turned.
  • Place a second pan of the same size or slightly larger upside down on the first and turn both together once by 180 degrees so that the side that has not yet been fried lies in the pan and can fry. Alternatively, an oiled plate can be used: place it on the pan, turn the whole thing upside down and let it slide from the plate back into the pan. Let cook for another 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Wellcuisine Stefanie Reeb

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