Tortilla española is everything we love about Spanish cooking—lusty, elemental, assuredly simple. Traditionally this Iberian omelet gets its heft from thin-sliced potatoes, but in the cookbook Cocinar En Casa (El Bulli, 2003), the chef Ferran Adrià proposes an audacious update. Eschewing the dirty work of peeling, slicing, and frying the potato, Adrià substitutes a generous handful of store-bought thick-cut potato chips, which soften to just the right tenderness thanks to a soak in the beaten egg before the omelet is cooked. Innovative as this approach may be, the result is absolutely canonical.
- 4 oz. (about 2 1/4 cups) crushed thick-cut potato chips, like Cape Cod brand
- 2 oz. thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped canned piquillo peppers or pimentos
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Heat broiler to high. Combine the potato chips, ham, peppers, thyme, eggs, and salt and pepper in a bowl and let sit to allow the chips to soften in the eggs, about 5 minutes. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil; add the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, until bottom begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the broiler, and broil until set and golden on top, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.