Podcast no. 20 – Tortilla!

[Download MP3]

Tortilla making in the kitchen whilst Marina and I discuss a range of culture clash topics from salad obsessions to Brits’ confusions about rabies in Spain. And here’s the recipe…

Tortilla Paisana

4 big potatoes
1 large onion
2 small corgettes (zucchinis in the U.S. !)
1 green pepper
olive oil
6 eggs

21 Replies to “Podcast no. 20 – Tortilla!”

  1. Just the way my (Equadorian) mother used to make it! Thanks for the flavours and savours… and, of course, the cross-cultural banter.

    I do have a question: is there a type of potato which works better than others in tortilla? I believe she uses russet potato, but you may have other ideas. And do you ever add pasta to the tortilla?

    Many thanks.

    Ivan, Scotland/USA

  2. Hi Ivan,

    I usually use Galician variety, but I don’t know if it has a more specific name.
    I’ve just search in google without much success. I’ll better ask in the market next time I’m there.

    I’ve never used pasta for making tortilla, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a restaurant… have you ever tasted it? does it work all right? which kind of pasta do you use?


  3. For any non-British listeners out there, a “corgette” is a zucchini. I was completely confused and had to look it up on Wikipedia. Perhaps I’m ignorant. In any event, thanks for the recipe, Marina and Ben!

  4. Ummm! I’ve got to try this out now you’ve given the recipe.

    How about some tapas recipes at some time in the future?

    Thanks Ben and Marina.


  5. Another great podcast, Ben. Sound quality was very good. What did you use to do the recording (name of recorder and mic)? Nice interaction between the two of you. Interesting subject. More like this one, please…

  6. Enjoyed this one immensely. Listened to it on the way home today. I loved your banter in the kitchen. I am familiar with that. I love cooking and it sounded like you had fun. Can you let me know what the cheese is again? It sounded like you liked it and I thought I would try to find it here in Boston, MA.

    BTW – My sister in law seems to always need a salad with her meals too.


  7. Downloaded this podcast the day after returning from Madrid. How I wish I’d been in your house last Sunday than having to eat in one of the restaurants. I could easily believe the powdered egg theory. Marina’s Tortilla sounds so much nicer than the insipid pale yellow lumps they serve to the tourists in Spain. Getting the ingrediants this afternoon to cook for tonight, but what was the “Correethro”? that was cooked in the cider. I didn’t see it mentioned in the list.

    This was a fantastic podcast. I agree with Philip above.

    I spent Sunday morning at the Rastro street market. Surely lots of material there for a podcast!

  8. It was ‘chorizo’, as in the Spanish spicy sausage. Really glad you liked the podcast. The Rastro is definitely a good podcasting location, though I’m not sure just how big a fan I am – it’s always soooo crowded!

  9. Very nice and familiar podcast. It was fun to learn abou the different etiquete table manners in Spain and England. Indeed, it is very common to have different kind of meals served in common dishes served in the middle of the table for a number of eaters to share. Not only in casual suppers but also in formal events. Being able to serve the meal appropiately and elegantly it is seen as a form of politeness. You are both right when you point out that in England you would have 3 or more different meals at the time, when in Spain you have only one or maybe two at the most (main meal and side dish).
    Please, keep on letting us know this kind of different peculiarities between our two countries.
    Marina, good luck on you vegetereanism, managing that in Spain is certainly not easy.

  10. Another cultural clash. How dishes are washed in the UK?

    – Leaving all that soapy soup on them without a final rinse in clean water-

    For us in Spain it is disgusting! When I found about it I had to force myself into thinking that all those restaurants I had visited, even during the trips to London in my youth, had to be using a dishwasher… wern’t they?

  11. These comments were transfered from cuisinefromspain.com:

    1. Beth Smaligo Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    Hola, Ben i Marina. Como estas? (That’s about as far as I can go in Español-can’t converse yet by any means!) OK, I should never listen to the cooking cast early in the morning (I am a morning person) just before eating breakfast. I ate my breakfast entirely too fast, and now I’m not feeling so great. Oh, well. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve never had Spanish food. It sounds very interesting and delicious. I love anything with olive oil. If either of you have had Italian food, it is great. This past weekend, I went to a restaurant called Macaroni Grill. I ordered their Create Your Own Pasta. I had whole-wheat penne pasta with pesto sauce (olive oil mixed with basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese), with extra pine nuts thrown in, and pieces of grilled chicken. Oh my word! Let’s see, how to describe this in Spanish (the very limited vocabulary I have)…..mui bien!

    2. Marina Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Beth,

    Ben and me really enjoy eating pasta;-)

    Next time you can try to find a Spanish restaurant instead so you give it a go!!!!
    If you do, please write a comment with your opinion.

    Hasta pronto.

  12. Ola marina y Ben
    Que tal?

    I loved your version of the “tortilla de patata” very creative to add Bell peppers.
    I have seen Spanish adding chorizo, jamon Serrano, cheeses and sometimes even a call for tomatoes.
    So I guess there’s a variety of recipes of the traditional “tortilla” espanola.
    I normally make it plain and add the others items as “tapas” ( adding as a topping).
    But I will try this one, its sounds a great conception of the tortilla .
    So let me ask you…You don’t really add milk to make the frothy texture that gives a more consistent texture?
    Does it hold it together fine more as a “Omelet” right?
    I am used to make the “tortilla de patata”, but I do make a different version from Valencia, that we eat normally with tapas.
    I love the idea of cheese and bell peppers and will for sure give a try to one more new taste of “Madrid’s” great food.
    Way to go!!!
    Thank you.

  13. Hi Marina

    I am here again…So about the word “Zucchini”…
    Is a new word for Americans too, originally was a only a “summer squash” and later “italian squash’.
    Until the influences of the Italian immigrants and the habit that the Americans have to rename things (so they “sell” better), introduced the new name for the squash in Italian: “zucchini”, which is “zuccha” in a diminutive and plural form (small squash).
    Like Spanish people also says “calabaza” and “calabacin”.
    And sure there’s many varieties of this fruit as we know.
    But no matter how is named, I love this sensational fruit is so yummy and you can do so much with it.

    PS: Isn’t that great?
    When food, foreign languages and cultures get people together?

    My mom used to say two things that I love :

    _ Food and the table keeps the family together.

    _The short cut to ones heart is trough the stomach.


    Tanti baci a tutti

  14. I love your material! I lived in Madrid 1971-1976 and spent summers in Málaga (capital), Ronda (Málaga) and El Escorial. I taught English at Instituto Briam on c/ Tetuán next to El Corte Inglés off Preciados.

    For one of those years, I had 2 English roommates (I’m from the US) and had the horrible experience of their not rinsing dishes! Yech!! It affected the tase of food. They would argue with me about rinsing. I’d later return to the kitchen and take the dishes back out of the cupboard and rinse them to suit myself! OTOH, here in the US, we think dish towels can be unsanitary and prefer to let dishes air dry in the rack before putting them away. My English roommates thought that was untidy! It think it beats the socks off unsanitary or soapy!

    The tortilla paisana I ate usually included chorizo and/or ham as well as peas. I never in all those years, either in a private home or a restaurant ate a tortilla that was ‘juicy’ in the middle. They were always cooked through.

    I also loved tortilla de gambas (prawns)

    I’m looking forward to more from you! You make me homesick for Spain, a place I have not forgotten in 30 years.

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