Tortilla Española, Estilo Nuevo : Spanish Tortilla, New Style : Deconstructed

A deconstructed Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla).


Quite different than this normal looking tortilla:

See also a post at Tortilla de Cebolla

Taking a page from Ferran Adrià (chef & sort of mad scientist) and his recipe for a modern tortilla; having three components: caramelized onions, a simple sabayon (egg) and potato foam (yes, that’s foamed potatoes.

Instead of mixing all the ingredients together they are separated and layered over each other. Taste them individually or dig through to the bottom and have all three together.

The following is what I actually did – with slight variance from his original recipe. It’s quite a bit easier than it might look at first glance.

Deconstructed Tortilla Española

Serves: 2


Caramelized Onions
  • 1/2 medium onion – julienned, finely sliced
  • 4 shallots – julienned, finely sliced (equal in amount to the onion)
  • 60 ml olive oil [1/4 C]
  • 1 T butter (or a little less)
  • 100 ml water [1/2 C]
  • salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 T boiling water
  • salt
Potato Foam
  • 150 gr potatoes [1/3 #] (that’s about 1 potato)
  • 75 ml cream (heavy/whipping cream) [1/2 C]
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt


Caramelized Onions
  1. Oil into a sauté pan, then the butter
  2. Sauté the onions and shallots slowly, until browning
    • takes about 20 minutes
    • stirring regularly or, if you have the patience, continuously
  3. Drain off any excess oil
  4. Add 1 T of water, stir, and continue until the water evaporates
    • repeat: water, stirring, cooking until the water’s gone (this could go for another 20 minutes)
    • You’re going for a jam consistency and golden brown color
  5. Salt to taste
  1. In a pan, whisk the egg yolks until creamy and consistent
    • getting air in the mix is just fine
  2. Add the boiling water in a drizzle and keep on whisking
  3. Whisk with enthusiasm over medium heat, maybe use a double boiler, until it’s emulsified
    • Don’t stop whisking or you might end up with scrambled eggs
    • When it’s ready it will just barely drip from the whisk and be really full of small bubbles
    • If you have an instant thermometer it would be 80 C [180F]
  4. Salt to taste (do not omit this step)
Potato Foam
  1. Peel, chunk and cook the potatoes until soft
    • Start the potatoes in cold, lightly salted water, just enough to cover
    • They’re ready when a knife goes in easily and slips out equally so
  2. Drain over a bowl, saving the cooking water
  3. Puree/blend the potatoes, with 3 T of the potato-water, and drizzle in the cream
  4. Then drizzle in the oil, pureeing the whole while
    • Until it’s smooth
  5. Salt to taste (don’t leave out this salt either)

You can stop now and resume later (see notes) or carry on right away.

Now comes the sort of complicated bit; you need a stainless steel whipped cream maker (1/2 liter [quart] size) (or see notes for a possible alternative)

  1. Strain the creamed potato into the whipper
  2. Charge (2 cartridges) the whipper
  3. Set in a pan of hot water, you can put the sabayon there too
  1. 1 T (heaping) caramelized onions in the bottom of a tapered glass
  2. Spoon in sabayon to cover
  3. Shake thrice and invert the whipper with the potato foam and spurt in a goodly quantity of potato. At least as deep as the other two layers
  4. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top



  1. I made everything well in advance and stashed it in the fridge
  2. The sabayon firmed up quite a bit from the liquidy form it had when I finished making it. That didn’t matter since it was going between two other layers
  3. Warming the caramelized onions up in a sauté pan
  4. Warming the sabayon in a bain marie of hot water (just a biggish pot really)
  5. Warming the creamed potato in a pot, adding a touch (2 T?) of potato-water to make up for absorbed or evaporated liquid
  6. And then straining and charging the whipper with it and stashing it the bain maire
  7. The caramelized onions are quite thick and jammy. Don’t put too much in the glass. I probably overdid it.
  8. In the event that you don’t have a whipper/foamer I imagine you could whip up the creamed potatoes really well and end up with something sort of conceptually similar. Whip in large bowl with and electric whip and whip at the edge of the mixture to incorporate a lot of air. Cover half the top of the bowl with plastic film to avoid a huge mess.

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