Straight from Spain - onions, potatoes and eggs are all that you need to make this famous tortilla.
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Yes, it sounds like perhaps you might have had the heat too high. Cooking is very much about constantly adjusting the heat as we cook. The temperature of the pan will most definitely impact a dish. The tortilla de patatas, is more about slow and low heat (sweating).
You may even find it helpful to watch the lesson on "Sweating". Cheers!
In Greece, we also have this very popular recipe. I grew up on it and my kids love it... However, for a lighter version I omit the onions and I cut the potatoes into fries about a quarter of an inch thick. Then I boil the fries in salted water until almost done and brown them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil right before I add the eggs. Eggs should always be at room temperature when beaten and whisked thoroughly. It comes out fluffier and the omelet rises higher. Pair that with a Greek salad with some good olives and feta and it's a perfect meal!
Oops, to be more precise, I boil the potatoes (which are just cut like fries) and once they are almost done, I add them to a non stick pan that has two tablespoons of olive oil. I don't really brown them, but rather gently coat them with oil and some of them take on a light brown on the edges all the while i am careful not to break the fries. If one or two brak up, no problem. Them I whisk and add eggs to the pan with the potatoes on a low flame. I do not let potatoes off the fire or cool down as their heat helps cook the eggs. Once the edges look cooked, flip (without extra oil) and wait 5 mins or so until done. Voila.
Thank you, Dawn and Rouxbe, for a recipe I'd initially thought intimidating but, having followed your precise directions, turned out perfectly. I admit to dreading having to flip this beauty but accomplished it without the disaster I'd anticipated. You make it easy to be both confident and successful with each recipe I've made.