Difference Between a Frittata & a Spanish Tortilla - Technically

Our breakfast this morning had us discussing the what makes the difference between a frittata & a spanish tortilla? Is it technique? the flipping? the ingredients? the country?

Would love to hear from the great knowledge base that is Food 52. The photo is the breakfast in question: potatoes, red peppers, mushrooms & caramelized onions cooked in duck fat, beaten duck eggs poured over, finished in the oven and flipped onto a plate.

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8 Comments

Droplet August 17, 2011
A friend of our family who lived in Spain for a while says that they have pans there specifically designated to making a tortilla that look like a larger-diameter-shorter-handle version of a campfire waffle iron- it eliminates the worries over flipping the tortilla.
 
seabirdskitchen August 17, 2011
I have never found fliiping to be an issue, so I do it the old fashioned way. Ahh, the potatoes poached in oil. It doesn't get better. Thanks for reminding me what to have for supper tonight!
 
ChefJune August 17, 2011
Some frittatas are made with pasta.

In cooking school we learned to flip them onto a plate by inverting them. With that method, it does help to have asbestos fingers...
 
sarabclever August 17, 2011
Wow, I love this springform idea. I love tortilla but avoided it because of the flip method until I realized I could finish it under the broiler. (Then I still avoided a bit because I hated slicing all those potatoes, but that problem was solved when I got a mandoline). But I bet this way you are unlikely to accidentially overcook the eggs, as can happen easily under a broiler - not that I'd ever reconsider the flip method!
 
pierino April 12, 2011
Healthierkitchen, 400F should be about right (depending on what your actual oven temperature is). And they must cook long enough so that they set firmly and don't fall apart when you open the springform.
 
phyllis April 12, 2011
We host new year's day brunch for about 30 every year. I always cook my Spanish tortillas in springform pans. So easy!! I cook my frittatas in the oven so I don't have to flip. Some year I'll work on my no utensils flipping skills.
 
healthierkitchen April 12, 2011
pierino - love the springform idea! How high an oven?
 

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pierino April 12, 2011
They are similar but not identical. A spanish tortilla is always based on eggs and potato whereas a frittata is merely based on eggs. The flip method can be done with both, but these days Italian cooks will finish a frittata under a broiler or salamander.One of my chef friends came up with an ingenious version of the tortilla. She first cooks the potatoes in olive oil (that part is obligatory). Adds that to the beaten eggs, along with seasonings. But then she pours the whole mix into a springform pan and bakes it. The result is a tortilla that holds its shape and can be cut into serving size pieces. I've done it myself and it's outstanding, and you don't risk tossing half your tortilla onto the cook top.
 
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