Since first being published in 2003, Ferran Adrià's iconic Spanish tortilla recipe has had a life of its own across the internet (and many cookbooks), and has seen many additions and tweaks (flipping vs. not, crushing the chips vs. not, kettle vs. thin chips). Trust us when we say that, whatever rendition you go with, this tortilla española is here for you in a pinch (and fast). It skips the traditional steps of a making a tortilla—no slicing and slow-frying potatoes and onions here. Instead, grab your favorite thin and crispy potato chips and a few eggs. Near-instantly, you'll have lunch, dinner, or a snack when you need it most. And yes indeed, your simplest Lay's or other thin, classic potato chips are recommended instead of a thicker, kettle-style potato chip—they'll meld into the tortilla better.
Perhaps you have a little more energy to put into your tortilla? Then spend a little time rummaging through your refrigerator to pull together leftover cured meats, pickled peppers, and herbs to add color and flavor. To turn it into an instant party snack, cut it into small squares, tapas-style, and dress it up with a little garlicky mayo.
Heat the broiler to high. Combine the potato chips, ham, peppers, thyme, eggs, and salt and black pepper in a bowl and let sit to allow the chips to soften in the eggs, about 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, until the bottom begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the broiler, and broil until the top is set but still slightly jiggly (not sloshy) on top, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges or small squares to serve warm or at room temperature.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.