Although they both speak Spanish, Spain and Mexico are completely different countries. Radical thought, eh? No, I'm not being pedantic, the differences in Spain and Mexico are as pronounced as the differences in America and England. The similarities are as similar as well. But here's one difference that needs explaining: the tortilla.
Mexican tortilla: a flat pastry dough made either out of flour or corn, used as the base for burritos and tacos.
Spanish tortilla: an egg omelet.
My first experience with a Spanish tortilla wasn't in Spain, unfortunately. It was in the back garden in a quiet area of Manchester, one overcast summer day. A friend was having a housewarming barbecue and had made a delicious spinach and feta tortilla. I decided at that moment that I wanted to try my own. I found a recipe for one featuring one of favorite Spanish ingredients, chorizo, and set out making my first Spanish-style tortilla.
Ingredients: 4 eggs, beaten; parsley, salt and pepper to taste, 5 medium-sized potatoes peeled and finely sliced, 2 medium-sized onions, diced; a pack of sliced chorizo, half a pack of shredded cheddar cheese (115g), 5 tablespoons of olive oil.
Method: Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan. (Make sure the pan is really nonstick.) I used a wok. Cook chorizo until it browns or is cooked through. Leave on a napkin to rest.
Add two more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and fry the potatoes and onions for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring so that they brown evenly. Cover the pan and reduce to a gentle heat (1 or 2) and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the broiler (grill in the UK) to about 400F (200C).
Meanwhile, add the parsley, salt and pepper and cheese to the beaten eggs. Allow the ingredients to incorporate into the egg, then add the chorizo, followed by the onions and potatoes. Take care not to beak the potatoes when mixing them into the egg mixture. Add your last tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and allow to warm. Pour the mixture back into the pan and fry on a low heat until the bottom of the omelet is cooked. This should take about five minutes. Periodically shake the pan to ensure that the omelet isn't sticking. While the egg is finishing off, wrap the handle of the pan in aluminum foil, if it is not a steel handle so that it doesn't melt in the broiler/grill.
Place the pan in the broiler for about 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked to your desired consistency. Slide the omelet out of the pan and onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve. I served mine with cornbread and it tasted really good.