At around 7:00 am you can still find me in bed, probably snoring, probably aware that people have woken up already, but most of the time, I don’t have a care in the world. That’s me at 7:00 am. Since my departure from school, being a student and teaching, that has been my routine. I just love sleep.
Breakfast begins at 9:00 am, that is, if I’m actually in the mood to cook myself something decent. The people in the house are long gone, and I’m left to my own devices. Sometimes, I just wait to have my first meal of the day during lunch at my grandparents’ house, which is just next door.
But I have my moments too. Moments where I just focus, zone in, get a pan ready, grab things from the fridge and cook. I think I may be on to something here with “one-pan” wonders. Yesterday it was pork with tomatoes for lunch, and today…breakfast/brunch was a really great frittata.
A frittata is just like an omelet, only studded with meat and vegetables, and usually finished off in the oven. You might even throw a pie crust here and there. I remember eating an amazing breakfast buffet at the hotel where we stayed in Hong Kong. There was an “egg station” where all you had to do was point at the fillings you wanted with your eggs, and the chef will make a frittata out of it. There was no oven work involved, and with his small spatula, he masterfully flipped the egg in the equally small pan to cook everything perfectly. It was a damn good frittata.
And this one? I’d like to believe it’s just as good – probably even better. I had this idea of adding malunggay or moringa leaves to the frittata from a recipe that I read in one of our food magazines lying around. Malunggay, in the Philippines, is usually added to soups, like chicken tinola, to impart an earthy taste that goes perfectly with the ginger in the soup. Strangely enough, when I’m trying to describe malunggay’s taste, the thought of ginger comes to mind.
It’s crazy overwhelming how nutritious malunggay is. It makes perfect sense to have it for breakfast because the leaves have quadruple the calcium content of regular milk, among other nutrients. We’re lucky enough to have a small tree growing just outside our fence, so all I had to do was grab a bunch.
What’s great about this recipe is that this can easily be a blank canvas. You can replace the chorizo and the meatballs with whatever deli products you might have lying around, keeping in mind that bacon makes everything better (haha). But seriously, don’t skip the malunggay.
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- malunggay leaves (I used 2 small stalks)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 – 8 meatballs, quartered (or your choice of deli)
- 3 – 4 chorizos, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (or you choice of deli)
- 1/8 cup frozen green pease (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160 C.
- Remove the malunggay leaves from the stems and wash under running water.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the milk. Beat until everything is incorporated well. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until lightly brown and fat renders.
- Add the meatballs and green peas. Stir to incorporate everything together.
- Pour the egg-milk mixture onto the pan. Sprinkle with the malunggay leaves.
- When the edges of the omelet have begun to set, remove from heat and place it in the oven. Allow to cook for 10 – 13 minutes, or until the frittata has set all the way through.
- Remove from the oven (use an oven mit, the pan handle may be hot) and serve immediately. Enjoy!