All my favorite people were under one roof yesterday; we ate, caught up, teased and laughed…a lot. I haven’t been as diligent about my monthly visits with my family who live two hours away so yesterday was even more special than Thanksgivings past. The young men and women (my nephews and nieces) who joined in adult conversation were previous holidays’ little girls and boys more interested in hand-held games than speaking of life plans and current (puppy) love interests. For us adults, an extra fine line or two may mark the passage of another year but the friendly banter around the table was the same and somehow it never gets old. My husband and I left my aunt and uncle’s home even happier than when we arrived–hearts and tummies filled to the brim; I couldn’t have asked for a better Thanksgiving.
Since everyone else was in charge of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes this year, I enlisted for the “other” category, aka family requests. I made a batch of these empanadas and this torte. Being the default Thanksgiving host for the last 10 out of 12 years my refrigerator would normally be bursting at the seams today with more leftovers than my husband and I can eat in a week. Instead, I had only one cup of leftover empanada filling–ground beef cooked with onions, cumin and paprika. This would be perfect for a taco lunch but in a Filipino household leftover cooked ground meat means only one thing: torta.
Filipino torta gets its name from the Spanish Tortilla Española. The latter is typically filled with potatoes and while the version I grew up eating might have some diced potatoes added to it, it is always cooked with ground meat. To cook the top, the omelet would be flipped using a plate and returned to the pan but I borrowed the Italian method of preparing a frittata here by adding some cheese and vegetables (shaved brussels sprout) and broiling the top.
I served my hybrid omelet with pumpkin-cheddar scones (I can’t adequately express how in love I am with these right now) for breakfast. It should be enough to keep me fueled for all the cooking I have ahead of me. I get to roast my turkey today and cook the yams–Day 2 of my weekend-long Thanksgiving celebration. Tomorrow is salad and pie for Day 3–the traditional post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with good friends. There’s no such thing as too much turkey, right?
- 3 eggs
- ¼ - ⅓ cup cooked ground beef (or whatever leftover meat you have)
- 1 brussels sprout, sliced thinly (or use just green onions)
- Splash or two of milk
- Chopped green onions for garnish
- A couple slices pepper jack cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a 6½-inch cast iron skillet, heat the meat and brussels sprout over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until the veggies are tender. If your meat hasn't been previously seasoned, add a bit of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid if you like to allow the veggies to cook in a little steam.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and splash of milk in a bowl with a fork. Before adding the egg mixture to the skillet, add the olive oil if you think the mixture is too dry to prevent sticking. Turn on the broiler.
- Add the egg mixture and arrange the cheese slices on top and turn the heat down to medium. Cook only for a minute or two, just until the bottom sets. Slide the skillet under the broiler while the frittata is still jiggly on top. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the top is brown. Watch your frittata since the broil time will depend on your oven and the distance of the skillet to the fire. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve warm.