Cooking scares a lot of people. Instead of approaching a meal as an opportunity for failure, think about it as an opportunity to learn, which reduces pressure. Cooking with friends should always be enjoyable where the meal is an accoutrement to community.
Mancheros is never the same—sometimes it rocks my mind, other times it is just okay—but the friendship developed through collective experimentation in a place where it is okay to fail has made me a better cook.
People often complain that they don’t have enough time or skill to cook, ergo the rise of prepared and dine-on-the-go meals. Food trends point toward more eating alone or on-the-go, which I’m definitely guilty of, but I’m trying to eschew.
In all my travels, food is the one of the few constant points of connection. Not everyone enjoys discussing economic theory or American football, but eyes brighten and barriers diminish when I’ve asked about a favorite meal or food tradition.
We cannot demand a carte blanche return to home-cooked meals and authenticity, yet would it be too much if we sought to share an extra meal a week with someone?
This week’s Mancheros was out of left field from Justin—Mancheros Fritata—which was probably just an excuse for him to season his cast-ironed skillet with the flavors of Mancheros.
As per usual no specific measurements are required—we encourage experimentation—but here is basically what we did:
- 1-2 onions (diced)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic (diced)
- 3 carrots (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (diced)
- 10-20 grape tomatoes (halved)
- 6-9 eggs (scrambled)
- ½ cup of milk
- Queso fresco crumbled
We seasoned the skillet with oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and hot sauce and then started on the garlic and onions. After a few minutes we added the carrots and bell peppers. We let them cook for a few minutes (you know, get that maillard reaction going) and then stirred in the grape tomatoes to help add some liquid.
Once that cacophonous concoction is reduced by 1/3rd we added the eggs mixture. We kept it on the burner for a minute or two while the oven got to 350.
We put it in the oven for 15 minutes and halfway through added some sliced queso fresco on top.
We topped with a rough guacamole (Avocado mashed up with Herdez salsa) and devoured it.
After seconds we paused to reflect that we’re getting better at appropriately using a cast-iron skillet and that we’re really good at cooking onions. Months ago we couldn’t have said that and hopefully in a few months we will be frittata maestros, or a step closer to making such a braggadocios claim.
Ideas for improvement:
- Cook onions in batches. That’d given us the caramelized flavor and some of the sharp onion flavor
- Limit tomatoes to only be a topping. Addition water affected consistency of frittata.
- Be more adventurous! nothing too revolutionary here.