Mackerel Frittata

Fourth day without tap water and I’m losing my inspiration to cook. How can I get inspired when the primary concern is to use the least number of kitchen utensils so that minimal water is needed for the clean-up afterward? That’s what happens when you try to survive with stored water and you have no idea when the next supply will come. So, last Saturday, while mainstream media and the internet were still buzzing with the latest political fiasco in the Philippines, I tried to cook the tastiest lunch that I could manage under the circumstances.

I cooked this mackerel frittata using a chopping board, a knife, a vegetable peeler, a can opener, a frying pan, a bowl, and a spatula. Even I was amazed at how well it turned out firm but still soft and very tasty. The secret? I beat the eggs WITH the liquid from the canned mackerel. That made all the difference.

Drain the mackerel by pouring the liquid into a bowl. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper, and beat well (use the vegetable peeler, believe it or not). Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Brown the potato slices, in batches if necessary. Flip them halfway through the cooking to brown both sides evenly.

When all the potato slices are nicely browned, arrange them on the bottom of the frying pan so that they form a single layer. You may overlap them a bit if your frying pan cannot accommodate them in a single layer but keep the layer thin. With your hand, break the mackerel into smaller chunks and scatter them over the potatoes. Top the mackerel with the pimientos and the onion leaves. Pour the egg mixture in making sure it is distributed evenly and every crevice is filled in.

Cover the frying pan, turn the heat to low, and cook the frittata until set. You’ll know it’s done when the egg mixture on the surface is no longer runny. Turn off the heat and grind more pepper over the cooked frittata. Place a plate upside down over the frittata, place one hand on the bottom of the plate and the other on the handle of the frying pan. Invert the frying pan, catching the frittata with the plate.