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Breakfast in Bed, With Jeff Gordinier

Breakfast in Bed, With Jeff Gordinier
Written By
Parachute Team
Photographs By
Jessica Schramm for Parachute
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You've had eggs before...but never like this. Meet the tamale frittata inspired by food critic and author, Jeff Gordinier's travels through Mexico with renowned Nordic chef, René Redzepi – as chronicled in, "Hungry." While the seasonal egg dish has Italian roots, Jeff adds a Mexican-inspired twist to the beloved breakfast staple. The tamale base acts as a crust before being filled with oaxacan cheeses, peppers and being served in a warmed corn tortilla because as he learned in Mexico, everything can be a taco. This frittata – and it's many variations – have become a staple in the Gordinier household feeding two teenagers, two toddlers and mom and dad most mornings. Whether it's eaten on its own – or, even better, as a perfect taco filling, with a nice splash of salsa – this frittata is a fast and nourishing meal for when you feel like breakfast in bed.

Frittata ingredients laid out.


  • 1 chile (Poblano, Anaheim or Jalapeno), seeds removed

  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1/3 stick of butter

  • ¼ cup of heirloom cherry tomatoes cut into fourths

  • 2 pre-cooked tamales, steamed before using

  • Kosher salt

  • Cotija cheese

  • Queso Oaxaca cheese

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup arugula

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • Salsa (for serving; optional)

  • 2 ripe avocados

  • Fresh corn tortillas 

Gordinier Cooking


  1. Wash and cut the vegetables. Dice the red onion and chiles after removing the seeds. Chop the pre-steamed tamales into rough, small pieces.

  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl; season them with salt and pepper.

  3. Melt the butter in the bottom of a non-stick pan while keeping flame medium high.

  4. Once the butter is melted, place tamale pieces into the pan. Let the tamales simmer in the butter until lightly crisped.

  5. Next add onion, chiles and tomatoes to the buttered tamale mixture. Let everything simmer together for a few minutes.

  6. Add in pieces of the queso oaxaca cheese on top of the vegetables and tamales (save more of the cheese for the top). Pour the whisked eggs into the pan, on top of everything. Place the rest of the queso oaxaca cheese on top of the eggs.

  7. Cover the pan with a lid until the frittata solidifies – leave it on the stove and let it bake.

  8. When the frittata looks done, no runny egg or liquids, slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

  9. Crumble cotija cheese on top, arrange some arugula and/or cilantro in a heap in the middle of the frittata. Place cut avocado slices around the top of the frittata.

  10. Slice pieces of the frittata and serve them in griddle-warmed tortillas with salsa, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

Finished frittata with a side of arugula and avocado.