Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eggs For Dinner

The other night, in the midst of my funk, I asked my Twitter friends/followers what they have been cooking lately. The number one answer was curry, followed by various stews, and one frittata. Yesterday morning when I woke up, all I wanted was frittata. Our fridge was barren save for the door full of condiments and some moldy ricotta cheese (I was gone for a week, don't judge) so I hit the store and then made frittata for dinner.

Frittata is like a crustless quiche. It cooks faster, is less delicate, and is a great way to use up leftover bits of veggies and meat you may have kicking around. I pulled the prosciutto and artichokes out of my freezer, and added things that I thought would taste good with those. Big hit with the family - the kids didn't realize they were eating artichoke hearts and Jeffrey said, "This frittata is frincredible." A high compliment.

I served with fresh multigrain bread, and mixed greens tossed in olive oil, lemon vinegar, sea salt, and cracked pepper.

Weeknight Frittata

6 eggs
1/3 c half and half or heavy cream
2 c chopped cooked vegetables and meat (or not meat, whatever) - I used swiss chard, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, and grape tomatoes
1 tsp thyme (or any herb that will go with your ingredients)
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 c shredded or crumbled cheese
1 T butter
olive oil (about 2T)

Preheat the oven to 400°. You'll want to use a skillet, such as cast iron, that can transfer from stove top to oven. Beat the eggs and cream together. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the skillet to medium high, and saute' the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the rest of your veggies and lower the heat to medium, the same temperature you would normally use to cook eggs.

"...but I always burn my eggs!" you say. Here is what I learned about eggs; you need your pan to be the right temperature, and you need to cook them in butter. You know how eggs always stick to the pan? Right. Your pan is either too high or too low, and you're probably using oil or pan spray. (Obviously the exception is non-stick pans, but I don't use those because I'm a snob.) If you are using a gas range, you want the flame to be just touching the bottom of your pan. If you are using an electric range, it's going to take a little trial and error since they wildly vary. On mine, the setting is "6". Start there and tweak as necessary. Anyway, back to the recipe.

Add the butter to the filling and toss to melt. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the filling. Sprinkle with cheese. Now you're going to let it set. That means don't touch it for a couple minutes, but watch for bubbles in the center and for it to start firming up the sides of the pan. Transfer to oven, let bake for 10 - 15 minutes. The center will feel firm to the touch, when done. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

Patrick C. said...

Yes! Frittata is definitely my go-to meal when I don't have anything planned. I love that you can throw in whatever you've got, and that you can eat it cold for lunch the next day.

I don't have any oven-safe pans, though, so I use two similarly-sized pans and flip the whole shebang halfway through cooking. I start it in the smaller of the two pans and then when it's time to flip, I rest the larger pan upside-down on top, with the two handles lined up next to each other, then flip the whole deal over in one motion. (I usually heat up the larger pan on a different burner for a minute first, just so I'm not bringing the temperature way down in the middle of cooking.) Yeah, it dirties two pans, but on the plus side, there's no oven use - which makes this a great quick/low-effort summer meal (especially when there's fresh veggies to put in the frittata and a nice green salad on the side).

Oh boy, now I want it to be summer.