Frittata 101

The chameleon of the pantry, eggs are just one of those things that I know I just can’t live without. It’s like the panacea for the kitchen…donning different hats every day of the week to help make my kitchen experiments possible. One day, it can masquerade as an essential baked goods ingredient, another day, it’s a key ingredient in a savory dinner, and tomorrow, it can be a headliner for a meal. Which brings me to this…the frittata. Not just a fancy word for an omelet, a frittata is what an egg becomes after it’s had a celebrity makeover. Forget the hair extensions, fake eyelashes, and painted faces. We’re talking cheese, and ham, and prosciutto, and fresh herbs, and tomatoes, OH MY!

A cross between scrambled eggs and a quiche, I first saw and learned of this wonderful dish about 10 years ago when I caught my first ever Martha Stewart show. Now before you wrinkle your nose and I lose brownie points, hear me out! I remember watching her make this and at first I, too, scoffed, “Frittata? It sounds like an omelet with thoughts of grandeur.” When she finished though, even I had to admit to myself that it looked pretty darn amazing and that maybe, just maybe, Martha wasn’t Satan’s mistress…she actually had some good things to say and share (pun was intended here for you Martha followers of which I, ahem, swear I’m not, ahem ahem). Looking at it, it was like an open faced egg euphoria…resplendently chock full of a multitude of delicious ingredients beckoning to be made and eaten. Not one to ever say no to good food, I found myself rushing into my kitchen mere moments later to try this out!

Thoughts of grandeur aside, making frittatas is amazingly simple. The 2 main things that you need are an oven proof pan and your imagination. Armed with these, the possibilities of a frittata are ENDLESS. There’s no hard and fast rule as to what you can or should put into it…in fact, I affectionately call this dish my “kitchen sink eggs” because I usually throw in whatever I have in my fridge that seems like it would be good and I’ve never been let down yet. This dish is only limited by your creativity and daring!

A frittata is first partially cooked in a frying pan as you normally would an omelet, but is then finished off underneath the broiler for a beautifully golden brown top and added flavor. This process in mind, I usually mix my seasonings and cheese with my egg mixture and saute any heavier items, such as meats and big vegetables, in my pan before adding the egg mixture to it. Any lighter items that you have, you can add to the top right before you put into the broiler. I personally love adding chopped tomatoes here because they roast underneath broiler and are just plain divine. The recipe below is just to give you an idea of how to make a frittata, but again, let your own inspirations be your guide. Enjoy!

Mushroom, Tomato, and Ham Frittata
As envisioned by TastyDesu

Ingredients

3 large eggs
2 green onions, sliced
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
2 ounces mushrooms
2 ounces ham, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh basil for garnish

Oven safe frying pan

Preparation

Preheat broiler of oven. In medium bowl, mix eggs, Parmesan cheese, green onions, salt and pepper. In oven safe frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and ham and saute 3 minutes, or until tender. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir gently with rubber spatula until just set on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle diced tomatoes evenly over the top (top of frittata should still be slightly runny) and place under broiler. Broil until top of frittata is lightly browned and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven and top with torn basil leaves. Serve immediately…preferably with a peach bellini.

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~ by tastydesu on January 20, 2010.

2 Responses to “Frittata 101”

  1. Fantastic! eggs are the chameleon of the kitchen! I make my own version of this with Potatoes cut very thin on a mandolin and placed on the bottom of the pan before I put the eggs in, makes a brown, carmel like crust, goes really well with the eggs!!

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