The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.
The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.

Kasey à la mode: Frittatas

When I woke up early this morning, I was starving. After making a pot of coffee, I began hunting around in the fridge. I knew my twins wouldn’t be ready for breakfast for hours. I certainly didn’t want to wait that long! I wasn’t about to chastise them for sleeping in a while because they’re on spring break from college. But I also didn’t want to be in the kitchen all day either. The spring weather was calling me outdoors, and I wanted to head out as soon as I could. 

I found some sautéed mushrooms, a bit of baby spinach and a few pieces of cooked bacon. Soon I was cracking some eggs to make a frittata. It’s a great way to use leftovers for a quick meal for any time of day. The list of things that can be used in a frittata is long and varied. One of my favorites is asparagus, but I never have any left over. I sometimes cook specific ingredients to make this dish, but that’s rare. This dish is my “throw whatever I have available that will taste good together” kind of meal. I like that about a Frittata. 

Frittatas can be made in a large skillet or even in a muffin tin. I like the fact they don’t require a crust like a quiche. The extra steps of making a quiche weren’t going to fit into my morning schedule.

A Frittata is similar to an omelet. They both use beaten eggs and cream to which other ingredients can be added. The difference is an omelet uses fewer eggs and cream and can be gently folded over when it’s cooked. A Frittata is larger and has to be transferred to an oven or broiler to finish cooking.  

I opted for making one big frittata in my cast iron skillet to save some time. I decided to add some cheese to my list of ingredients. I had some shredded parmesan on hand and took out a block of cheddar too. For me, there is no such thing as too much cheese. I thought about adding some diced potatoes, but those have to be cooked in advance. 

I added some olive oil to the pan and a bit of butter for flavor. I seasoned the egg mixture with salt and a dash of white pepper. (Don’t tell my daughter because she hates pepper.) I decided to sneak in just a bit of onion powder too because it would boost the flavor without causing a revolt. 

For twins, my son and daughter have very different food preferences. It can make preparing family meals challenging. I think that’s why I often prepare foods that I can customize. I try hard not to favor one’s food preferences over others. 

Today I decided to make my frittata on the cooktop instead of using the oven. Covering the pan with a tight lid allows the heat to circulate cooking it thoroughly. If you want to brown it a bit, you can stick it in the oven as long as your pan is oven proof.  I didn’t bother. Both my stomach and the warm weather were calling.

Frittata

The Frittata is a magical category of dish, willing to host an incredibly diverse set of ingredients. If you’ve eggs, cream, and some Italian cheeses in the fridge, you’re already half-way there.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to coat pan.
  • 12  whole large eggs
  • 1/8 cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1/4  cup  grated parmesan  or Romano Cheese
  • 1/2  cup  grated cheddar  or Monterey Jack Cheese works well too.
  • cup cooked Spinach
  • 3 bacon slices cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup of sautéed mushrooms
  • dashes onion powder  Optional
  • ground white pepper
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Melt butter and a bit of olive oil in a pan.
  • While warming sautéed mushrooms, bacon and spinach, crack eggs into a large bowl.
  • Add milk, salt, and pepper; stir with a whisk until well combined.
  • Add egg mixture to pan.
  • Top with cheeses. Cook on low to medium heat.
  • When the eggs are firm, transfer heatproof pan to the over to brown.
  • Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes; run a thin knife around edge of each frittata to release from pan.
  • Remove frittatas from pan by sliding onto a large platter or round serving dish.

Notes

Remember, if you don’t have bacon, in the fridge, ham, sausage or kielbasa, you can pair with whatever vegetable works for your palate—Broccoli florets, kale, asparagus or even cooked dice potatoes work well.
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Kasey Rogers spent much of her career life in New York City's commercial film industry. After running “The 2Beans Café” in Alexandria, Ontario for several years, Kasey continues to pursue her love of cooking and passion for writing. Granting both a huge part of her life, she has been cooking and writing and writing about cooking ever since returning to the States.

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