I have an open door policy for friends and family. For me, that means they can call or stop by unannounced. If I’m home, they are welcome to come in for a drink and a meal. Not just for breakfast or brunch anymore, frittatas can be eaten any time of the day. Create your own simple frittata recipe using fresh or leftover veg and meat. I tend to make this for my Mr. on a weeknight when I don’t want to cook a heavy meal.
What’s the difference between a frittata and a quiche?
Quiche originally came from France. Often referred to as a “savory pastry”, it can be eaten hot or cold. There is a pastry crust involved; baked with eggs, lots of cream, and cheese, as the base of the recipe until it forms a silky custard.
Frittatas, on the other hand, come from Italy and can have little or no cream. They can be flat like a Spanish ‘tortilla’, or fluffy like a quiche. Typically, frittata’s don’t have a crust, but that is not always the case. Some people have described it as an open-faced omelet where the eggs are whisked together to create a light airy filling.
Frittatas usually have a two-step cooking process. Mostly cooked in a skillet on the stove, the meal is finished off in the broiler, resulting in a golden brown, fluffy finish.
I veered off the traditional track of skillet cooking and used my toaster for the broiling.
Start with the Basics:
Step 1: Crack the eggs and put into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk with a fork until all the yolks and whites are combined and and just a tiny bit foamy. You can use a hand mixer if you want. Then add any herbs, spices, milk and cheese you want. Set the bowl aside.
Step 2: Prepare the crust. In this recipe, oil a pie pan and layer the thinly sliced potatoes. For extra flavor, rub the pan with a garlic clove, or sprinkle minced garlic over the sliced potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the potatoes and put under the broiler for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are brown and crispy and they are fork tender.
Step 3: While the potatoes are browning, Gather all the ingredients you want to have in it. For this recipe, I used kale, onion marmalade, garlic, red pepper, and sliced chicken from the deli department. Saute the raw ingredients until soft. Then add the cooked ones until thoroughly heated through.
Step 4: Once the potatoes are browned, pour the veg mixture over the top, making sure to cover all of the potatoes.
Step 5: Switch the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the potato and veg/meat mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. The frittata will be high, fluffy, and dark brown. You can add additional cheese on top for 2 minutes.
Options for creating the base:
The base for this is the egg. I use 6 to 8 eggs, for a standard 9.5-inch (24 cm) pie plate. I decide how many to use by the number of slices or people I want to serve, and the size of the eggs themselves. Example: For 6 servings, I would use 8 small eggs or six large. You’ll want to have one big enough to whisk the eggs without spilling. I like creamy fluffy eggs so I usually add a splash of cream. Optionally, you can add any kind of milk, including non dairy.
You can make a crust out of anything. Try something new like leftover pasta or rice. Both will develop a nice brown crispy texture but still take on the flavors of whatever you want to add to it. I haven’t tried Quinoa but I know larger grains like Israeli Couscous or Barley work. Play with it. Have fun.
For the recipe listed below, I used thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes. You could make things easier by using frozen hashbrowns, or diced potatoes but I like the Yukons because they’re easy and quick to clean. The skin is thin and nutritious, the dirt washes off very quickly, and I don’t have to peel them.
I’m particularly fond of feta and spinach and kale. The sharp and salty taste of the cheese mixed with the greens is wonderful. If you like meat with your veg, this tastes great with brats, or any other kind of sausage. Chicken is equally good.
Not sure what flavors go with what? You can put anything in a frittata that you would in an omelette, pasta, pizza, or even sandwiches and tacos. Keeping it simple is nice too. Sometimes I use this recipe to try out a new local cheese.
Roast beef and blue cheese; Mushroom, spinach, and sausage; Tomato, basil and mozzarella; Beans, rice, and onions; and Fresh herbs. The combinations are endless.
Put a garnish on it:
There are a ton of recipes out there that call of cheese to be added at the end of the baking. I like to mix mine in to the egg mixture. This also prevents any cheese from burning on the top if you step away.
Toppings can take a so-so frittata to a memorable meal. Fresh sliced green onion goes well with an kind of ‘mexican’ style frittata. Equally so with crab meat and cream cheese. Ripe tomato with avocado provides a nice contrast with Italian or Asian flavors. Dill with Feta cheese is an instant favorate.
Another way to add interest is to think about the contrast of the hot Frittata with a cool garnish. How about spicy and sweet? I added a spoonful of Onion Bacon Marmalade (recipe coming soon) , along with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce.
Please leave comments with your favorite flavor combinations.
Have fun and enjoy!