Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Frittata

Since I've been eating primally, I regularly only eat two meals a day. I'm rarely hungry around lunch time anymore, unless I've had a particularly hard morning workout. One reason is because my breakfast is incredibly satisfying. Also, it's always interesting.

Eggs are breakfast staple for me, and I frequently prepare eggs in a frittata format. The frittata is an open faced omelette, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It's perfect it you're feeding a family of five, or just you and your significant other. It's also great if you're looking for a way to use last night's leftovers. Below is my preferred method for making frittatas.

For smaller frittatas (up to a dozen eggs, feeding four people), I prefer to do it in an 10"-11" skillet. If you're incorporating veggies or meat into your frittata, saute them first in about two tablespoons of oil or rendered fat. While your ingredients are sizzling, whip your desired amount of eggs with a whisk until lighter in color and foamy. Your forearm should get a little workout. Turn the pan down to low and add a little more oil if necessary. Wait momentarily for the pan to cool, then add eggs. Cover. Now be patient. If the pan is too hot, you risk overcooking the eggs at the bottom of the pan, and they'll be brown and rubbery. It's better to have a cooler pan and cook for longer. Six eggs will take about 10-12 minutes, nine will take from 13-17 minutes, and twelve will be upwards from 20 minutes. The frittata is ready when the top of it is firm, but slightly moist. You may choose to loosen the frittata with a spatula, place an upside down plate on the frittata, and turn the pan over. Keep in mind that this is difficult with "stickier" ingredients. So you can cut the frittata like a pie and serve it out of the pan (like the picture above).

For larger frittatas, (fifteen eggs or more, feeding five people or more), prepare the frittata in an overproof skillet. It's also perfectly acceptable to use a 9x13 baking pan and make the frittata like a casserole. Bake the frittata in the oven at 325 degrees (Fahrenheit) for at least 40 minutes, depending on your baking apparatus. I've heard of frittatas being cooked this way both covered and uncovered with a lid or foil. Personally, I prefer the softness of a covered frittata. Making a frittata without a lid will give you a firmer "top,"which would be great if your frittata involves cheese.

I usually only cook frittatas for myself and my husband, so I'll take a shower while the frittata is cooking.  While frittatas are slightly more time consuming than scrambled eggs or eggs over-easy, it's definitely convenient on a busy morning. Good luck with your frittata adventure! Anything is possible!

Picture above is from my own kitchen - a frittata with deli-style roast beef, onions, and Roma tomatoes. Served with half of a hass avocado and creamed kale.

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