I can’t believe how quickly that past month flew by. About an hour ago it was mid December and I posted about the no knead bread that I made. A few minutes later it was Christmas. A couple of minutes ago we rang in the new year and now it is already mid January. Before I knew it, my blog had started to gather dust. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. I have! It’s just that I haven’t been cooking anything you haven’t already seen before.
Last week I made a frittata. I don’t know why it’s been so long since I’ve made one except for the fact that eggs give me problems. I’m a little egg impaired. It’s not my fault. The rental house we live in includes a thirty year old stove. It is so old that the burners are warped and some of them are beginning to fail. Also, I need to mention that it is electric instead of gas which poses it’s own set of challenges. I cannot make a decent fried egg in these conditions. Scrambled eggs either work or they don’t depending on how the stars are aligned that day and… I cannot make an omelet at all. Don’t even ask me to try. It is always a disaster. However, with the help of a heavy, well seasoned cast iron pan, a frittata is simple and foolproof. Why? Because I can start it on the craptastic stove and finish things off in the broiler.
To me, frittatas are a wonderful thing. Like quiche, you start with a formula and work from there. A frittata is your choice of seasoned veggies and optional meats, topped with eggs, then topped with your choice of cheese. The combinations are limitless. The other wonderful thing is that a frittata doesn’t have to be a breakfast item. Frittatas work equally as well for lunch as they do for dinner if you put a green salad on the side. Leftover frittata heats well. I had the leftovers of the one I made last week wrapped up burrito style in a whole wheat tortilla. It was scrumptious!
I usually go for veggies – no meat for my frittatas. I just like how clean tasting they are without all of the extra fat. For years I made a spinach and potato frittata. I was stuck in a rut on that one. It was so good, Greek style with a topping of broiled feta cheese. What changed things for me was a food network show where someone broiled zucchini for a frittata. I think I have a new love. Zucchini makes a very light delicious frittata. Last week I did a feta and mozzerella blend for the cheese. I used sharp cheddar and parmesan this week, delish! Go with what you like for the filling and the cheese. You won’t regret it.
Loosely adapted from Moosewood restaurant cooks at home
2 medium zucchini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, halved and then sliced thinly
2-3 small potatoes cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced
2 small garlic cloves, chopped fine
½ tsp each dried dill, oregano and basil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs, beaten
Up to half a cup grated or crumbled cheese (I used ½ cup cheddar and a couple of tbsp parmesan)
Preheat the broiler. Split the zucchini in half lengthwise and then chop it in half crosswise. Broil for 8 – 10 minutes (turning it over after 5 minutes) or until tender. Cool slightly and then slice half moons. Reserve.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large cast iron or heavy broiler-proof skillet. Add onions and potatoes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook covered over medium heat, stirring every few minutes or so for eight minutes. The onions should caramelize and the potatoes will brown. A minute or two before the veggies are done, add the garlic and spices.
Stir in the zucchini and top the veggies with the eggs. Swirl the pan a bit to make sure the eggs cover all of the veggies. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook the frittata covered for a another eight minutes. Top the frittata with the cheese. Continue to cook, the frittata, covered for two more minutes. Move the frittata to the broiler. Broil for two more minutes until the eggs are set and the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Let the frittata stand for a couple of minutes and then cut into slices to serve. Serves four to six people depending on their self control