Monday, September 7, 2009

Kitchen Sink Frittata


Frugal home cooks often come up with inventive ways to finish up the odds and ends from their refrigerators and larders. In an effort to cut back on our monthly grocery spending, I've made a conscious decision to become one of those frugal cooks. I need to pare down on the at-home meals so that we can splurge on out-on-the-town meals. That means getting the most out of everything that we buy, and using it in a way that is tasty and enjoyable.

Eggs are my "kitchen sink" fallback dish. Whenever there are vegetables that are past their prime, odd ends of cheese, or just a couple of slices of leftover ham, I think of frittatas, an inexpensive dish can hold any number of veggies and be doctored up a million different ways. I love quiche, but it's laden with heavy cream and butter. Frittatas are the poor man's version of quiche. They're much faster, easier, and lighter since there is no pastry crust, and the addition of milk or cream to the egg base is strictly optional. Frittatas cook up quickly and look gorgeous on a large serving tray. I often make one one the weekend for breakfast, and Dave and I end up eating it for lunch or a light dinner the next day.

This recipe is loose, and is based on what I mixed into my frittata this morning: a tomato that was getting a little wrinkled, a red pepper, half a Spanish onion that was left over from something I don't even remember cooking, the last two slices of Canadian bacon, dried thyme, and about an ounce of creamy Camembert that was sent from the lovely folks at Isle de France. Next week, my frittata will look totally different, depending on what's in the fridge.

Kitchen Sink Frittata

1 garlic clove, quartered
1/2 cup diced onion
1 red pepper, diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 slices Canadian bacon, diced
8-10 eggs (depends on how many I have available)
1 ounce Camembert

Preheat broiler.

In an oven safe skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat. Add the quartered garlic clove, and allow the oil to continue heating for 5 minutes. Skim the garlic pieces out of the oil and discard. Add diced onion to the pan. Saute until onions are translucent. Add diced red pepper; saute another 3 minutes. Add diced tomato and Canadian bacon and saute until juice from the tomato is almost completely evaporated.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with a generous amount of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. Add eggs to the vegetable mixture in the skillet. Dot the eggs with small chunks of Camembert. Use a heat resistant spatula to move the eggs around, scraping them from the bottom and sides of the pan so that heat is distributed evenly throughout. When eggs are partially cooked but still very runny, stop stirring and allow the eggs to set on the bottom of the pan.

When the eggs are set on the sides and bottom of the pan, carefully move the skillet to the broiler to finish cooking through. The frittata will only need a minute or two in the broiler, so be attentive. Remove the frittata after it begins to brown slightly on the top. Allow to cool for 5 minutes (eggs will finish cooking in the center) before loosening the sides and bottom and flipping onto a serving platter.

Garnish with chopped chives, green onions, or parsley.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I'm already looking forward to another delicious frittata next week. Thanks.