Frittata: Master of Breakfast & Leftovers
A frittata is one of those dishes that seems much more difficult to make than it is. I think a lot of that is due to the name. You tell someone you're making a frittata, and they think, "Oh wow, that sounds French ... or Italian? Either way, fancy AF." If you told them you were making an open-faced omelette, which is more or less what a frittata is, they'd think you just weren't good at making omelettes.
The awesome thing about a frittata is that anything can go in it, including fresh veggies, meats or even leftovers from the night before. I once made a frittata using leftover brisket nachos from a restaurant. It was one of the best breakfasts I have ever made (Category: Garbage Person). Once you master this incredibly simple way of making eggs, you'll have a go-to recipe for any meal of the day and an automatic way to use whatever is in your fridge.
- So you start with an oven-proof sauté pan, 10- to 12-inches in diameter. Just make sure whatever you're using will be able to withstand a 350-degree oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Now, you're going to cook or heat whatever you want to use. The frittata I made today included onion, garlic, chard and tomatoes. So I sauté the onion and garlic the way I would for any dish, meaning I heat some olive oil in the pan, add the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt and cook over medium heat until the onion is yellowing and the kitchen smells like heaven. Next, I add the stems to my chard (if you're not familiar with cooking chard, you always cook the stalks longer than the leaves since they're more fibrous.). Give those a minute, then add the leaves. Again, all I'm doing here is sautéing some veggies. If I were using leftovers, I would just be heating them. If I were using meat, I would probably cook that separately, to minimize the amount of grease/fat and then add it to my sauté pan. Easy peasy.
- Next, you're going to beat eight eggs together and add about a quarter cup of milk. Beat that well, as if you're making an omelette. Smooth the ingredients in a pan into a nice layer, then add the egg mixture so it spreads evenly over the ingredients. Now turn the heat off on the burner.
- Let the egg mixture start to set, meaning the edges around the perimeter start to firm up a little. This is when you can get a little cray cray. For this particular frittata, I sliced a tomato and added those slices on top. Then I covered the whole thing in parmesan. You definitely don't have to use cheese, but like with anything, cheese does make it better. I've also used small mozzarella balls, cheddar, gouda. The awesome thing about a frittata is that you can experiment and there is (almost) no way to ruin the dish.
- Now throw it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the whole dish is set and cooked through (the longer you let it set on the stovetop, the less time it spends in the oven). You can use the brownie method to check it, meaning stick a toothpick or butter knife in the center, and if it comes out clean, this baby is done. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest. Pro tip: When you pull a pan out of the oven, leave an oven mitt on the handle, because inevitably, you're going to forget that the stupid thing just came out of the oven and grab the handle and burn the crap out of your hand ... or is that just me?
- Serve! I sometimes like to serve my frittata with a little side salad of arugula or spinach, tossed in olive oil, lemon and salt, but it's also great just on its own. If you're using Mexican-style ingredients, it's great with salsa on top.
There you have it! Experiment and make it your own.