What’s For Dinner??
It’s in the fridge …
It’s probably be quite safe to say that at this very moment, lingering in fridges across the country, there is all that is needed to create a quick, nutritious, inexpensive, and delicious dinner in just moments.
If, in that fridge, there could be found some vegetables – let’s say, an onion or a leek, some peppers, a few cherry tomatoes, maybe a zucchini, some spinach, or some mushrooms … perhaps some leftover cooked potatoes and asparagus from last night’s dinner … possibly some fresh herbs (some dried herbs would definitely be in the cupboard)…. and, there would likely be some eggs, and some bits and pieces of a variety of cheeses …. and perchance some cream….
And should this be true, then what has been discovered in that fridge is essentially all that is needed for a Fridge Frittata …a wonderful weekend brunch, an ideal luncheon …. or, best of all, it is a magical menu that simply appears when, upon entering the kitchen after a long day, you realize that there is nothing planned for dinner !
…well, now there will always be something planned….
Adding a salad or some foccacia bread simply creates a perfectly satisfying dinner.
That being said, it is important to discern the difference between a good frittata and a great frittata … it’s all in the ingredients and how it’s put together. If you know the basic formula, and if the basic ingredients are considered ‘regulars’ in your fridge, you will have a meal planned at a moment’s notice. And, once the formula is mastered, the frittata’s versatility and simplicity will be so impressive – not only to the cook but also to those who have the pleasure of enjoying it.
Tips for making a great Frittata:
- The egg-to-dairy ratio for a perfect frittata is 12 eggs + ½ cup of dairy …. + 1 cup of shredded cheese. Since most households would be looking at making 4-6 portions, 6 eggs + ¼ cup dairy … and a half cup of cheese …would probably be a more appropriate starting point. This is the formula that forms the foundation.
- The dairy component should be more full-fat than low-fat (no skim milk, please) …. Sour cream, crème fraiche, plain yogurt, heavy cream, coffee cream, or, in a pinch, whole milk are the dairy choices.
- Fully cook the vegetables separately prior to adding the egg-dairy mixture. The moisture content of vegetables such as spinach, zucchini or mushrooms needs to be evaporated a bit … tomatoes, ideally, should be seeded before adding.
- Use a colourful blend of vegetables and fresh herbs, if possible. Also delicious in a frittata are small bits of meats, such as Italian sausage or bacon (fully cooked).
- A two-cheese frittata is the best … You will be putting about ¼ to 1/3 of a cup of the cheese selections into the egg mixture, and then an additional ¼ cup or so will be sprinkled on top before baking. One of the cheeses can be a full-flavour soft cheese that can melt …aged cheddar, fontina, gruyere, or swiss are perfect; the second cheese can be a sharper and harder type – parmesan, romano, or asiago are ideal.
- The best frittatas are cooked in an oven-proof skillet – and the best of these would be a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Start on the stovetop … finish in the oven.
- Basic procedure for a frittata: Saute all vegetables in a hot skillet; Add the Egg-Dairy-Cheese-Seasonings mixture to the hot skillet (no stirring) for about 5 minutes; Sprinkle top with remaining cheese; Bake in oven for 25 minutes; Let rest for 5 minutes prior to slicing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6
1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
Vegetable base: 3 or 4 of the following (or whatever is on hand)
- 1 small onion (red, yellow, white), fine dice
- 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
- 1 pepper (red, yellow, orange, green), fine dice
- 1/3 cup cooked corn
- ½ of a zucchini, fine dice, or shredded
- 1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup of finely chopped spinach
- ½ cup of chopped seeded cherry tomatoes
Eggs, Dairy, and Cheese:
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60 mL) heavy cream, or other type of cream
- ¼ cup (about 40 grams) shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) grated parmesan or asiago cheese
Herbs and Aromatics:
- ¼ cup (60 mL) of a mixture of chopped fresh herbs such as flat-leaf parsley or basil
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried thyme or oregano
- 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 mL) finely chopped green onions
- A dash or two of sriracha sauce, hot pepper sauce, or a few pinches of paprika
- Kosher or Sea salt (1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon); Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- ¼ cup (30-40 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
- A sprinkle of grated parmesan or asiago
- Preheat oven to 3250
- Over medium heat, pre-heat an oven-proof skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Saute your choice of vegetables. Start with any raw vegetables – onions or leeks first – and sauté until soft and fragrant (not brown). Add the remaining raw vegetables, and any pre-cooked vegetables. Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Stir in the cheeses, herbs, and aromatics. Mix well.
- Increase the skillet heat slightly; add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Gently pour the egg-cheese-seasoning mixture over the vegetables. Gently shake the pan to ensure that the mixture is evenly distributed in the pan. Cook the mixture ….DO NOT STIR … cook until it starts to sizzle and gently bubble a bit … and the edges begin to set (5 minutes).
- Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over top and transfer skillet to the oven. Bake until it has set and is golden brown and a little puffy – …. 25-30 minutes. Do not over-bake. Let the frittata rest for 5 minutes after leaving the oven.
- Cut into slices and serve warm. Leftovers are great …cold, or warmed up!
Questions and Comments are always welcome email@example.com