Gordon Ramsay once told me that when hiring Chefs the first thing he makes them do is cook an egg dish. The concept is straightforward. If you can’t master something as perfectly simple as an egg, then you’re bound to have problems.
The other night I was faced with a refrigerator filled with small amounts of tasty, varied leftovers. It was just two of us for dinner and not only did I not feel like cooking, I certainly didn’t want to waste all the leftovers I had. So I thought, What Would Grandma Do? And the answer of course was as immediate as it was obvious. Make a frittata!
But what is a Frittata anyway? When asked, most people seem to think it’s an “Italian Omelet” but that is not entirely correct. Back to Gordon Ramsay’s egg cookery 101….
An omelette is a French preparation that involves stuffing eggs that are then folded over and flipped side to side in a frying pan. A “Frittata” is an Italian preparation wherein the eggs are mixed with other ingredients and then poured into a frying pan almost like a pie. The main difference is that Frittatas are not “flipped” in the pan. They are finished in an oven. And so, off we go………..
8 Egg Frittata
The beauty of Frittatas are that they can be made with almost any ingredient. Whatever you have on hand is typical and the variations are limitless. For this one I used the following:
8 extra large eggs
2 slices leftover pork roast
6 oz. shittake mushrooms
1 onion, diced
Leftover Broccoli Rabe
|~ The Starting Point ~|
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop the ingredients into bite size pieces per the above picture. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and then drizzle a few tablespoons of milk into the bowl. The milk will add some fluffiness to the frittata. In a few tablespoons of olive oil, saute the onions and mushrooms until very soft and fragrant.
|~ Important: Your skillet must be oven safe and non-stick for best results ~|
Once the onions and mushrooms have cooked, add the broccoli rabe and pork to the pan. Stir and warm through. Before adding the eggs, check for seasoning and toss everything to coat.
|~ The Frittata “Ripieno” or filling ~|
Next, pour the eggs over the filling and flatten everything out with a spatula. It also helps to gently jiggle the pan so the eggs settle into all the nooks and crevices. From this point on: Do Not Stir! Lower the flame to medium and allow the eggs to set on the bottom of the pan. Use your spatula to check the sides of the frittata to see if they begin to lift free. It shouldn’t be runny.
|~ As you see here, the lighter edges have begun to set. The top is still very wet. This is almost ready for the oven ~|
Sprinkle the top of the frittata liberally with grated Pecorino cheese and a few red pepper flakes and carry the entire pan to the oven. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until the top of the Frittata is cooked. Use a paring knife to check the doneness of the Frittata by poking the center. The knife should come out mostly dry.
When done, remove from the oven and garnish with shaved Parmigiano cheese. If you like, a dash or two of hot sauce is very tasty too. Finito!
|~ Makes a great breakfast, lunch or with a salad, a light dinner ~|
February 25, 2014