The ever-exotic frittata

by Skip on March 30, 2006

in Recipes

It’s been a few days since we’ve posted on a recipe, so I thought something should do something about that. Earlier this week I was faced with the dilemma of having gotten completely bored with my usual lunch. Baguette, fruit and cheese has always had a special place in my heart, and with $1 Brie at Zabar’s it was quite affordable. But when I was at a wedding a few weeks ago and couldn’t care less about the cocktail hour cheese plate I knew something was wrong. I love cheese.

So I set out to find some cheap lunch alternatives (without going to sandwichland; too much daily prep time). Running down my list of inexpensive proteins, I came to eggs. I love eggs but don’t eat them nearly enough. They’re full of cholesterol, you say. I’ll deal with that when I’m older and have more money, is my reply. For now I will enjoy my eggs in salads, omelets and frittatas thank you very much.

With this newfound direction I headed to epicurious and found a number of recipes for egg salads and frittatas that appeared to have great potential. I’ll be trying the rest over the next few weeks but started with the frittata with bacon, fresh ricotta and greens. There were a few of caveats in my execution: couldn’t find fresh ricotta, and could only afford crappy fake Kraft Parmesan cheese food substitute. That and I didn’t know how many heads of mustard greens, the greens I chose because of their cute shape and appealing name, I needed to make 12 cups. Shallots were also a new ingredient for me. I decided to go for abundance and ended up with twice as much greens and shallots as I needed. Oh well.

Frittatas are, in my mind, a cross between an omelets and a quiche. It can have the fluffy texture of an omelet and is served sliced, like quiche (and pie) but without a crust. I love pie. Cooking begins on the stove and finishes in the oven (many, if not most, skillets are oven-proof up to at least 350 degrees. My $10 Target skillets passed the test).

I got quite concerned as I piled the greens onto the skillet to wilt and saute them. Concerned because the mound of greens came out to be about 10 inches tall (before they wilted); I was almost positive that all of this stuff, the dozen eggs, the mountain of greens, the 5 chopped shallots, the 3/4 pound of bacon and the whole 16-oz container of organic whole milk ricotta, would overwhelm the recommended 10-inch skillet.

It fit perfectly, and I’m pretty sure it would have tasted perfect if I hadn’t overcooked it. Not viciously overcooked, just enough to make it a little burnt and tough. Sauteeing the greens in the bacon fat (mmm fat) mellowed and tenderized them a lot. I’d only heard negative things about greens like mustard greens and kale, that they’re tough and offensive tasting. The greens were neither in this recipe.

I got at least 8 servings out of this frittata which made it less than $2 per serving (which could potentially be reduced to $1.50 if you use regular ricotta instead of the whole-milk and regular bacon instead of the applewood smoked, which I wasn’t a huge fan of).

So here’s what I changed (or elaborated on):

  • 1 head (3 stalks) of mustard greens
  • 5 coarsely chopped shallots
  • Almost a whole 16 oz of Whole Milk Ricotta (it says 12 oz or 1 3/4 cups and the latter was pretty much 16 ounces)

I would certainly make this recipe again. Be careful not to burn it.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanie March 31, 2006 at 6:58 am

I love shallots SO much…the yum of an onion and the zing of garlic, all in one convenient little package!

I’ll also been rediscovering the incredible edible egg this week, now that I’ve figured out how to make omelettes look pretty. You forget how good eggs are until you realize they’re not just for breakfast anymore!

skip March 31, 2006 at 7:25 am

have you been hijacked by the national egg board?

(I love eggs too. from my head down to my legs)

Joanie March 31, 2006 at 8:48 am

Sadly, have not been hijacked – but would that be so bad? All the eggs you could ever desire!!

Except since eggs are so cheap, I think I’d rather be hijacked by the National Mahi Mahi board.

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