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The Incredible, Edible…

March 22, 2010

Hi Everyone! Sorry for being MIA yesterday. Z and I chowed down on some delicious (and incredibly unhealthy) food while watching the Syracuse game. Syracuse won — Sweet Sixteen! By the time dinner rolled around we still weren’t hungry, and I wasn’t about to cook a meal that would go uneaten šŸ™‚ But today is a different story, and especially with a hard core Body Pump class I’m ready for some food!

Recently I’ve been trying a lot of egg recipes. I find that eggs are not only delicious, but versatile. You can cook them in so many different ways, from the fanciest souffle to the simplest scrambled eggs on toast (always a winner in my book!). I think about the scene in Julia Robert’s movie Runaway Bride, where she makes every kind of egg to figure out which is her favorite. Knowing your favorite way to have your eggs cooked is, in a way, knowing yourself. And once Julia decided that Eggs Benedict would be her go-to breakfast choice, she also knew how to follow her heart to the man she loves.

Not that making this recipe will lead you to the love of your life, but out off all the ways to eat eggs out there, a frittata has a special place in my heart. A dish so simple, you can throw in any leftovers you have in your fridge, change up the flavors based on the season, and create combinations to satisfy anyone you are serving. Plus, we all remember my omelet disaster…no flipping involved! (Or so I thought…)

Frittatas are originally from Italy, but the word always makes me think of the Spanish staple tortilla de patatas, a type of frittata made of eggs, potatoes, and onions.Ā  What is interesting is how the frittata cooking technique has changed, over time and cultures, from frying the egg mixture then flipping it, to frying one side and cooking the rest in the oven. I never even knew that frittatas are traditionally flipped, but as fritta means fried in Italian, it makes perfect sense to make it fried all the way. In Spain they have a unique cooking utensil, vuelve-tortillas, a ceramic plate specifically used to help flip the tortillas. I’m not sure why people in the States began cooking the top in the oven; maybe because of the difficulty of flipping a large, undercooked egg pancake, or perhaps to get the cheese on top more melty and pizza-like? Do I dare try the flip, without my own vuelve-tortillas? I don’t call this a yumventure for nothing! (Source 1, Source 2)

Brussel Sprout and Mushroom Swiss Frittata

4 eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 pint mushrooms, chopped

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 package brussel sprouts

3/4 cup swiss cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400*

Toss the brussel sprouts in a little oil, salt, and pepper. Put in a dish in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. (I made roast potatoes to go along with the fritatta, so I put all of the veggies in at once).

Saute the onion and mushrooms in a 9″ frying pan with some olive oil until soft. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

When the brussel sprouts are done cooking, slice them into 4 or 5 pieces each and add them to the mushrooms.

Whisk together the eggs and egg whites. Add 1/2 cup of swiss cheese and some salt and pepper.

With the burner on a medium heat, spread the vegetables out across the bottom of the frying pan. Pour over the egg and cheese mixture and shake the pan to evenly disperse. Let cook for about 4 minutes. Use a spatula to run around the inside edge of the pan, separating the egg from the sides.

This is where cooking got interesting and Z had to come in. The key thing is getting the entire frittata loose from the pan, which means getting a spatula under it while trying not to break the forming egg crust. Lucky enough if it breaks a bit its alright, since the top eggs are still uncooked and can run into the broken crevasses and seal them. Once Z got the frittata loose there was another problem: because the egg is not cooked on the top, flipping it with a spatula would just end in a huge mess. At one point the two of us were standing over the stove, each with a spatula, trying to figure out how to flip the egg without it being a total flop. For a moment I just considered folding it in half and calling it an omelet!

Then *lightbulb*. I got a large plate and we carefully slipped the frittata out of the pan and onto the plate. Then, Z placed the frying pan over the uncooked top, held the plate and the frying pan together, and flipped it over so the frying pan was on the bottom. Ta da! Z saves the day!

We let it cook for 5 more minutes (again loosening it from the frying pan in the process), sprinkled the last 1/4 of Swiss on top, and it was ready to serve! Along with the frittata, we had roast garlic and potatoes, and a simple lettuce and tomato salad.

Mmm look at that gooey vegetable inside! This ended up being like a crustless quiche, and it was delicious! The combination of the mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and swiss cheese was right on. They complimented each other well. I wouldn’t normally choose swiss, but I bought it for another recipe I want to make this week and would have some left over, and I’m so glad I did! The strong unique flavor meant that I didn’t have to use too much cheese, and allowed the flavor of the eggs to still be there, which I find often gets lost is supremely cheesy egg dishes. The potatoes added some crunch and the lettuce some freshness. For me this was a perfectly balanced and healthy meal. It would make a great brunch or even side dish. And Z loved it! He said he would definitely request it again, so gold star for me. I wonder how many flavor combinations I can come up with… šŸ™‚

And as for the flipping…it was a fun experiment, but I didn’t really notice a difference in taste or texture. It was a bit more crisp all around, rather than melting on top. Delicious both ways, but for the sake of time and not potentially destroying a perfectly good frittata, I might go with the oven technique next time. Unless someone whats to point me in the direction of a vuelve-tortillas!

Are you a good flipper…pancake or omelet wise? Any flipping horror stories?

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 9:37 pm

    I am a bad, bad flipper! I’ve been seeing so many frittata recipes, and they kind of intimidate me. But they all look delicious and yours is no exception! I saved the recipe. I’ll get brave someday šŸ˜‰

  2. March 22, 2010 9:54 pm

    Ooo glad you and Z had a great time yesterday- go Syracuse!
    I love this frittata for so many reasons. I love the mushrooms and I adore the swiss. Plus, you’re absolutely right, eggs are the most versatile food out there. I adore you for always including the origins of food and the traditional ways of preparing them in different places. You are such a great chef. Not only do you take the time to make special and worthwhile meals, but you care enough and respect the food enough to learn about it. That is rare and I so appreciate it. Thanks! As always, I’m impressed!

  3. March 22, 2010 10:15 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious!

  4. March 23, 2010 5:50 am

    Ohhh, this couldn’t have come at a better time!! I’m loving frittatas and all thinks having to do with eggs right now! This looks great!! šŸ™‚ I’m a terrible flipper, but thankfully Andrew is a flip master so I just call him to do it for me.

  5. March 23, 2010 5:55 am

    I can’t flip and omelet for the life of me! I think this looks delish – even with the veggies. šŸ˜‰

  6. March 23, 2010 7:59 am

    I never thought of brussels sprouts in a frittata, sounds amazing! And congrats to Syracuse šŸ™‚ Glad you’re enjoying March Maddness! I love it, but my bracket is pretty much trash now šŸ˜¦

  7. March 23, 2010 8:23 am

    I love frittatas (and lately I am into all eggy things too!) I go for the finish-in-the-oven method and I have no complaints šŸ™‚ I have seen in their catalog that Williams Sonoma sells a “frittata pan” that is essentially two skillets hinged together – but that’s one of those gadgets I’d rather not spend the money on šŸ™‚

  8. March 23, 2010 8:30 am

    I’m not an egg fan, but I’m a basketball fan. My bracket is doing well so far šŸ™‚

  9. March 23, 2010 8:57 am

    I always mess up the frittata flip and have to reassemble it so it doesn’t look broken into a million pieces.

  10. March 23, 2010 2:59 pm

    I eat eggs like there is no tomorrow. Talk about the most versatile food! Thanks for the great frittata idea, it looks so perfect and delicious!

  11. March 23, 2010 3:23 pm

    HAha, no horror stories…but I have TONS of egg recipes! I’m not much of a meat eater so I used to eat up to 6 eggs a day! This frittata sounds really good!

  12. March 23, 2010 4:56 pm

    I could literally live off eggs!! And frittatas are some of my very favorite things… I’ve never thought to put brussels sprouts in them though; perfect idea!! Looks delicious šŸ™‚

  13. March 23, 2010 5:19 pm

    oh that looks good, love my brussles!

  14. March 23, 2010 6:31 pm

    I don’t have any good horror stories about flipping, but I would not say I’m great at it. I’ve definitely had to cut some pancakes and eggs in half that were not meant to be cut. Luckily I usually am just cooking for myself so no one minds much šŸ™‚

  15. March 25, 2010 12:41 pm

    I love egg dishes! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I would never have thought to do brussels and eggs together…but they are two things I love so should be worth a try.

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