Sunday, July 10, 2011

Foolproof Frittata and a Flight to NYC

The frittata.  Maybe you haven't made one in ages, or maybe you've forgotten all about this little wonder.  A classic.  I consider it the little black dress of my cooking repertoire.  A staple that's versatile, affordable, and essential in my collection.  Just like my little black dress, I can pull it out on a moment's notice and be ready for any occasion; breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I can dress it up by adding vegetables and herbs, or dress it down and keep it simple with a splash of cream and sprinkle of cheese.  It carries me from season to season, and never goes out of style.  

I wrote this recipe for my best friend Mary, whose cooking repertoire is expanding as quickly as her wardrobe.  Two years ago, she packed her bags and moved to NYC after receiving a job offer (sigh).  She began adjusting to life in a larger than life city and I began adjusting to us being at a distance. Now living by herself, Mary was in need of some quick and healthy cooking tips.  I  sent her a care package with a few kitchen essentials, including The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl's Guide to Cooking with Style and Grace'.  I recently flew down to NYC to visit Mary and sitting on her bookcase was this book, marked with memos, stuffed with magazine recipe cutouts, and worn around the edges.  

We accomplished quite a bit that weekend; visiting a few exhibits at the MET, eating lunch on park benches, strolling along outdoor markets, and cooking each night in her tiny, perfect New York kitchen.  This frittata recipe is for her.  Everyone needs a good frittata recipe. It's less heavy and fussy than a quiche and comes together in a flash.  Armed with eggs in your fridge and a few fill ins, you can create a satisfying meal in no time.  It's also a great 'clean out the fridge' kind of meal.  Anything goes here.  Play around and see what combinations you like.  Use whatever vegetables are in season, add your favorite cheeses, herbs, or even hot sauce or curry if that's your thing. 

In this version, I use one of my favorite trios: spinach, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes.  I like the salty bite of the feta against the sweet bite of the sun-dried tomatoes.  The barely wilted spinach keeps it fresh and bright.  As the eggs begin to puff up and the top becomes slightly brown under the broiler, you will find yourself falling for the frittata all over again.  Try this combination and you may just begin revisiting it again and again.  This is great for a weekend breakfast or brunch to fuel your day.  Serve it with a side salad or soup for a light lunch or dinner.  The possibilities are endless.  I can't picture Mary in a little black apron, but I can definitely see her in a little black dress cooking this frittata after a long hard day at work.

~Foolproof Frittata Recipe~
6 organic eggs
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp organic cream
1 small onion, diced
4 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
 few grinds from a pepper mill

Adjust oven to broil setting.  In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, pepper, and set aside.  Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet or cast iron pan (8-10 in.) over medium high heat.  Cook onions for about 5 minutes until they soften and begin to brown.  Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a minute.  Add in the spinach and let it just wilt down, about 4-5 minutes.  Give your eggs and cream another quick whisk before adding to the pan and adjust your heat by lowering to medium.  Just be sure your heat is low enough so you wont burn the eggs on the bottom of the pan.  Low and slow is better here.  Pour the egg mixture over top, giving the pan a little swirl to distribute the eggs evenly.  Sprinkle feta cheese over top.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Once the edges appear to be set and the middle of the frittata retains just a bit of liquid, transfer to oven.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the top is lightly browned and fluffy.  Remove from the pan, and cut into 4 large wedges to serve.  Serves 4.


Anonymous said...

Frittatas always seem like the perfect simple, delicious and healthy choice for when you just want something for yourself--I love how you called it your "little black dress" of your cooking repertoire. Sad thing is, I've never made one! (I know, it's embarrassing.) Your recipe looks great though, I really need to try it out!

Epicurea said...

what a lovely analogy and nice touch with the feta! makes me already hungry!
if you use a cast iron pan, how do you prevent it from sticking, any tricks?

Epicurea said...

love the idea of feta cheese in a frittata, so savory!

Epicurea said...

love frittatas and what a great idea to add feta cheese, gives it a little twist!

Stephanie Skoog said...

Thanks for the feedback-let me know how it turns out if you decide to make it. When using a cast iron pan, I use a bit of butter and melt it down. The key is really not to overcook it. The more you cook with your cast iron pan, the more seasoned it will be, and the more non-stick it will become.