The first time I heard the word Frittata I was working in a luxury hotel and the chef was making them for our breakfast buffet as part of an action station. He was serving egg white frittatas, which is a fancy way of saying, “would you like some boring flavorless eggs with your boring flavorless life, but you can still fill special and important because of the fancy name.”
The chef wasn’t even making frittatas, he was actually making egg white omelets. Kind of like that fine Corinthian leather Ricardo Montalban spoke about, but does not actually exist.
So what exactly is a Frittata then, other than a way to clean out the fridge, use food in your fridge that will spoil soon, or pair up the 1 sausage link, with the one slice of bacon and the small chunk of ham into one edible dish. It is exactly that! Just like soups, it is the perfect way to use leftovers, ingredients that are in small supply, or quite simply, the food that will rot in a couple of days if you don’t use it. Why do you think everyone’s chicken soup is different?
The fundamental difference between an omelet and a frittata is air. Eggs for a frittata are beaten with the addition of milk to incorporate more air into the egg so they rise when placed in the oven, while an omelet is slowly stirred, that is the basic difference in a nutshell.
So after a week of cooking I certainly have a few things in the fridge that I cannot use as the main ingredient anymore cause there’s just not enough, and I have some items that if I don’t use by tomorrow I am going to have to throw away.
- This is only what I had, and had less to do about measurements than what I had available. Use whatever you want, any amount you have, and all you need to worry about is your base of egg and milk. The rest will take care of itself. But here’s what I used anyway;
- 6 Eggs
- 1 Cup of Milk
- 1 Breakfast Sausage Link (I Don’t know how I ended up with only one)
- 1 Small end cut of ham, looks like a 2×3 pyramid, not enough for a sandwich so in it goes.
- 1 SLice of english Bacon. I don’t even remember what I used the rest of the bacon for or why I could not use this lonely piece when I used the other bacon, but in it goes now.
- 4 inch piece of Leek that I only used the top part of for a recipe the other day, and now its starting to look a bit dull.
- 6 Leftover Button mushrooms that I could have just put in last nights sauce but did not. In you go.
- 1 Slice of Edam cheese that has been wrapped for days
- 3 slices of Emmenthal cheese because I ate the other three slices earlier in the week.
- 1/4 cup of Ricotta cheese that I had in its original container.
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 2 Tbl of Butter
- 1 Tbl Minced garlic, need to buy more tomorrow.
- 1 -2 Tbl Minced basil, getting a bit dark, but still aromatic.
Now lets put these leftovers and lonely orphans into something special. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit or 177 degrees celsius. Place your butter into the pan and melt on medium high heat. Then add your diced red onion and leeks sliced into mini rings.
Next take your diced ham, sliced sausage link, and that lonely slice of diced bacon and add it to the pan along with your mushrooms, basil and garlic. Stir to incorporate. Just cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the ingredients to a baking pan 2-3 inches deep. Then pour your beaten eggs and milk to the pan. I used an electric mixer to really beat the eggs and incorporate air into them.
Then add your chopped spinach and push down lightly so that the egg mix slightly covers them but not all the way. Then add your sliced cheese and ricotta on top of that. I also slightly pushed down on the sliced cheese. Place in oven and let cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes and then serve. Not quite Quiche and not quite an omelete, this light and tasty dish with leftovers from the fridge can only be one thing….a Frittata.