Saturday, 14 July 2012

False weekend

Our weekend breakfasts are a big deal. Whether making the decided breakfast itself is a big deal is not the point. The mental effort that goes into deciding what would be perfect is always a little disproportionately high. But we enjoy it. And so much so that this week we decided we wanted the Friday breakfast to be the weekend variety too.
A frittata is one of those medium work breakfasts. This is one dish where Wikipedia throws you off with its first line in the article "... egg based dish similar to an omlette or a quiche...". Err.. hello!! An omlette and a quiche are not similar. With that, you are left with the illusion of having understood what a frittata is. A frittata is not like an omlette because
1- Only 45-50% of the total ingredients are eggs
2- Traditionally it is not accompanied with toast
3- It requires broiling (heat from top)
Let's start with the breakfast. 

For Frittata you need
Veggies - Tomato, Green pepper, Onion, Olives, Mushrooms, Green peas, Spinach, Leeks...
Meats- I don't eat but I am guessing any cured/processed meats will do well. Chopped up sausages maybe.
Spices - Garlic, Basil, Dry oregano, Pepper or chilly flakes Salt
Cheese of your choice
One tablespoon cooking oil

The reason why the ingredients are so vague is that the dish is so versatile. You can choose all or any of the veggies and the number of eggs have to be adjusted accordingly. You need enough eggs to cover the skillet full of veggies you are using.
Chop/Slice and prepare all the veggies (and meat if using). Beat the eggs. Grate cheese and keep ready. Turn on your oven to broil at 180 degrees Celsius with the rack at the top most slot closest to the heating coil. Broil means the coil on top should be heating not the one below.
Set a non-stick heavy bottomed skillet on a flame. Add the oil followed by any dry spices you are using (dry oregano), crushed black pepper and salt. Lower the flame to the minimum and add the veggies in the order they cook. If using onions, add them first and green peppers last (as they loose colour quickly). After each addition give the skillet a stir. Once all the veggies are in (not fully cooked) add the beaten eggs to cover all the veggies. Shred any fresh herbs you are using on top. Crush cloves of garlic in a mortar and add the shreds too. Grate cheese on top.

Three eggs here. Is this how your omlette looks?
All this time the eggs got on the low flame is sufficient to mostly cook the bottom of the frittata. Now for the browning and cooking the top portion, you need to broil the frittata. Place the skillet in the oven on the rack which must be hot by now. Give it about 5-7 minutes depending on your oven, until the top has cooked and browned. Take out of the oven cut into wedges or quarters and serve.
To make this without an oven, I used to flip the frittata. This is however tricky because the top is still runny. You first slide the frittata on to a metal plate, then use the skillet as a lid over the plate to cover the frittata. Hold both skillet and plate firmly against each other and turn over quickly. The skillet and the plate must be a good fit. Once successfully flipped, increase the flame to the maximum and give it about 2 mins. Cut into wedges and serve. Frittatas pair excellently with tomato juice (V8).

1 comment: