Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Baked Vegetable Frittata

The Frittata.  When I was in Copenhagen this past summer, my friend Jason introduced me to this Italian vegetable and egg dish.  Since then, I’ve discovered  numerous recipes for making frittatas, realized that each calls for the vegetables to be cooked differently, the eggs to be poured in at different times, and for the dish to be baked or broiled or cooked differently.  Alton Brown of the Food Network has a carnivorous version of the frittata recipe, for those of you cooking for a mixed party.

Because it’s slightly different from the allrecipes.com Potato and Vegetable Frittata Recipe, I’m providing Jason’s frittata recipe, which in all honesty, knowing Jason, he probably improvised the majority of it.

Potato and Vegetable Frittata

  • Large Pyrex-style oven safe glassware
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced in rings
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in thin circles
  • 2 cups potatoes, sliced in thin circles
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, sliced in rings
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Salt and pepper , roughly ground from peppermill
  • Dried oregano
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat your oven; set it to broil.
  2. On a frying pan, heat oil and saute the onions and garlic over a low heat until the onions begin turning clear and the garlic begins turning golden. Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat the eggs with the salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne in a separate bowl.  Mix in milk and heavy cream.
  4. Arrange the vegetables in the Pyrex (ours was an oval shaped dish). Cover the bottom of the dish with one layer of potato circles, arranged in a spiral of overlapping potato slices. Next, layer the zucchini and tomatoes,  then pour the bell peppers over the tomatoes.  Take the onions and garlic off the pan and top off the vegetable stack.
  5. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the vegetables, leaving a 1/2 inch or an 1 inch between the top of your vegetables/eggs and the top of the dish.
  6. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the mixture.
  7. Place dish in the oven and let bake/broil for about 45 minutes.  I think it took an hour for our eggs to set completely in the middle, but it really depends on your oven.  Check the dish at 30 minutes, because it could be fully cooked.
  8. When the eggs are firm and have started to brown around the edges, remove from oven and check center of dish to see if it is fully cooked.
  9. Cut into wedges and serve with hot sauce.

Enjoy!

  • What about you? Have you ever made a frittata?
  • Did you roast the vegetables beforehand?
  • What side dishes do you usually serve with frittatas?

Scrambled Eggs or Omelettes?

Vegetarians often have a huge problem with variable sources of protein, so growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of eating eggs and cheese.  Conveniently, I’m not a vegan – there’s nothing that could get me to give up ice cream, milk, quesadillas, scrambled eggs… and the list goes on.

Backing up to the scrambled eggs, let’s talk about more breakfast options.  I have to be in the mood to eat eggs, but once I get into the mood, I love them cooked in several different ways.  However, my favorite has to be two classics: scrambled eggs and omelettes. I’ve experimented over the years with different types of cheese, different combinations of vegetables, and different ways of cooking the vegetables. I’ve also switched to Egg Beaters (egg substitute in a carton) instead of real eggs in order to keep my cholesterol in the normal to low range.  Yes, I realize I’m 21, and I also realize that most people don’t worry about cholesterol at this age.  Genetics, however, likes to spite me, and I’m reminded that high cholesterol tends to run in my family and that my father had his own fight to bring down his cholesterol levels several years ago.

Because I don’t want to go on a seriously restricted diet and take medicines in 5 or 10 years to combat this unnecessary sign of aging, I watch my cholesterol intake carefully.  So long as I avoid fast foods – done easily as most restaurants don’t use different frying oil for say french fries or chicken fingers (take Rhett’s, located in the Boston University George Sherman Union, for example) and most don’t section off their grills when cooking hamburgers and veggie burgers (UBurger, and I’m sure many others I’m unaware of) – and maintain awareness of how I cook my foods, I know I’ll be fine.

Sorry about the cholesterol tangent – back to eggs.

Step 1: Choose your eggs

  • Real Eggs (I grew up eating white eggs in FL, but my friend Karen grew up in MA eating brown eggs… so it’s really personal preference. I’ve never noticed a difference in taste.)
  • Egg Beaters (egg substitute)
  • Egg Whites

Because Martha Stewart would disprove of any method otherwise, if I’m cooking with real eggs, I’ll always beat them with a whisk, and never with a fork.  I add a little milk to make the eggs lighter and fluffier (amount variable, never more than 1/4 cup per 2 eggs), salt and pepper.  I like to use a spice grinder with a coarse setting, otherwise I feel the eggs drown out the flavor of the pepper.

Step 2: Choose your grease

Okay, that’s not as gross as it may have sounded. Unless you have a large egg skillet – mine is really only large enough to fry an egg on – or a nonstick pan, you’ll want to grease the pan before cooking the eggs. Otherwise, they’ll stick and they’ll burn and your whole place of residence will reek of eggs.  These are my usual options:

  • PAM cooking spray – this is the low cholesterol, flavor-retaining option.  Don’t overdo the spraying though, or you WILL taste the PAM, and trust me that’s gross. Dab the pan with a paper towel once you’ve sprayed it to make sure you’ve just coated the pan lightly.
  • Butter – real butter, on a stick.  You don’t need to cover the whole pan, just run the stick over the surface of the pan lightly in a zig-zag method.  Remember when you’d use a glue-stick in elementary school to paste something onto paper? Same idea.
  • Spreadable butter – place a pat of butter on the pan, turn on the stove, and as the butter melts, slowly lift and rotate the pan to spread the butter.
  • Margarine – I really dislike that margarine is high in trans fat, so I only use it if I have nothing else.  And usually, I don’t have margarine anyway.

Step 3: Choose your cheese

  • My favorite: Grated sharp or extra-sharp cheddar.  I love the flavor of cheddar and sharp/extra-sharp stands out against the flavor of the eggs.
  • Kraft Mexican Blend
  • Grated mild cheddar
  • Cheddar & Monterey Jack
  • Swiss

Step 4: Choose your veggies

This step is wholly dependent on personal preferences, but here’s the assortment of veggies I love to choose from.  Several friends of mine love to roast their veggies first before putting them in the omelette, but I prefer them fresh, thrown into the omelette/scrambled eggs halfway through cooking the eggs.

  • Diced red onions – yellow onions work too, obviously. I just like the color of the red onions.
  • Diced bell peppers – choose a mix of colors.  Orange peppers are pretty.
  • Diced tomatoes – yes, coming from the girl who doesn’t really like raw tomatoes.
  • Sliced black olives – I dislike green olives, but if you don’t, go for it.
  • Diced zucchini
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Fresh spinach

I never put in all of these veggies at once, though it would probably still taste good if I did. The last three, I would probably roast a little before adding them to the eggs, because they tend to be tougher vegetables if uncooked and the texture would contrast a little too strongly with the eggs.

Step 5: Cook it!

Before you begin doing anything with the eggs – put the toast in your toaster! For toast options, see my breakfast post from November 4th.

My first instinct is to assume everyone knows how to cook eggs, but assumptions are dangerous.  So here’s a short crash course on cooking eggs.  Whether scrambling or making omelettes, crack your eggs on the side of the bowl or edge of the counter and open them up into a bowl.  Add salt, pepper and milk. I also add crushed red pepper, but only add that if you can handle the spice.

Whisk using a whisk if your like your eggs properly beaten or beat with a wooden spoon if you like the white/yellow mix of color more distinct in your eggs. Turn your stove on and grease the pan with your choice from Step 2 above.

Once the pan is warmed up, pour in your egg mixture and let sit for a minute. Make sure you keep the stove flame on low/medium otherwise the eggs won’t cook from the inside out and you will burn your mixture.

Scrambled eggs

As the eggs start to whiten and solidify on the bottom, start moving them in the pan with a flat spoon or spatula.  The trick is not to let the eggs stick or sit for too long.  You can flip the eggs as they begin to fluff up to make sure they’re cooked evenly.  When the eggs are 2/3 cooked, add in the veggies so they cook a little with the eggs.  Just before you remove the eggs from the pan, add in the cheese and mix into the eggs thoroughly so the cheese melts.

Here’s a short YouTube clip from One Pot Chef, an Australian guy who simplifies cooking in an easy-to-follow manner:

Omelette

As the eggs start to whiten and solidify on the bottom, move the eggs gently from the outside edge toward the middle and tilt the pan in the direction of your flat spoon/spatula so the still-runny part of the mixture moves off the top of the solidifying eggs and fills in the space you create on the outside.

When no more runny mixture remains but the eggs are still whitish, flip the pancake-shaped eggs and let the top cook for a minute.  Sprinkle your veggies and eggs on top and fold over the eggs like a quesadilla. Let cook another minute or two, but don’t let it burn.

Place the toast and eggs on a plate, put some ketchup or hot sauce on those eggs and enjoy!

P.S. Cholula hot sauce is the best.

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