I’ve always said baking is a science but cooking is an art. By that I simply mean you don’t have to pull out the measuring cups and spoons to cook something amazing. You can get in the kitchen, be adventurous and design deliciousness. And the morning is the perfect time to get cooking and creative than in the morning? Whether I’m making breakfast for two or a group of people, I love to wake up my family and friends with a frittata.
A frittata is an Italian omelette and they can be simple or quite decadent. It’s essentially a crustless quiche. It’s all up to you and the ingredients you decide to add into the mix. Like a French omelette, a frittata is prepared in a frying pan. Be sure to use one that is oven-safe as a frittata is only partially-cooked on the stovetop. It goes under the broiler to finish. That is where the magic happens, where the eggs are transformed into something golden-brown and heavenly…
Frittatas are pleasing to the palate and the eye, making for a wonderful way to start the day. They are also perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch. Another beautiful thing about this egg dish is how economical it can be. Eggs are one of the least expensive protein sources you can buy. And you can use just about whatever ingredients you have in your refrigerator, taking that leftover chicken, potatoes and broccoli, for instance, from ho-hum to mmm-mmm.
I made a frittata over the weekend and it was delicious. My secret to fluffier results is a splash of cold water into the eggs right before I whisk them. You can, of course, use heavy cream in the eggs for an even more velvety texture. But, as I’ve said, moderation is the key. I’ve found that with the right amount of whipping, the eggs will still be creamy and delicious without the added fat, which means you have room for more calories later. That’s always a good thing…
Photos By Nicci Morris
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
12 small cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons cold water
1 ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and ½ cup reserved
¼ teaspoon dried basil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Place oven-safe pan over medium heat. When hot, add oil and onion. Sauté until onions are caramelized, turning down the heat if necessary to prevent the natural sugar in the onion from burning. Add in mushrooms and garlic, sautéing until the mushrooms have softened and the garlic is fragrant.
While vegetables are sautéing, break eggs into a bowl. Pierce yolk to ease whisking and add water. Whisk eggs well to ensure a fluffy result. Add cheese, basil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Whisk again. Stir in cheese. Pour egg mixture into the pan, over the onion, mushroom and garlic mixture. Tilt pan as necessary to ensure the mixture is even. Top with reserved cheese. Cook over medium heat until the sides are firm. Center will still be wet. Put pan into the oven, under the broiler and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Remove from oven and slice into wedges. Top with sour cream, green onion and tomato if desired. Serves 4-6.