Ready to use those pasture raised eggs to make a skillet frittata?
I don’t blame you for wanting to try a skillet frittata. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is reserved for culinary trained chefs. No. It’s just up your alley. These crustless quiches are healthy, impressive, family friendly, guest suitable, reasonably priced, beautiful, flexible, and best of all: delicious. Why WOULDN’T you try one? They are a fabulous choice for breakfast, brunch, lunch, appetizers, supper, or a first course for an elegant dinner.
Frittatas are always marvelous with fresh vegetables, but also provide a great conduit for leftovers. Depending on the meats, veggies, herbs, spices, and cheeses chosen, your frittata can flow with a variety of cultural cuisines.
Combine artichokes and lobster, ham and cheddar, chiles and tomatoes, olives and pepperoni, prosciutto and mozzarella, chorizo and cilantro – the sky is the limit.
Seafood lovers will want to try the obvious shrimp and crab creations but should also experiment with diced sardines, tuna, or a local fish. Lox, of course, go so well with spinach and chèvre, and the ever popular kale goes with almost anything. The addition of dairy – milk, cream, yogurt, or sour cream – makes a rich and full flavored dish, while adding coconut milk is a great choice when avoiding dairy. Just whisk dairy…or non dairy… into the eggs. Or don’t. This is your thing. You get to decide.
Check out these two beautiful examples. The one on the left uses fresh green beans and asparagus while the one on the right includes potatoes, sweet peas, and leeks. Here is a similar one without potatoes.
To bake or not to bake?
Old school purists often say to cook vegetables and meat on the stove in an oven safe skillet (my favorite for this method is cast iron), add your egg mixture combined with seasonings, dairy if you desire, and cheese. This mixture is allowed to cook on the stove for a minute or two, without stirring, and then transfered to a preheated 375* oven for ten to twelve minutes. In the past, certain chefs would be indignant at a pure stovetop method, but today even fine Italian connoisseurs often feel they can skip the oven and manage the texture by using a nonstick pan. I find the “no oven” method a quick way to make a lovely meal right on the stove.
I follow the traditionalists who cook veggies and meat first. Then I pour in my egg mixture and let it all set a bit over medium low heat. Next I use a heat resistant rubber spatula (you definitely want one of these in your kitchen) to loosen it around the edges first, going inward with the spatula as I turn my pan. Now I slide the frittata onto the plate. The uncooked part is facing up so I flip it back into the pan, cooking the other side for a minute or so depending on the depth. I immediately transfer to a platter to keep my masterpiece from continuing to cook in the hot pan. I wait a minute or so, then slice into wedges. Maybe you want to start out with our own Nature’s Yoke spinach and white bean skillet frittata. Or experiment with a variety of ingredients and you will soon find yourself hooked on this popular addition to your cooking repertoire. See, you really are quite a chef!