I’ve got four hungry people to feed this morning and no omelette pan. What to do?
If you’re Germanic like me, you make a frittata.
It’s perfect for a group breakfast on a weekend trip because you can keep them all busy doing the prep work of chopping, grating and mixing. I love having guests for this reason.
Which is why my sisters call me “the gestapo chef” and why I am calling this a “German frittata”.
Frittata also is a way you can use up the leftovers from the previous days. That’s what makes this an improvisational dish.
My Dad never made frittata, but he would have approved. He loved to glob together compatible leftovers into one big dish.
The only required ingredient in a frittata is eggs. The rest is digging around in the frig.
Here’s the basic recipe for four people:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Take a dozen eggs and break them into a bowl, add salt and pepper, and whisk them together.
Stir into the eggs a heaping tablespoon of chopped, fresh Italian herbs, whatever you have that is the freshest – thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, any of that. If they’re dried, just use a teaspoon. Throw some garlic in, if you like that.
Grease a square cast-iron skillet. Cook any “wet” ingredientsfor a few minutes over medium heat: onions, squash, tomato chunks, or mushrooms, just enough to get the water out.
Turn off the heat.
Scatter in other, dry leftovers: meat chunks, cooked potatoes, beans, whatever you’ve got.
Pour the eggs over this. Plop some dairy in little dollops on top, about half a cup of cheese chunks, sour cream or yogurt. Option: if you’d rather use cream or half and half, mix it into the eggs before you pour those into the pan.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes. It should be custardy, not spongy. It probably won’t be brown on top, but that’s OK, you don’t want to overcook it.
Serve immediately because it will keep cooking in that cast-iron pan.
Here’s more hints on cooking a perfect frittata.
Day 104 is a 1993-D penny, for the 50th anniversary of the year that Italy declared war on Germany.