I'm a huge fan of one-pot cooking; less pans means less cleanup. However, some one-pot meals can look unappetizing; casseroles and stews can get tiring after a while. Not only am I a fan of one-pot, but I'm also a big advocate of using cast iron; I now own only cast iron and stainless cookware and have gotten rid of all of my nonstick pots and pans. Cast iron is GREAT for one-pot/pan meals, like one of my all-time favorites, frittata.
Frittatas are an egg-based dish similar to omelets & quiches, but fluffier. They're also a perfect "clean out the fridge" recipe - you can add pretty much anything to a frittata and have it turn out well. Frittatas can be made with breakfast sausage and cheddar for an easy breakfast, or made with spinach, asparagus and pancetta for a great dinner. This frittata recipe is the perfect easy weeknight recipe; everything is baked in a single skillet in the oven.
That's mozzarella oozing out, NOT egg white.
Eggs still get a maligned rap these days; they are said to be high in cholesterol, which is true for the yolk. However, eggs still contain significantly lower cholesterol than most of the trans-fat-laden processed foods people eat every day. On top of that, eggs are very high in protein, contain "good" fat, all 9 essential amino acids, and vitamin D as well. I'm fortunate enough to have a steady supply of wonderful farm-fresh eggs, from chickens that I know are treated humanely and well. This recipe DOES use a lot of eggs, and for me is a great way to use up eggs since I don't eat them daily.
Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomato & Mozzarella Frittata
10 eggs, room temperature
Splash of milk or cream
Salt & pepper
1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 shallot, minced
1 handful basil leaves, shreddedOlive oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces (I buy the pearls)
Pretend you see some shredded basil there; I forgot to add it to the plate.
Beat the eggs with a splash of milk, dash of nutmeg and a little bit of salt and pepper. Beat the eggs vigorously - this yields a fluffier frittata. Stir in the basil.
Using an oven-proof 8" or 9" skillet, saute the broccoli, shallot and sun-dried tomato in 1 Tbsp olive oil (or do what I do and use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes) until cooked and tender but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.
Make sure that the bottom and sides of the skillet are well-oiled (I always add a little extra) then pour in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella.
Those are NOT marshmallows.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until the center is set; start checking the frittata after 25 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes in the pan before unmolding, cutting and serving.
A few egg tips:
- If you drop an egg and need to clean it up, sprinkle salt on the mess and let sit for 15 minutes. The salt will absorb the moisture and allow for easy cleanup.
- Always let eggs come to room temperature before using them in a recipe. This is especially important when baking.
- Don't store your eggs in the refrigerator door; the temperature fluctuates too much with the opening and closing of the door. Also, keep them in their original carton (and yes, I know most fridges have a built in egg container).
- Check the freshness of your eggs by gently lowering them into a deep bowl of water. Fresh eggs will sink, while older eggs will float. Old eggs will have a rough, chalky shell, while fresh eggs have a shiny, smooth shell. Also keep in mind that your eggs are probably already a month old once they arrive at the grocery store.
- Don't separate your eggs by passing the yolk between the shell halves; this is a great way to contaminate the egg with any nasties on the outer shell. You've got a great, free separator already - your hands. And PLEASE don't buy this - it's just another junky piece of plastic to clutter up your kitchen.