I made a quick fritatta for lunch today. I say quick because I used potato crisps instead of fresh potatoes (that version requires slicing them thin and soaking them in the egg mix). I’ve been having and making omelets this way (with crisps) ever since I can remember (my dad read it in a novel once), but now that I cleaned the oven out and got it working I can be lazy, um, stylish and just finish them off under the grill without trying (usually unsuccessfully) to fold them. It is because of this unfolded nature that I can use the word frittata instead of omelet and thereby sound even more l33t.
“What did you make for lunch today?’
The recipe is basic and very flexible. Get your egg mix ready (I did 4 eggs, or around 2 per person), so drop some milk in a bowl or a milk-shaker with salt, pepper, turmeric powder and chilli powder and add in your eggs. I like to whisk it as close to cooking time as possible so that it doesn’t sit around and lose air (if you have to beat it again it can reach a point where the resulting omelet is hard and not fluffy, which is bad).
Meanwhile chop up some garlic, onion, olives and mushrooms as I did here. You can get creative and add in all sorts of fresh and cooked vegetables, leftover meats and any stuff you have around. This is also the reason Anthony Bourdain says you should never order Seafood frittata at a restaurant’s Sunday brunch — it’s all the stuff you wouldn’t want on your plate. I like to fry the fillings in olive oil first, blacken the garlic so that it has a smoky flavour, but you can just keep it all fresh — the resulting frittata has a different flavour depending on which way you go. Once they were fried to my satisfaction I took ’em out and put some butter in the pan. Now, I’m one of the few people I know who enjoys the flavour of browned butter more than the regular stuff, so I let it get much darker than most people would. Swish it around in the (oven-safe) skillet so that it coats the side. It should get to a smoking point, BUT(!):
At this point you must have everything else ready, because now you only have a few seconds between the butter smoking and it burning, which we don’t want. Your eggs should be beaten and the filling you fried and kept aside, as well as the potato crisps (one handful per person, or one handful for every two eggs) should be at hand. Also, your grill should be started up and heating. I have done this with a ‘cold’ grill too, but the extra minute of heating-up does help and keeps a continuous cooking time for the frittata.
Place the potato crisps in the pan, spreading them out more or less evenly. Take care not to get super-hot butter on you, because it can sputter and splash. The fillings go on top of that. Try to get these evenly spread too. Finally, pour over the egg mixture (it should make a satisfyingly loud “sssshhhhh”). Now go in with a spatula and even out the thing, pull egg mix away from the sides of the pan so that runny egg mix can flow into its place. Jab at the centre bits a little to get the mixture and crisps mixed up with the egg and that uncooked egg mix is introduced to the bottom of the pan and the stuff that was frying there doesn’t burn. Cook on the stove until it looks mostly ‘scrambled’ but still has a little runny egg in there.
Sprinkle some parsley or cilantro over it. Basil’s fine too. Oregano is nice. Anything except lettuce, basically.
Place it close under a slow grill. It usually takes between 7-10 minutes until it’s done. Basically when it looks set and the bits of crisps and filling that are sticking out brown a little, it’s ready.
Remove (use an oven-mitt, that skillet handle gets hot). Place it on the stove and let it cool for a bit. That egg is still cooking and needs a minute or two to rest. Cut into wedges. Serve.
I had some leftover rice and beans and served it with that today. They actually went well together.
Previously I had served it as a sandwich filling, and that was pretty-good too.
Well, there you go. Good, old-fashioned one-pan bachelor chow. If you try it out, send me a picture.