Sunday, June 2, 2013

Frittata Frenzy

So what is a frittata, you say. It sounds exotic, you say. Surely I can't make it, you say. Well, I am here to dispel these myths. Just call me a culinary mythbuster.

    To start with, what is a frittata? Well, essentially a frittata is nothing more than an Italian baked omelet. There are many differences between the frittata and its more well known French cousin, the rolled omelet. First of all, the omelet is baked to finish instead of being fried then rolled. Secondly, the ingredients that specify the type of frittata are added to the pan first and then the eggs added in stead of being incorporated into the omelet when it is being folded. And lastly, the frittat is often cut into wedges instead of being served whole or in halves. Following a few simple steps, you can make beautiful frittatas of your own.

    Lets start with the eggs. The amount of eggs depends on several factors such as how big your pan is or how many people you want to feed. For an 8-inch pan feeding about four people you will need about 6-8 large eggs. What you want to do is in a large bowl, crack your eggs then whisk them throughly. You can season your eggs with a little salt and pepper. If you feel adventurous, add a little hot sauce or some milk. It is important to whisk your eggs because that helps them puff up when you bake them.

    After you have your eggs ready, you need to start thinking of what you want to put in your fritatta. It can be as simple as ham or as crazy as sausage and corn. In this case you can think of it as you would an omelet. Add veggies or meat or just about whatever your heart desires. Now, it is important to note, that some ingredients can be added after the eggs have been introduced to the pan. however, these are more often closer to toppings that integrated ingredients. Cheese is best introduced as a topping.

    So, back to the stuff in the frittata. First thing you want to do is heat your pan. Make sure this is a pan you can transfer from the stove top to the oven without any problems. After your pan is hot add the fat, whether it is butter or oil. Once your fat is hot, introduce your ingredients and cook them throughly making sure things like raw veggies are nice and tender and no longer raw.

    Once the ingredients are cooked, pour in your eggs. It is important to note that the eggs should not stick to the bottom of the pan so make sure to scrape if possible. That being said let the eggs set a little before scraping and scrape from the center out. Another tip is to lift the edges slightly with the spatula and let the eggs run back. After the eggs are set and right before you put the frittata in the oven add your toppings.

    Now, slip the pan into the oven. It should be preheated to a toasty 400 degrees. Leave the frittata in the oven until it is golden and puffy. Time will vary according to the oven and the eggs themselves, but it should run about 8-15 min. Obviously, the larger the frittata the longer it will take. Another tip is make sure that the center of the frittata is done. Just because the edges are does not mean the center is.

    When you take the frittata out of the oven, let is rest for a couple of min. Afterwards, using a spatula to help if need be, slide your frittata out of the pan and cut it into wedges and serve hot.

    Hopefully these tips will lead you to fantastic frittata making.


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