Friday, February 6, 2015

Make a Frittata (Whatever You Have in the Veggie Drawer Works Perfectly)

Think Like a Cook Series

Let's face it.  Sometimes those veggies in your fridge drawer are starting to show a little wear and tear.

Certain forms of cooking are perfect for a fridge full of food needing to be used NOW.  Let's call this the "fridge dump" method.  You just open the door to your fridge, grab all the stuff that needs using and dump it into a soup, a stew, a spaghetti sauce, or in this case, a frittata.

Cooking like this is simply a part of good kitchen management.  Foods don't go to waste and you serve up some tasty dishes with what's on hand.  Of course, some restraint is required.  The veggies you select need to be compatible taste-wise.

A frittata is an egg casserole that usually has some vegetables, sometimes has cheese and can pretty much include anything else you think tastes nice.  For example, you can make it "Mexican" by adding roasted chilli peppers and cumin and topping it with avocados.  You can make it "Italian" by adding lots of garlic,  a can of tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs and olives.

If you're eating diary, adding the right flavored cheese, or topping it with sour cream or creme fraiche can make all the difference.  Pestos are also delicious on top.  If you're not eating dairy, drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Organic kale and pasture raised eggs make a delicious and healthy frittata.  


Today's version is the "fridge dump" version.  Start with some sauteed onions.  If you have any celery, bell peppers or garlic, add them to the saute mix.  Saute this all up in olive oil over medium heat until it is translucent and softened, then layer it in the bottom of a casserole dish*.  Add whatever you have on hand in your veggie drawer that seems compatible.  I had a carton of cherry tomatoes that needed to be used up, so I layered that on top of the onion mixture along with some roasted bell peppers and some big handfuls of kale. In total you want 9-10 cups of veggies.  That may sound like a lot, but you should get about 4 alone if you simply choose a large onion and chop down into a celery bunch by several inches.

Then mix up your eggs.  Take a dozen organic pasture raised eggs or so and whisk them up with a little splash of water. Add in natural sea salt, ground pepper and either some fresh or dried herbs.  In this case, I added an Italian blend of dried herbs.  Be generous with the seasonings.  Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, add any cheese topping (I didn't use one)  and bake at 350 for twenty or thirty minutes.  

*I sometimes cook the frittata in my frying pan, first cooking the eggs on the bottom of the pan gently over the stove and then moving it to the oven where the tops of the eggs will cook. To do this, after you saute your onions, you layer the other veggies on top, pour in the eggs and allow the bottom to cook gently over the medium heat.  When the bottom has cooked, move the pan into the oven to finish it off.  If you want the top to turn golden, you can even put it under the broiler for a few minutes.  Just watch it carefully.

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