Friday, September 17, 2010

potato, spinach and gruyere fritatta

     For our community group supper the other night, we collectively made breakfast. By collectively, I mean we each made one or two items to feed the entire group. It was like a progressive dinner, without the progressing. My chosen items were a huge spinach and swiss cheese fritatta and my famous praline bacon. And yes, I will share the bacon recipe. You will be eternally grateful!
     A frittata is simply scrambled eggs, baked in the oven. They are like a quiche without the crust. I have a few friends allergic to gluten, so I tend to make these more than I make quiche. Fritattas are easy to make and not as scary or exotic as it may sound. Any combination of leftover, cooked ingredients can be added to the egg mixture to create a frittata. This is an easy breakfast or weeknight meal. Most of us have eggs on hand in our refrigerators. You can also use Egg Beaters. Some have chopped veggies already in them, which will save even more time. The recipe instructs you to use 8 eggs. This is only a suggestion and will depend on the number of people you are feeding, how much they eat and how big your non-stick skillet is. Mine is very large and the one I recently made contained around 12 eggs. (If you plan on each person eating two eggs and have 6 people, use an entire dozen. You get the idea.)
     Add some leftover ham from a previous dinner, sausage and tomatoes, chopped chicken with some spinach and feta or goat cheese… the sky is the limit! I serve these when I have a very small amount of leftover meat or veggies and want to stretch it to feed The Fam. Think of other recipe combinations you have had at a restaurant or read about in the newspaper. Try adding some chopped turkey, creamy brie cheese, peppery arugula leaves and chopped apple. Add a salad and rolls, or pancakes to accompany your creation for an easy weeknight meal or weekend brunch.  In just a few minutes, your meal is done and everyone will be very impressed. Only you and I will know how easy it is... and I won't ever tell!

Ingredients:
3-4 red-skinned potatoes, cut into thin slices
1 ¼ tsp. salt
2 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
half or all of a small bag of baby spinach
8-12 large eggs
¼ c. half and half
¼ tsp. black pepper
fresh thyme leaves
1/2 c. grated Gruyere cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 cups water, add potatoes and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. (If your non-stick skillet handle is not oven-safe, wrap it in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil before placing in oven. This will protect it.)

Cook onion until tender and golden. Add cooked potatoes to skillet and allow them to brown a little. Add spinach and cook until it wilts.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half and half, ¼ tsp. salt, black pepper and thyme . Add grated cheese to egg mixture. Pour into skillet. Cover and cook until eggs begin to set around edge, about 3 minutes. Remove cover and place skillet in oven. Bake until frittata is set evenly, about 15 minutes. If center not completely set, bake a few minutes more. Allow to cool for a minute or two.
Slide onto large plate or platter and cut into wedges (OR cut into wedges in skillet) and serve.

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