Clean out the fridge frittata

Certain dishes lend themselves to spur-of-the-moment improvisation, and frittata ranks high on the list.  A handful of mushrooms, an odd bit of cheese, some forgotten asparagus that didn’t make it to Thanksgiving dinner:  combined with half a dozen eggs, black pepper, and butter, these various odds & ends make a delicious weeknight supper.  A slow-cooked, browned omelet of sorts, frittata readily absorbs diverse ingredients with harmonious results.

Frittata recipes abound on the web–most are too fussy, calling for measured ingredients and a final broiling step that unnecessarily complicate the dish.  Forget all that stuff; there’s an easier way.

Open the fridge, and rummage around in the crisper.  Find some fresh veggies; cut into bite-sized pieces (anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of cut pieces is fine).  In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, saute the veggies in 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil over medium heat until tender.  How long this takes depends on the vegetables; obviously, carrots will take a bit longer than mushrooms.  While the vegetables soften, beat 6 or 7 eggs in a bowl until blended, then whisk in a few tablespoons grated hard cheese (pecorino, parmesan, dry jack, whatever; even cheddar will do in a pinch).  Add a pinch of salt and several generous grindings of black pepper.  Other, complimentary herbs and spices are good, but the beauty of frittata is its simplicity, so don’t go overboard.

Pour the eggs into the skillet over the vegetables, stirring gently to evenly distribute the goodies throughout the egg mixture.  As the eggs set, stir the center two or three times, allowing the liquid parts to flow underneath.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the bottom is well-browned and the upper surface is set.

Now comes the fun part:  flip it over.  Take a big, flat plate or rimless baking sheet (like a pizza pan) and slide the frittata out onto the pan.  Carefully invert the hot skillet directly over the frittata, then flip the pan and skillet over in one smooth motion.  Yes, it will be heavy, so try not to drop it.

Return the skillet to the stove and cook until the bottom surface browns.See, that took less time than preheating the broiler.  It was more fun, too.  Frittata is good while warm, or room temperature, or cold from the fridge, or gently reheated (try not to microwave it too long, or it gets rubbery).

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