Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We all know that when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. But, what about when life give you too many eggs? I pondered that question this afternoon when I pulled a basket full of eggs out of the chicken coop. I couldn’t believe it, there were eggs in every nesting box. And, we have ten. I looked at the pile, then looked at the hens and wondered what kind of super human – I mean super chicken – effort did such a feat take. Then I wondered what the hell I was going to do with all those eggs.

After a few quizzical moments it came to me – Frittata.

Frittatas are similar to quiches on the inside, but don’t have a crust. They are firm and thick like omelets and can contain any variety of chopped meat or vegetables. They are the Italian version of an omelet.

Now I was on a mission. I took the eggs into the kitchen and set them on the counter. When I opened the fridge, staring me in the face were three dozen more eggs to go along with today’s haul. What the hell were my hens eating or doing that they produced this many eggs. Or, was it that we were not eating eggs often enough. How could that be though? I have eggs and toast almost every day for breakfast. Moving on with my mission, I rummaged through the fridge and pulled out parmesan cheese, spinach, asparagus, and onion. This would be the base for my frittata. I would use bacon instead of ham, fry up some potatoes and have toast with homemade blueberry jam. It was beginning to sound like breakfast for dinner, but didn’t care. I was going to use up at least 6 eggs, maybe even 10.

The basic recipe I used is below. Any combination of ingredients can be added with success. Even the cheese can be changed. Try Monterey Jack, White Cheddar or Swiss. Frittatas are a great way to use veggies and small amounts of meat to make a nutritious and satisfying meal. For a wonderful weekend brunch pair your Frittata with a nice green salad.

6 eggs, beaten
1-ounce Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup spinach stems removed
1/2 cup chopped country ham
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add spinach and ham (or in my case bacon) to pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy.

Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

I don’t know why I don’t make frittatas more often. They are simple, versatile and oh-so delectable. Any combination of ingredients that you’d use for a regular omelet can be tossed in, and you never have to worry about getting it to flip properly like you do with an omelet. The other added benefit is that it’s very difficult to under cook a frittata, so the whole “runny eggs” thing simply isn’t an issue either.

But…the best part of all is that frittatas use up a ton of eggs; 6 to 10 depending on the recipe.

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