Friday, April 16, 2010

Fake It Again

Here's another quick "fake it" idea for taking minimal effort to make something that looks special. One of my favorite things to do for breakfast, or even dinner sometimes, is a frittata (that's snooty chef talk for baked "scrambled" eggs, by the way). I love the versatility of a dish that I can put just about anything into, including leftovers, and let the oven do the work for me while I multi-task elsewhere. All you need are some eggs, milk, S&P, and your imagination! Just sautee/brown/warm whatever you want to put in the eggs in a skillet (with or without butter depending on how fatty the contents are), pour in some beaten eggs that have been thinned with a little milk, sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and throw the pan in the oven at about 375 to bake for just a few minutes until the eggs are set (usually just enough time to throw the rest of my son's lunch in his lunchbox).  Here's our breakfast from this morning.  Sorry it looks a little messy; as usual I remembered to take a photo about half way through eating.  Today was a sausage, potato and cheddar frittata.  Potatoes are kind of a luxury on a weekday since it takes a little while to get them nice and crispy on their own.  What I've started doing is chopping them (with or without the skins on), and letting the microwave cook them slightly before putting them in the skillet.  I can ether crisp them up nicely or, like today, let them mash up a little and make a nice textural addition to the eggs.  So, I chopped the sausage and browned it, put the potatoes and a little onion in the skillet for just a few minutes, then turned the heat off.  I added 6 eggs, beaten with about 2 or 3 T of milk, seasoned with S&P (yes, KOSHER salt :-)), sprinkled the top with cheddar and let the oven do the rest of the work for me.  I chose to garnish my frittata with a little of Mr. Bayless (Rick, that is) salsa and had a toasted English muffin (LOVE my BAYS) with a little fruit.  As I mentioned before though, your imagination is the only limit on making these.  I really kinda hate leftovers, unless I can make them into something completely different, so here are some ideas for using them in what will be your new go-to egg dish!

1.  Leftover Tex-Mex:  If you have leftovers from tacos or fajitas, add the meat (steak, chicken, chorizo) into the skillet, toss in some of the peppers and onions, and pour on your eggs.  You can add a tablespoon or so of salsa (unless you have kiddos like me and have to add it after-the-fact), and queso fresco, cheddar, or whatever cheese you have on hand.  If you like migas, like I do, you can even throw in a few crushed up tortilla chips.

2.  Leftover Rotisserie Chicken: Add some red peppers (roasted or not), onions, and swiss cheese.

3.  Leftover Mashed Potatoes (if they're a little chunky, anyway): Add to the skillet with any meat and/or cheese of your choice.

4.  Leftover Spinach:  Feeling vegetarian, you can add spinach, mushrooms, and a little feta or swiss cheese.  This combination is also good with bacon though. :-)  I often have a couple of pieces of bacon leftover after breakfast, so I put the leftovers in the frig to use later in the week for this dish.

5.  Leftover Smoked Salmon: Okay, so I don't usually have leftovers of this just laying around (it usually all finds its way into my tummy with some capers, cream cheese, and bagel chips), but this is a nice "fancy" dish to make if you need to impress someone, or just pamper yourself a little.  Dump your eggs in a buttered skillet, sprinkle in chopped salmon, maybe some blanched asparagus, and a few dollops of cream cheese placed on top.  Sprinkle with some chives if you have them on hand.

Really, the sky's the limit here.  Be creative, try lots of combinations of veggies, meats and cheese (even cottage cheese is a great addition and low-fat protein boost), and let me know what YOUR favorite is!


Alisa said...

Ive been reading your posts these past few days and like what you have here. Looking forward to reading more from you :) hope you drop by on us too at

Robin said...

Fritattas are indeed awesomely simple and tasty! I have to say though, compared to you, mine are pretty boring. I'm going to have to try out some of your ideas. :)