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Making a frittata


Fat Guy
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I make these all the time, but have never given serious thought to proper technique. I basically saute a lot of vegetables in a 10" skillet and pour the eggs (six) over. I let them set so that there's only a thin film of liquid on top and then I stick the whole package under the broiler to finish. Is there a better way? Not that I'm dissatisfied with the current product; it's just that I've never had an expertly made frittata so I have nothing to aim for.

Also, what's your preferred spelling of omelet/omelette? I assume we all agree of frittata. How about saute/sautee with or without accent marks?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Sounds similar except for baking vs. broiling. I assume baking is the traditionally suggested method. Still, the broiler produces a caramelized top that I find appealing; by the standards of real frittatas is this browning desirable or undesirable?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Browning is desirable.

My frittata are usually about twelve eggs and I have three or four going.

After they're setting well, into the oven at 425 or so. I keep testing them. When almost done, under the salamander for less than a minute, sometimes with a dusting of cheese.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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12 eggs of what size, in what size pan? I neglected to mention I use jumbo. How thick are the frittatas you're making? How heavy of a vegetable dosage do you use?

On the occasions that I've made really thick ones, the veg sinks to the bottom. Is there a way around that? (Adding the egg and veg incrementally?)

Also do people prefer them hot or at room temperature?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The language question is hard to answer without the accents, but here goes: "saute" (with an acute accent over the "e") is the correct French adjective, derived from the verb "sauter" (to jump = because to saute is really to toss things in a pan, not to shallow fry them as we now use the term). Anglo-American devised an adjective "sauteed" (acute accent over the first "e"), and now the habit has developed of dropping the "d" but leaving the extra unnecessary "e". That's how I read it, but I am happy, as always, to be corrected.

"Omelet" is ugly. Where does it come from. Never seen in the UK, is it an American spelling? (If so, it might be archaic English). "Omelette", please.

And the frittata - I usually make small individual fritatta, rather than filling a whole pan with a bunch of eggs.

Might I recommend frittata with pecorino (or a simialr hard cheese). Cut a thin slice of pecorino, and fry it in a little oil until it just starts to soften (you dont' want it gluey), then pour your egg over and season. Flip it when ready. Very tasty snack.

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Extra-large. The pans: the really big stainless steel jobs. The frittatas turn out about 3 and 1/2 or 4 inches thick. How many vegetables? Depends. Say 2 big red or white onions, 3 or 4 red bell peppers, 3 or 4 cubanelles. If using tomatoes, a concasse of perhaps 15. If I want the vegetables dispersed, I start with the vegetables, pour in some of the egg, scramble it around, then add the rest. Sometimes I flip the frittatas so that the vegetables are on top, for example with a caramelized onion frittata.

I also sometimes use them as a way to carry leftovers such as pasta, risotto, rice, or potatoes.

Room temperature, especially in the warmer months. They make a nice sandwich too with foccacia. I serve them hot in the winter.

I must make these almost every week.

edit:

Ack, I forgot about mushrooms. I usually use a mixture of different kinds of mushrooms and want them to be visible so I throw in the fresh herbs before the top sets and then flip the frittata to serve.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I usually make mine like Jinmyo (stovetop until eggs set, then bake hot enough to brown top), almost always in my big #12 Griswold cast iron skillet. Typically about 6-8 eggs (varying sizes since we get them from a local producer and they're not graded) so they final product is thin.

In Italy fritatte are always flipped so that the browned vegetables (or whatever the filling is) ends up on top. The usual method is holding a plate over the skillet, quickly inverting both so the fritatta lands on the plate, then sliding it back into the pan. I don't have a plate big enough for the #12, but I have done this with smaller fritatte, and the results are nice, a bit more rustic than the brown-in-oven technique.

I prefer to eat the fritatta at room temp. Last night I made one with 'tre gigli' (three lilies, since allium are part of the lily family), shallot, leek, and onion (usually make quatro gigli but didn't have any garlic). Cooked (better not say 'saute') the allium in blend of olive oil and butter until slightly browned, added aggs (I beat with a bit of water), then topped with Juniper Grove smoked chevre.

Last week did one with zucchini blossoms. I had a bunch but it was too hot to fry them, so cooked them briefly with shallots, topped egg with dollops of mascarpone.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Jim, when I flip I often do so onto a wooden cutting board and serve it on it. Rustica doncha know. :rolleyes:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I made one tonight with a combination of items from various sources: Leftover sweet Italian sausage from a dinner at a friend's house (these friends are for some reason fanatically opposed to eating leftovers, yet they make five times as much food as is necessary, so as guests we are pretty much required to take home sacks of food), a cornucopia of vegetables from another person's garden (zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, various herbs), an onion of uncertain provenance, leftover steamed Chinese broccoli from a takeout meal, a little regular broccoli that was sitting in the freezer, generic white button mushrooms, the last of the cheddar cheese, and seven jumbo eggs (no I didn't eat it all). Cooked using the non-flip stovetop-followed-by-broiler combo. Yum!!!

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Frittata are the garde manger team non pareil.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I've always used the non-flip stovetop-followed-by-broiler combo with great results. Spaghetti frittata (is the plural form the same as the singular?) is a family favorite. Type of cheese sprinkled on depends on what's inside. Our favorite breakfast place serves open faced omelettes, which are essentially frittata the way they make them, and the portabello mushroom with cheddar cheese option is especially good. At this time of year I also like to use lots of my fresh herbs.

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The plural of frittata is frittate. And while I was sure when I typed my earlier post that the double T was at the end of the word, I checked my big Collins-Sansoni dictonary last night and, d'oh! it's the other way around. I think I've got it mispelled the same way on several pages of my site, too.

Jinmyo...good tip re the cutting board, I'll use it.

Milder greens make a classic frittata al herbe...wilt a combination of beet greens, spinach, arugula, or any other green that doesn't require long cooking, then add the eggs, this time beaten with some grated Parm so it's incorporated insterad of sprinkled on top.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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  • 1 year later...

Thought I'd ressurect this one.

I wanted something quick and easy last night, so knocked up a frittata/bastardised tortilla.

I was going to make a spanish tortilla, but had a few bits and bobs to use up, and wanted something a bit more substantial, so did the usual tortilla technique of frying lots of onions, and sliced potato in copious amounts of olive oil, and added a few cloves of crushed garlic for a change as well. When they were almost done, I also added about 10/12 spears of purple sprouting broccoli (About all that can cheer me up in dull miserable march) and some strips of bacon that I had previously fried till crispy. Added beaten, seasoned eggs (Only had six, really needed about 8 I think) and cooked on low heat till it started to firm up.

I then did the 'flip on a plate' trick to cook the top, and for once didn't lose half of it on the floor.

I should have let it cool really, but was hungry and ate half right away. I cut a wedge out later when it was just warm, and it was much better at that temperature. Needed the extra eggs really, there were lots of bits sticking out (Which is no bad thing, as they caught the pan and crisped up nicely), but it wasn't really thick enough, so didn't stay as moist in the centre as I would like. I'm having the rest for my lunch at work, so must remember to take it out of the fridge about an hour before.

Good new one to add to my things to do with purple sprouting list though (And it didn't really need the bacon).

BTW Anyone lese really dissapointed how it loses the purple colour as soon as you cook it? Is there any way too keep it?

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I'm sending out a frittata SOS. . . the last two times I've made a frittata, it's been a disaster. Even my boyfriend, who I caught last night eating crumbs from the tablecloth between courses at a restaurant, has refused to finish them.

I mixed 6 eggs, a bit of cream, and a good shake of parmesan with dried herbs and set the mixture on the stovetop. I also shaved in strips of gruyere while it set. Then I baked it at 350 for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. The thing emerged flat, rubbery, and wholly unappetizing. This is especially upsetting because I cooked my previous successful fluffy delicious frittatas without overmuch deliberation or concern for baking time, and they were great. Advice?

By the way, I have recently prepared several other familiar classics and they've been flops too - a bolognese lasagna that was kind of nasty, a weird cauliflower puree. I seem to have lost my touch. Will it come back?

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Welcome cuisy. You are among friends here. I too, have been through periods where nothing seems to work. It will pass. I think it is just some sort of bad vibrations in the etrix. :laugh:

Fritattas were often one of the vehicles for "clean out the fridge" when my son lived with me. They were also the solution when I had a house full of young folk sleeping all over my floors. When they woke up they needed feeding, by golly.

My technique was alway saute the goodies, cook for a while on the stove top on low and shove in the oven.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I make these all the time, but have never given serious thought to proper technique. I basically saute a lot of vegetables in a 10" skillet and pour the eggs (six) over. I let them set so that there's only a thin film of liquid on top and then I stick the whole package under the broiler to finish. Is there a better way? Not that I'm dissatisfied with the current product; it's just that I've never had an expertly made frittata so I have nothing to aim for.

Also, what's your preferred spelling of omelet/omelette? I assume we all agree of frittata. How about saute/sautee with or without accent marks?

Woah. I've had FG's frittata. And I watched him make it. It was much more involved than he lets on. And, it was the best damn frittata I've had.

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  • 2 years later...

I like to share my latest experiment which we had for dinner last night:

mini frittate with bechamel filling

Ingredients for 2 people:

5 eggs, 1/2 lt bechamel sauce (a bit on the thick side), left over salumi, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese

Make 5 mini frittatas using 1 egg for each (to tell you the truth 5 are 1 too many, but it depends on how hungry you are). Reserve them on a plate.

Prepare the bechamel and tomato sauces to your taste.

Dice leftover salumis (I had about 5 slices of prosciutto and 5 of salami) then stir them in the bechamel sauce. Blend in the shredded mozzarella, stir well until you obtain a smoothish cream.

Dress an oven dish with a laddleful of tomato sauce. Spoon some of the bechamel mixture in the middle of each frittata then roll it up like cannelloni. Place each roll in the oven dish close to each other. Cover with more tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated parmigian cheese.

Bake in the oven, preheated to 180 C, for about 10 minutes until the cheese turns golden.

That, truly, was not a bad experiment

ciao

Dario

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  • 3 weeks later...

I regularly make an ultra-traditional tortilla espanola (I teach Spanish, and most of my colleagues have also spent time in Spain and are tapas junkies), but I've also had plenty of variations on the potato/onion theme in Spain, so I certainly don't feel obliged to make only the potato/onion variety for myself. I am curious, though, never having had frittata in Italy: can anyone tell me if the Spanish tortillas and Italian frittate (sp?) are different in any significant way?

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