EGG IN A BAGEL HOLE
1 bagel of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the bagel in half. If the hole isn’t very big i.e. you can’t imagine a yolk fitting in it—tear out some of the bagel around it. You could also use a biscuit cutter or cup to cut out a perfectly round center.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Place the bagel, inside down, on the skillet.
Crack one egg into a little bowl (or a container with a spout) and gently transfer the egg to the middle of the bagel. It might run out a bit; that’s okay. Season the egg with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet and let the toad cook for about 3 minutes, or until the egg is done to your liking. Using a spatula, transfer it to a plate and repeat with the other bagel half.
The word “frittata” derives from the Italian verb “friggere,” or “to fry” and in Italy generally applied to cooking eggs as the main ingredients along with other things in a skillet. Frittata-like concoctions show up all over the world; from China, Southeast Asia to India and Iran, Spain (with its famous Tortilla Espanola) , France, and of course Italy. Surprisingly, in Italy, it’s rare to find a restaurant that offers frittata on its menu; it’s the quintessential home food. Like so many recipes with eggs there are endless possibilities and it’s a great place to use all those odds and ends and leftovers in your fridge. In Italy, sometimes before serving lunch or dinner, a small portion of the meal is purposely put aside to make a frittata the next day.
The main difference between an omelette and a frittata is that the ingredients of an omelette are gently placed into the beaten eggs as they are cooking in the pan and then the eggs folded over to enclose the fillings. In a frittata, the eggs and ingredients are mixed together, then cooked more slowly and it comes out like a cake.
Basic approach for making a frittata is:
· Heat butter or oil in a 10 – 12 inch non-stick skillet and sauté the filling ingredients until cooked through if raw or heated through if already cooked.
· In a bowl whisk the eggs, usually 8, with seasonings and herbs
· Reduce heat in the skillet to low and pour the eggs into the skillet gently stirring to mix in the fillings
· Tilt the pan and with the help of a spatula, lift the edges so that the uncooked part of the eggs can slip under the solidified part so that all parts of the frittata are cooked. Lift and check that the bottom is browning nicely but not burning.
· You can now cover the pan, turn off the heat and allow the frittata to finish cooking. Alternately you can slide the frittata out onto a plate larger than the skillet then place the skillet upside down over the frittata, hold the two tightly together and flip the two so that the frittata drops back into the pan browned side up. You can also simply slip the frittata in its pan under a hot broiler and cook until the top is set and lightly browned. If you want to finish with cheese this is the time to do it so that it can melt on top.
· Slide the frittata out onto a plate larger than the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.
ASPARAGUS, RED ONION AND GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA
Serves 4 – 6
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, tough woody ends discarded and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter.
3/4 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
4 ounces or so crumbled fresh goat cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender and bright green, 3 – 4 minutes. Drain, cool under cold running cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large non-stick skillet heat the butter and oil over moderate heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent but not browned. Stir in the asparagus, basil and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk the eggs with a little salt and pepper until blended. Reduce the heat to medium low and add eggs to the skillet and cook until the eggs are set on the bottom and around the edges, about 4 minutes. With a rubber spatula, lift one side of the frittata so that the raw eggs flow under the set edges. Do this 3 or 4 times so that the eggs are evenly cooked and not runny.
Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top, cover and cook over low heat until the frittata is set and the cheese nicely softened, 5 – 7 minutes. Alternately you can slip the pan under a preheated broiler for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and brown the top.
To serve: Slide the frittata onto a platter and serve hot, warm or at room temperature cut into wedges or small squares.
FRITTATA WITH BACON, POTATOES AND WALNUTS
1 1/4 cups (1 medium) sliced onion
2 teaspoons slivered garlic
1 cup red bell pepper, seeded, vein removed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 pound bacon, crisply cooked, drained and chopped
2 cups diced crisp cooked red potatoes (skin on)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, basil, tarragon, dill and/or chervil
1 large firm ripe tomato, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or pepper jack cheese
In a 10 inch non-stick oven proof skillet over moderate heat, sauté the onions, garlic and peppers in olive oil until crisp tender and lightly colored. Add walnuts, bacon and potatoes and sauté a minute or two more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and add the eggs and herbs and briefly stir to evenly distribute the eggs. Place pan 3 inches under a hot broiler and cook for 3 minutes or so or until the eggs are set and beginning to puff. Remove and lay tomato slices on top and sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler again for a minute or so to melt cheese. Serve warm cut into wedges.
EGGS BAKED EN COCOTTE WITH MUSHROOMS
Adding some dried mushrooms such as porcini makes for a richer mushroom flavor. Soak them in warm water, squeeze dry, chop and add them to the fresh mushrooms when you sauté them.
2 tablespoons butter plus more for buttering the ramekins
3/4 pound mixed exotic mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake, chanterelle, cremini, etc.
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or green onions
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and basil
Drops of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter four 1-cup ramekins and set them on a baking sheet.
Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or towel. Remove and discard stems of shiitake if using. Chop the mushrooms. You should have about 6 cups.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms and shallots until they are lightly browned and any moisture has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cream and cook for another couple of minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the herbs and season to your taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Divide mushroom mixture among the 4 dishes. Break and carefully tip an egg into each dish and pour the rest of the cream over the whites. Sprinkle each with a little of the cheese. Bake until the white are just set, about 10 minutes and serve at once.
Chef John Ash Educator, Chef, Cookbook Author | Wine Country Cooking
C John Ash 2021