Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For Breakfast or Dinner: Baked Potato Frittata

How good does this sound? You can serve this baked omelete either for breakfast with fruit and toast or for dinner with a crisp green salad. It's a great excuse to use up leftover baked potatoes. But in case you don't have those, I included the directions for how to use uncooked potatoes in this recipe.

I don't usually have chives on hand around this time of year, so green onions fit the bill just great. We used organic nitrate-free turkey bacon. I suggest that you skip the salt in the recipe as I felt the at the frittata turned out a bit too salty since it called for bacon (a cured meat). I made half the recipe (to serve 4 people) and it worked out beautifully. Also, no worries if you don't have a frittata pan (who does?)--just use a dutch oven (you SHOULD have one of these! Haha.) or an oven-proof frying/saute pan.

adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Serves 8

2 russet potatoes, 1 1/4 lb. total, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch dice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
10 (turkey) bacon slices, chopped
10 eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives (or green onions)
1/2 cup light sour cream

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, stir together the potatoes, 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 500°F.

In a pan (frittata pan or oven safe frying pan or even a dutch oven) over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the fat in the pan. Finely chop 2 Tbs. of the bacon and reserve for garnish-OPTIONAL-you can always just throw everything in-still looks good. (If you use TURKEY bacon, you can skip this draining step since it won't leave extra fat--you can just set the pan aside.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the cheese and the 1/4 cup chives/green onions.

In the pan holding the bacon, over medium heat, warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the potatoes and diced bacon to the pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook, using a rubber spatula to lift the cooked edges and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, about 2 minutes, then cook for 4 to 6 minutes more. Continue to cook, covered, until the eggs are set, about 6 minutes. (I will come clean here and tell you that I basically let the eggs start to set as soon as I poured them in and then popped the whole dutch oven pan--uncovered--in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until it was golden. It was fantastic--no flipping and mixing and waiting. I like to make things easier when I can.).

Uncover the pan and sprinkle the frittata with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 4 minutes.

Gently shake the pan to loosen the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate. Garnish with the reserved chopped bacon and the 1 Tbsp. chives/green onions. Serve immediately with the sour cream.

A final word about frittatas, taken from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, 1989, Workman Publishing:

“Frittatas are to Italians what omelets are to the French. In a frittata (or tortilla in Spain) the filling is mixed with the eggs and the whole mixture is cooked slowly in a skillet until set, then quickly browned under the broiler. Frittatas are a bit drier than omelets, not so fussy in their timing, and much easier to make for a gang. The filling ingredients are what make the frittata so wonderful, but it’s the eggs that bind everything together. Frittatas can be served hot right in the skillet or left to cool at room temperature. They can be cut into pie-shaped wedges for brunch or supper or little squares for appetizers…”

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