Well yesterday, myself and the kids were away from home for 14 hours! We drove 130 miles to go to not 1 but 5 different birthday celebrations! Madness I know….but actually very practical! 3 children (my nieces), 1 father (my brother) and 1 uncle (sister-in-law’s brother), all coming together to do it under 1 roof. It was very easy for me, but it was a tremendous undertaking for the hosts. They made five different cakes and we sang Happy birthday 5 times. We just sort of rolled from one party theme to the next. I was planning on hitting the road at 5pm to drive home but was invited to go to my sister-in-law’s cousin’s engagement party! Off we went and had a fabulous dinner (which I was grateful for, as up to then I had only eaten cake!) where I met all sorts of great people. Then, back on the road for another 130 miles – what a day, we did not get home until Midnight!
The kids sleep-walked up to their beds and I decided I was hungry! When you want something fast I find eggs is one of the best options. I wanted something special however. It was such a wonderful day I didn’t want to end it with a fried egg? The Frittata was the elegant solution. I am convinced that this dish was invented to use up tiny pieces of things? I used up sad little amounts of this and that and ended up with a feast.
The trick to making this dish work is to hold back. Stick to similar tasting things and then leave the eggs alone when you are cooking them! If you fiddle and stir and mix you will end up with scrambled eggs. I choose to go the Italian route, but I did add a small hot chili for a little contrast. I had a sumptuous meal in the quiet of my dimly lit kitchen – bliss.
You will need: 2 fresh eggs, 1 tbs light cream or whole milk, 1 tbs celery leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbs flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped, 5 black olives, chopped, 1 scallion, chopped (including green parts), 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced (I had some roasted ones leftover from a previous dish so I used those), 2 tbs freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper flakes/chili flakes OR 1 Thai chili, chopped, (optional) 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, salt and freshly ground pepper.
1 – Prep everything as described above.
2 – Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add a pinch of salt and about 3 grinds of pepper. Add milk and whisk vigorously with a manual whisk for about 3 minutes. (I turn on heat under pan while I am doing this – see step 4). Eggs will start to get a little frothy.
3 – Add all prepped ingredients, except the butter and whisk again for about 20 seconds.
*Preheat broiler and set oven rack on about the second level from the top.
4 – Put small pan on low to medium heat and let it warm up for at least 3 minutes (don’t skip this step or you will risk your omelet sticking). Add butter to pan – it should sizzle and melt fast. Swirl the butter in pan so all pan surface is coated and immediately add the egg mixture. Let it cook untouched for 3 minutes. Left pan and shake and swirl quickly. The egg in the middle will cover the egg at the edges.
5 – Place under broiler for 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes. Check after one minute. The top will look set when it is cooked and the edges will be beginning to brown a little. Take out. Wait about 30 seconds and then run a spatula around the edge to pry the frittata loose and turn onto a warm plate.
I had this with a piece of toasted bread sprinkled with a little parsley and extra virgin olive oil. It can of course be eaten straight from the pan without ceremony!