Chef Smiter’s “Clean out the fridge” frittata
This is one of those things that I make every couple of weeks or so when I look in the fridge and realize I’ve got little odds & ends of things, little containers of this & that, and am stuck on what to make for dinner.
The recipe & instructions are below — just scroll down to the list & you’ll find it all laid out for you. But first, the basics, in case you’re new to the frittata game.
Since the basis for a frittata is eggs, you’ll need first of all to make sure you’ve got about eight of them.
The second thing is potatoes — usually my “Make a Frittata!” button is activated when I’ve got a container of cold leftover boiled potatoes.
Third, you’ll want a good, big, oven-safe frying pan — cast iron is ideal, but basically you just need a heavy one with a handle that won’t burn or melt in the oven.
The whole thing takes just under an hour from “Hmmm… what’s in the fridge?” to “OMG, this is TEH AWESOME! Nom nom nom…”.
What you need:
(All measures are approximate — tinker & add or subtract as ingredients & ideas present themselves)
- About 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup or so of shredded cheese (cheddar is great)
- 1 1/2 cups boiled potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 good-sized onion, diced
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed & chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- dash of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil & thyme (fresh is fine too)
Other goodies: crumbled cooked bacon; cooked spinach (drained / squeezed well); red, orange, and/or green peppers; chipotle or jalapeno peppers; kale, chopped and steamed; chopped tomatoes; broccoli bits, steamed…
What to do:
Preheat your oven to 375F.
- If you’re using bacon, cook that first in your cast-iron pan (on the stove top, obviously). When it’s done, roll it in paper towel to drain it and set it aside. You will use some of the bacon grease as the oil in your pan for step 2.
- Add the chopped onions and garlic into the pan and fry till just soft. If you’re not using bacon, then use vegetable oil to grease up the pan.
- While this is cooking, beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a big bowl. Smash the hell out of them. Stress release is good. 🙂
- Stir the cheese into the eggs. Keep an eye on the cooking onions & garlic. Fire is NOT good for stress.
- When the onions & garlic are just starting to sizzle, add in any crunchy vegetables you’ve got set aside — peppers, kale, broccoli. Cook these up till they’re just soft & starting to smell nice.
- Now put in the potato chunks.
- Add the spices. Seriously. Stir them around. (Someone taught me this tip years ago — adding the spices to the frying veg makes their flavours come out.)
- If you’ve got tomatoes, bung them in now. (“Bung” is a very scientific chef-type term. Aren’t you impressed with Dr. Smiter??)
- If you cooked bacon first, crumble that up & put it in. Forgetting the bacon is punishable by smiting.
- Have a look around the counters & other surfaces to make sure you’ve added in all the ingredients you set aside. (LET GO OF THE CAT, KARIN. That’s good. We don’t put our kitties in the dinner. Good Karin.)
- Pour the egg & cheese mixture into the pan with all the veg. Stir it up very gently. No more stress release for you here. (Chef tip: if you require further stress release at this point, your fridge probably contains a nice bottle of wine.)
- Carefully slide the pan into the oven. CAUTION: the handle is going to be HOT. Use an oven glove. I learned this the hard way.
- Turn off the stove element you’ve been using (I also learned this the hard way).
- Set your oven timer for about 20-25 mins.
- Since this dish goes nicely with a side salad, now is a good time to prepare that.
- The frittata is done when it’s bubbling a bit on the top and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove pan from oven (use oven mitt!), turn oven off (yes, learned that the hard way too), and set pan on a cooling rack or heat-proof board in a place where you won’t bump into it & burn the crap out of your arm or upend your dinner onto the floor.
Slice it the same way you would a pie. Amazingly, each slice will actually lift right out of the pan, especially those coated cast-iron ones.
Nice condiments for frittata, if you are in need, include salsa, HP Sauce, ketchup, hot sauce… again, whatever you like.
If you have leftovers, just lift them out onto a dinner plate, let them cool, cover with plastic wrap & store in the fridge. (Keeping stuff in a cast-iron pan is bad b/c your food will taste like an old shovel. Also it means you can’t use your pan…)
Serves 6-8, depending on how many teenagers you have in the house and how hungry everyone is. 🙂
- 8 (2/3 of a dozen) eggs: maybe $3, depending on where you live / shop
- cheese: maybe another $1, again depending on where you shop
- assorted veg bits, onions: add another buck
- bacon: add maybe 75 cents to a dollar, depending on whatever
So total is about $6.00, max, for a meal that serves either a single person for several days, or a family with kids for a night. Not bad at all.
~ Chef Smiter.