Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frittata with Eggs and Potatoes

While we like to call this dish a Spanish tortilla, that's not really true.  A Spanish tortilla (different than what most people think of as a tortilla) is an egg and potato dish but that's probably where the similarities end.  I believe a traditional Spanish tortilla has thinly sliced onions and potatoes that are fried in oil and then have eggs added; instead, this dish is more like a frittata with some cubed parboiled potatoes, extra veggies, cheese and eggs.

Regardless of what you call it, this has been my go-to recipe for big breakfasts for the past several years.  The idea is simple and versatile -- I parboil some potatoes, saute the potatoes and some vegetables in a cast-iron skillet, pour beaten eggs and cheese over the vegetables and cook until firm. A cast-iron skillet works great for this recipe because you start cooking the dish on the stovetop and then finish it in the oven.  Finally, this recipe works very well to use up whatever is on hand - I throw in anything in the fridge: mushrooms, bell peppers, ham, etc.  I love that the potatoes add some starch without weighing you down (like pie crust on a quiche can do).  This ends up being a very satisfying dish!

Frittata/Crustless Quiche
Adapted from: Alton Brown
Serves 6
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup grated cheese (I often use mozzarella although I've done it without cheese, too)
  • 3-5 small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 extra-large or jumbo eggs
  • Optional add-ins: mushrooms, bell peppers, cooked bacon, prosciutto, spinach
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Fill small pot with water and bring to a boil. Chop the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.  Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until the potato can be easily pierced with a paring knife.  Drain.  
  3.  Meanwhile, beat eggs together in a small bowl, adding cheese if using.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray 8- or 10-inch (preferably ovenproof) skillet with cooking spray over the whole skillet (I even include the sides so the egg dish releases easily).  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an 8- or 10-inch (preferably ovenproof) skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, cooked potatoes and any add-ins that need to be sauteed (i.e. mushrooms).  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add egg mixture to skillet and gently mix.  Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until the edges firm up. 
  6. Move the skillet to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and fluffy


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