Monday, February 21, 2011

The Frittata Queen

As of late, I've been experimenting with egg recipes.  Eggs are the pen-ultimate poor person's food (and I say that lovingly) but can be kicked up a notch to satisfy any foodie. Eggs are cheap, nutritious, adaptable and easy to make into vegetarian or meat dishes.  You can put all fresh items in them or pull together leftover dabbles to suit your tastes.

This month I have tried 3 variations of frittata and quiche, both new dishes to me cooking-wise.  The difference between the two is that frittata has no milk, is initially cooked on the stove top, and then finished off in the oven.  Quiche has milk and is baked in a pie crust.  Either is filled with your favorites.

First up: Vegetable Frittata ala Food Network (recipe here)

The ingredients looked promising.  I had mostly everything on hand, swapping frozen mixed vegetables for frozen peppers/onions and using regular cheddar in place of expensive Gouda.  Cooking was easy and the dish came out very pretty.

Taste and consistency-wise, this feel flat.  The frozen veggies sweated off too much liquid (if you do this recipe, drain it).  They were also bitter, which I blame on being frozen.  The cottage cheese was creamy but overall bland.  I also wasn't thrilled about using 3 whole eggs + 3 whites.  I know this saves on calories and cholesterol, but I don't know what to do with the leftover yolks so it feel wasteful. 

The second attempt was Slow Cooker Tomato and Basil Frittata.  Courtesy of a fellow blogger, I was excited to try the flavor combination and cooking method.  Check out her recipe and blog at Living In Iowa.

So I modified the recipe by cutting it in half, omitting the onions, using dried basil, roma tomatoes instead of grape, and grated parmesan instead of shredded.

Ours took 1.5 hours to bake, which was odd because the recipe was halved, but it might be because of different crock pots.  Ours has the coils around the outside, others have them only on the bottom, the latter I imagine being more efficient with eggs. 

This was totally delish!  Just a little crush on the outside, the tomatoes and feta formed a layer at the top, and the basil was the perfect herb to complement it all.  Only disappointment was that our 1 cup of diced romas was not nearly enough.  But that's a good thing :)  It also reheated well for breakfast the following day.

My 3rd and best attempt was the same recipe modified into quiche from Better Homes and Garden (recipe here).  I used everything in the recipe but the onions and swapped the cheese / veggie ratio: 3/4 c feta cheese and 1 1/2 cup romas.

I proudly made my first pie crust (also BHG with bacon fat in place of butter, which was awesome but perhaps not quite right for this quiche).  I'm definitely not good at pinching the edges, but I'm not submitting this for a blue ribbon or anything.

Tell me that isn't a tasty looking piece of pie
This was by far the most successful.  Bursting with tomato, you get that saltiness from the feta, and held together with a flaky crust.  Only complaint was from Mike, who didn't think it was cooked enough in the middle.  Duly noted.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite way to have eggs?

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