Let me guess. You’re still shopping. Or addressing holiday cards. Or planning holiday menus. Or all of the above.
You’re so busy idea-ting and wrapping and cleaning you don’t have time for a decent meal. It is somewhere between brunch and dinner.
You’re either extremely hungry or not hungry at all. But that is just the coffee talking. Instead, do this:
FIve Steps to a Stovetop frittata
A. Forage in your fridge for a nob of cheese, scraps of veggies (cooked or uncooked), the lone strip of bacon or nibble of smoked salmon from the weekend. Really, no need to be picky here. Nearly anything edible in the most negligible quantity will do. Just enough for flavor and interest.
Three is a nice number. I’ve got frozen spinach, a half cup of sauteed mushrooms and a quarter cup of ready-to-expire feta. No need to be as conventional as that.
B. Next, heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Yes, the big one. Really. I know this is cooking for one, but trust me. You want more than a single serving. Be sure to find the lid that fits it.
Add a tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil–olive, canola, grapeseed–and cook anything that benefits from wilting, browning or softening. Meanwhile, whisk 6 to 8 eggs with a good pinch of salt and a dribble of water. Whisk again well. Then, remove any cooked items from your saute pan to a plate.
Three ingredients + eggs makes a frittata for your holiday sustenance. Or anytime you need to be well fed fast.
Return the saute pan to the stove over medium heat and add enough oil to slick over the bottom of the pan. Give it a moment to get hot. Pour in the eggs and watch them set around the edges. Sprinkle over your three secret ingredients. Think of it like a pizza with “this and that” nicely distributed around. Nothing overbearing.
C. Here’s where the magic happens: Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat to low. Now walk away and attend to a minor holiday task, not too engrossing.
Yes, this is not a high-maintenance frittata. It is your friend. It will feed you in good time.
Give it a good 10 minutes before you check on it. Don’t be afraid. Lift the lid and have a look. It is setting nicely around the sides and the center is still uncooked. Cover it again, then check it in several more minutes. The steam is cooking it fairly quickly. Be attentive but no need to helicopter parent this baby.
D. Lift and look. When the center is just about set, put the lid back on but turn off the heat. Busy yourself for five minutes or so. No rush.
While you are getting things done the same steam that cooked it is loosening it from the edges of your pan. (I promise, this is not a trick you can only do with non-stick.)
Lift the lid and run a knife around the edges. Put a serving plate on top of the pan and use hot pads to invert the pan onto the plate. Take a breath here. Let the frittata drop onto the plate and then lift off the pan.
E. Cut a large wedge of hot frittata. Eat it plain, with salsa, sriracha or kimchi. Just eat it.
Just eat. Alone. Standing up. Even out of your hand.
If you are having company, you can serve them this for breakfast, for lunch, for an appetizer.
If you are traveling, this is road food. It will do you good.
Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Frittata
This recipe is an example of the way I make frittatas on the stovetop. Typically, I use whatever interesting bits of food I find in the fridge. Spinach and mushrooms are a wonderful combination that work with any type of cheese--from Swiss to blue--or none at all. Serve this hot, warm or cold for any meal of the day.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 6-8 large eggs pasture raised
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
- 2-4 ounces feta, crumbled
Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When it slides across the pan add the mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the mushrooms expel all their moisture and begin to brown, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the remaining salt and the pepper plus a tablespoon of water. Whisk again.
When the mushrooms brown, add the spinach and cook until it wilts and the moisture evaporates. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When it slides across the pan, pour in the eggs all at once. Cook until the edges set, about 2 minutes.
Distribute the reserved filling plus the feta around the egg, then put on the lid, Turn the heat to low and set a time for 10 minutes. Allow the frittata to gently cook and steam without lifting the lid.
Check on the frittata by lifting the lid. If it is nearly set in the middle, turn off the heat, but replace the lid and let it steam for a few more minutes. It is done when the center is completely set and the egg has released from the sides of the pan.
Set the lid aside. Run a table knife around the edges. Put a dinner plate over the pan, and use hot pads to invert it onto the plate. Take a moment to let the weight of the frittata release itself from the pan. Set the pan aside and cut into large wedges for serving.