When I first moved out on my own, I taught myself to cook using Pam Anderson’s How to Cook Without a Book, an excellent cookbook, if ever there was one, and an exceptionally good use of $20. (I still highly recommend it, even though it contains exactly zero pictures, which is saying a lot.)
In How to Cook Without a Book, Anderson (not that Pam Anderson) teaches you methods, not recipes.
One of those basic-with-variations methods is for a frittata. I didn’t even know what a frittata was until I read the recipe in How to Cook, and it quickly became a staple in our newlywed household. Fresh, homemade dinner for two, in twenty minutes, and for just a few bucks? YES.
I’ve been making frittatas regularly for a decade, but I really picked up the pace when I started doing Special Breakfasts early last year. My kids think frittatas are special, even though they’re easy and incredibly healthy–packed full of protein and veggies.
Frittatas are good for a crowd (and I think our regular six eaters totally counts). The technique is easy: no individual portions required, just slice and serve, and it looks pretty on a plate. They’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
I try to make my frittatas huge because I want the leftovers: extra slices can be wrapped in plastic wrap and make a terrific on-the-go breakfast for busy mornings. (If you’re not at the huge stage of life, halve the recipe and cook in a 10-inch skillet.)
This recipe is for a broccoli and sausage frittata, but the options are endless: we do spinach and asparagus, tomatoes and feta, smoked salmon and goat cheese, even a “pizza” frittata with slivered pepperoni and green bell peppers. (Hint: if your ingredients would make a good quiche, they’ll make a good frittata.) The recipe is flexible, limited only by your imagination and what you have on hand.
1/2 clove garlic sounds fussy, I know, but we found any more than that to be overwhelming–especially at breakfast.
Broccoli and sausage frittata
adapted from How to Cook Without a Book
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
- half an onion, thinly sliced. (I especially like this with red onion)
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1 cup cooked sausage or ground beef, crumbled
- 1 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 15 large eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- a few shakes of red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat 2 tablespoons fat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring periodically, for about 5 minutes, until onions just begin to brown.
Meanwhile, combine eggs with salt and pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring.
Add sausage, broccoli, and red bell pepper, and mix until warmed.
Pour in eggs, and tilt skillet to distribute evenly in pan. Cook until edges begin to set (1-2 minutes). Use a rubber spatula to gently lift set eggs up at the edge of the frittata, and tilt skillet to allow unset eggs to pour underneath the spatula. (See photo.)
Continue this process for 2-3 minutes around frittata’s perimeter, distributing filling ingredients as desired, until frittata appears to be about halfway cooked through.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs begin to puff and appear set, about 7-10 minutes.
Slide or invert onto plat or cutting board to serve.
The frittata is excellent the next day, warmed or at room temperature.
Frozen veggies work wonderfully well for this recipe.
In lieu of sausage, ground beef or turkey + Alton Brown’s breakfast sausage seasoning is delicious.
Consider adding fresh herbs, pickled chiles, cheeses of all kinds, link sausage, smoked salmon, sundried tomatoes, orwhatever you have on hand.
There you have it: our special breakfast starring dish. I’ll devote a post to its companion, paleo pancakes, very soon.
What are your go-to dishes for special breakfasts?
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Sharing this at Thrifty Thursday because it’s a frugal way to serve a crowd.