Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Food November 2009: The Brunch Part 3: Fritatta

I don't believe in moral or culinary relativity.   The fritatta is better than the omelette.   In fact, it makes the omelette look dumb.  Really.  And yet the process, time alloted, ingredients used and effort are essentially equivalent - the difference is in the lightness, the air in the eggs, and again, the consistent cooking temperature of a convection oven.  Or, maybe anything food and italian is good - I'm not sure- just a thought.

As for our brunch, once your scones are hot out of the oven and guests have arrived and received a cup of coffee, turn to your fritatta.  Serves 6-8.

12 eggs
1/4 cup half and half or whole milk
2 pinches salt
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
handful raw baby spinach, chopped roughly
2 diced shallot cloves or 1 small shallot
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Break eggs and beat with a standing or electric mixer, adding the half and half, salt and pepper.  Beat on high for five minutes or slightly more until the eggs have beat up in a pile and are light and airy (but not stiff).  This is key.  If you have a standing mixer and can walk away, start your 10-12 inch skillet on med-high now.  Add the oil and when it starts to get translucent, add the diced shallots, stirring quickly for two minutes.  Then add chopped spinach and stir for roughly one minute.  Add well beaten eggs to the pan and reduce heat to medium.  While the bottom is setting (2-3 minutes), add the parm, shredded mozz and gorgonzola.  Just before taking it off and putting it in the oven, place the paper thin slices of fresh mozz on top of fritatta, and place in the oven.  Cook for roughly 7 minutes or until it is puffed up and lightly browned (see photo above).   Make sure all your guests ooh and ahh over it before it sinks and you serve it.... and if they don't ohh and ahh, they get nothing.  

Variations: goat cheese in place of gorgonzola, chopped zucchini or broccoli, thyme for oregano....  

Last but not least, I serve plain or vanilla yogurt with fresh raspberries and "fairy dust," which is merely raw almonds put through the food processor.   GOOD LUCK!

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