Baked Cast Iron Skillet Frittata

I love breakfast food. I love cooking breakfast food. I had my first frittata years ago at Jine’s Restaurant on Park Avenue in Rochester, NY and I have been obsessed with creating my own variations ever since. I would like to think that a few of my creations measure up to what I enjoyed all those years ago.

I decided to look up the definition of “frittata” as part of my research and here is what I found:

~Frittatas are cooked in a cast iron pan or oven-safe skillet because they are started on the stovetop and then finished in the oven. And, unlike omelets, frittata fillings are mixed in with the eggs in the pan rather than folded in the center. Large frittatas are cut in slices and served.

Kelli Foster Kitchn

~an Italian dish made with fried beaten eggs, resembling a Spanish omelet.

Google

I breathed a huge sigh of relief that my cooking method fit the definition! Ha!

I have tinkered with this for years and I have finally found a method that works for me every time.

First, I put my cast iron skillet in the oven and heat it up to 380 degrees. While that is warming up, I do my prep work of chopping up and sauteeing all of the veggies before I put anything in the skillet. I use different vegetables depending on the season, and what is in my fridge. I almost always use a potato. I cut up the potato into small cubes, and then place in a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover the potatoes. I cook them for about 4 minutes on high and then drain the water. Before transferring them to a frying pan, I usually lay them out on paper towels to absorb as much of the excess water as possible. I saute the veggies in a frying pan and do not use the cast iron skillet, which is still warming in the oven, ready to cook the entire frittata.

When all of the vegetables have been cooked, I set them aside on a paper towel for a few minutes to drain off some of the oil/grease.

The next step is to prep the eggs. The number of eggs depends on the number of people  I am serving. For two hungry people, I will use 4 to 5 eggs.

I usually add some milk fat (half & half, sour cream) to the eggs, and when I did some research to find out if there was any science behind that idea, I was left with nothing that definitively proved it helped with texture or taste. I found more articles and opinions that said to NOT add any additional moisture, at all.

I beat the eggs super well and add salt and pepper. After the eggs are whipped up, I then add the vegetables to the egg mixture. I don’t normally beat or mix this mixture. I just put it all in the same bowl.

Right after I add it all to the bowl, I get the hot skillet out of the oven and spray it with cooking spray. My skillet is really well seasoned (I probably don’t need to do this, but I have NEVER had anything stick when I add this step). I then dump the entire egg/veggie mixture into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to make sure everything spreads out somewhat evenly. Then, I put it all in the oven. I check it after about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the top feels somewhat firm, I will add some cheese. I check back in about 5 minutes or so to make sure the cheese is melting. Once it all looks melty and delicious I take it out of the oven and slide it out of the pan onto a large wooden cutting board.

I let it rest for a few minutes and then use a pizza cutter to slice it into pieces.

Mangia!!!

Ingredients: This will all vary based on what I have in the fridge and the time of year.

  • 4 – 5 cage free organic eggs
  • Sausage or bacon
  • ¼ of a medium onion – chopped
  • Grape tomatoes halved
  • Mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 medium-sized russet potato – cubed and microwaved (see directions above)
  • Baby spinach
  • Broccoli

EGGS! And, a few other things.

It has been a while since I have felt inspired to write. I have at least 5 posts started, but none of them are complete. Much has gone on since my last published post. I recently moved to Rochester and I have been settling into my new surroundings. I am slowly getting used to this new living and cooking space. I am also orienting myself to the City of Rochester and finding new places to shop and explore. Then, I totaled my car. Which actually worked out in a relatively good way. That being said, I am happy, healthy and ready to write and share again.

EGGS! I live super close to the Brighton Farms Market. It is relatively small compared to the Rochester Public Market, but the quality of the vendors is undeniable. The Brighton Market deserves its own write-up (future post) in order to really do it justice. My favorite purchase so far was suggested by my friend, Amy. It is the eggs from Fisher Hill Farm in Bristol, NY. They are a thing of beauty. I have grown so used to eggs that look and taste a certain way, that it was actually a bit shocking when I first cracked one open. Just picking one up felt different. There is a density and weight to them that I noticed instantly. When I cracked it open, it was beautiful. The yolk was larger than other eggs I have had. The color of the yolk had a glow or vibrancy that seemed like it was almost fake. And the flavor has a depth and richness that was completely unexpected. The cost of the eggs is also awesome. You can get 2 dozen medium eggs for $5 and they are huge! They are sized more like the large eggs you buy at Wegmans.

Today’s haul from the market; 2 dozen large eggs, some organic sweet onions, organic tomatoes, and organic swiss chard.

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Inspired by my finds, I made a 3 egg omelet with blanched chard, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chopped onion greens, and goat cheese. Add a slice of thick cut raisin fennel toast from Flour City Bread and a cup of Fuego Coffee that I bought at the market and breakfast is served!

Please feel free to share any thoughts, ideas or inspiration.

Benny’s Breakfast Bowl

I love breakfast! It’s probably my favorite meal. Well, I like all meals. I guess I am a little hobbit-like about meals. Anyway, my brother Ben made this delicious breakfast bowl of goodness for me and since then I continue to make different versions. It’s really quite simple. It’s a bowl of sauteed vegetables and a smaller sized potato cooked in the microwave. It is all served in a bowl with an egg on top. The ingredients vary depending on what’s in the fridge. Everything is cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

First, I get the skillet up to temp. I usually keep the burner on medium-low. For this version, I used eggplant, sweet onion, grape tomatoes, and mushrooms. I add the ingredients to the skillet based on how long each vegetable needs to cook. I start by cooking one strip of bacon. The bacon is thicker cut and from a local farm called Bostrum Farms in Stanley, NY (Bostrum Farms and bacon will separate posts).

I wipe out the skillet and remove some, not all, of the bacon grease before add adding a little organic canola oil to the skillet and let it get hot. The onion and the eggplant go in first. Eggplant will absorb quite a bit of oil so I will add a small amount of olive oil as needed. After the onion and eggplant have softened a bit (about 3 minutes) I add the mushrooms for another 2 minutes and finally the tomatoes. I let everything cook together for another 2 to 3 minutes and I add a little salt and pepper. I transfer all of the cooked vegetables to a bowl. I crumble some cut cheddar cheese and the bacon on top of the veggies. I love to use Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. It is reasonably priced and has amazing flavor!

When the veggies are done, I gently wipe the skillet and spray a little cooking spray, then I add the egg. Personally like the egg to be cooked “over easy”, so I flip the egg after a minute or so and immediately remove the skillet from the stove. The skillet holds the heat for a long time so it doesn’t need much time to cook. I top the bowl with the egg and it’s done.

I like to add ketchup and hot sauce for more flavor. I will sometimes add fresh sliced avocado to the bowl when I have it on hand.

Serve and enjoy!