4.5.11 The Golden Egg
But this is about another sort of goose altogether. A goose egg, actually, no doubt laid by a female relative of the lovely fellow from River Brook Farm who was the centerpiece of our Christmas dinner.
Here are a few great tips from Alice Waters on how to make the perfect frittata:
Cook the vegetables first. It's obvious that dense vegetables like potatoes need to be cooked before the eggs are added. But raw, quick-cooking vegetables like spinach or mushrooms will release water when you toss them in, and you don't want a watery frittata.
Only salt the eggs right before you cook them. Pre-salting the eggs and setting them aside while you cook the vegetables or meat will make them watery.
Combine eggs with other ingredients in a bowl, not the pan. Many recipes call for eggs to be added directly to the pan after other ingredients have been cooked. Waters suggests combining everything in a bowl and then pouring the mixture into a clean pan. This might not be absolutely necessary, but it does help to evenly distribute all the ingredients and make sure they're all coated with the egg.
And here's a tip from me: Always finish your frittata in the broiler. This makes the top puff up and get all golden and airy. Like a soufflé it will fall, so get thee to the table right away!
Frittata with Leeks, Asparagus and Mushrooms
- — 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- — 1 cup chopped leeks, white & pale green only
- — 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed & sliced on the diagonal into 1” pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
- — 1 cup stemmed & sliced shiitake mushrooms
- — 8 large farm-fresh eggs
- — 1 cup grated Fontina, divided
- — 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- — 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- — 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- — 1/3 cup milk, half-&-half or cream
Melt butter in a large, heavy, well-seasoned, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Turn heat off and scrape vegetables into a large bowl.
Whisk eggs, cream, 3/4 cup Fontina, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture to vegetables and fold gently to combine.
Add remaining tablespoon butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture. Cook gently until almost set, occasionally using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to loosen egg mixture around the edges. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Fontina and the Parmesan on top.
Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. (Watch like a hawk as burnt eggs are gross!) Cool before cutting into wedges. Any leftovers are delicious eaten cold, perhaps with a dollop of mayonnaise, preferably homemade.