You Want This
Is it just me or is cooking a real time-suck? Long gone are those days I would pore through cookbooks for (literally) hours before settling on a few experimental options, put together a shopping list, and fire up the oven and stove nearly four hours before anyone would even consider having dinner. I really did used to do that – especially during the fall and winter because that ’tis the season to shove one’s face full of glorious food. A few things changed since then, most notably, grocery shopping became an enormous hassle. I can no longer run out to grab any of this or that unless you count the gas station fried chicken, canned beans, and tacos (the last one’s not such a bad idea) at my immediate disposal. Now I am relegated to the contents of my fridge, freezer, and pantry – areas I try to keep well-stocked with the fundamental grains and seasonings needed as the backdrop of whatever is edible from last week’s grocery visit.
Between seasons, when the garden has yet to sprout, I rely on eggs and cheese to bind things together – nothing I’m complaining about – but something that needs a little sprucing and variation. Which is how I stumbled on Everything but the Kitchen Sink Frittata. And it’s literally exactly that. After scraping the feeble dregs of my fridge, determined to use up produce limping on their last legs (sounds appetizing, no?), I came up with an unexpectedly delicious little egg dish. As usual, the measurements are an approximation, and it will taste different the next time I toss together the contents of my produce (and cheese) drawer. But it will probably be just as good.
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Frittata
-12 eggs (get ’em fresh or don’t get ’em at all)
-2 bell peppers, chopped
-2 large handfuls spinach or other wilty green (ex: kale, mustard greens, chard, collards or all of them – go crazy!)
-1 shallot, minced
-small handful chopped, peppered sausage or pepperoni, or the last bits of turkey you used for a sandwich, crumbled sausage or chorizo. The world is your oyster! (However, I don’t recommend oyster here.)
-1/3C grated, hard cheese. Any cheese will do if it’s tasty and melty. I had the very last bits of a smoked, goat Gouda (not mine, although a girl can dream).
-1/3C fresh soft cheese. Here I used feta (Mine!) although chevre would do just as nicely.
-1/4t of assorted herbs. This contained dried thyme. I shut my eyes and reached into the pantry and that’s what I grabbed. At least it wasn’t cinnamon.
-1T Butter (because, duh)
-black pepper, salt
Grab a large (9″) cast iron skillet and set the oven to 425*. Melt butter into skillet at medium heat and saute the peppers and shallot until shallot is translucent and peppers are soft. As they saute, beat eggs together with milk, dried herbs (fresh is great too, as always), and a few good grinds of pepper and salt. Toss hard, grated cheese into egg mixture. Stir to combine. Toss handfuls of greens into skillet and stir until just wilted. This should take less then one minute. Pour egg mixture into the skillet. Dot the mixture with fresh cheese and leave on medium heat until the bottom is set. Once you jiggle the skillet and it appears set on the bottom, but still jiggly in the middle, transfer the skillet into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the center has puffed. Is there some frozen, very crusty bread in your freezer? Perfect! Toast it, smear on more butter and serve alongside the frittata. If you’re very fancy and wholesome, you will also have grabbed two handfuls of lettuce or spinach, or maybe arugula from the garden (now you’re just showing off) and place that alongside the frittata. Sprinkle with olive oil and vinegar. Now pat yourself on the back! You just made dinner and cleaned the refrigerator. You are a brilliant, domestic god/goddess.