There’s just something awesome about a frittata. They are rustic yet elegant. They are comforting and one of my favorite anytime meals. I’ve been on this major frittata kick as of late as I’m now finally able to start getting back to my old lifestyle (pre-injury) which means I get to live at the gym again (yes I’m still taking it easy… kinda) and I am back to my normal healthy diet. Since December with not working out my energy level was pretty much crap which meant I slipped back into some old, bad, food habits. Yes I still ate good but it was no where near my normal diet. And just like expected some clothes started to get snug and I developed this muffin top thing that seriously if Mr. Fantabulous comes up behind me on more time and squeezes it I’m going to punch his lights out. He thinks it’s cute because I get so bent out shape over it. But I have no one to blame but myself however I’m back in the saddle and bound and determined to get rid of that damn muffin. I worked way too hard to slip back. So yes, even I, the gym rat can slip up. I’m human.
Now what prompted this whole frittata craze is I was at the store and saw the cutest little paper baking cups. They were about 3-4″ round and about an inch high. Immediately I knew I wanted to make frittatas in them. For those of you that do not have those paper baking pans, no worries. You can easily use muffin tins or those individual cake pans that I LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Before I continue I often get asked “What’s the difference between a frittata and omelette?” Honestly, not too much. The biggest difference is how they are cooked. A traditional French omelette contains eggs with splash of water (I prefer to use milk but that’s just me), a pinch of salt and pepper. Pretty simple. Next, the eggs are whisked until very frothy and are cooked in clarified butter over medium high heat. They are then turned out (in a rolling type fashion) where the top is still a little custardy and unset, and if made correctly, they do not have any color on them. If you’ve ever wanted to see a true master make one, watch Ludo make one. I truly admire this man.. plus he’s just so damn cute!
So when us Americans discovered the omelette we decided to ‘Americanize it’ by making it bigger, badder and more full of stuff. An American omelette is generally cooked until mostly dry on top and golden on the bottom. And instead of rolling it out of the pan, we got lazy and just kind of folded half of it over (to help melt the cheese) and then plated. They kind of look like a taco shell. Typically our omelettes are thicker and stuffed full of … stuff. If yours are like mine they usually contain whatever I’m trying to get rid of in the fridge before it goes bad. Mr. Fantabulous is a creature of habit when it comes to his – caramelized onions and peppers, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and cheese though just a little. I know he’s weird about cheese.
When it comes to food it’s as if Italy is at war with France. If one introduces a dish, then the other comes out with their adaptation of it. Well the frittata is Italy’s answer to the omelette. Frittatas are considerly thicker than traditional French omelettes, the ingredients placed in a hot buttered pan (or muffin cup) then the egg mixture is poured over top. Traditional ones are cooked on the stove top and then finished under the broiler. Frittatas are sliced like pie and served either warm or at room temperature.
With us skinny-fying our foods I will saute all of my ingredients, put them into individual baking cups and then pour the eggs over top. Or if I’m serving a crowd I’ll do the same but use a large pan. Instead of cooking mine on the stove I bake them that way I don’t need the additional butter. And I also use more egg whites than whole eggs. Every little bit helps, right?
With the way I make these I get great portion control, I can make a variety of fillings for them that way I don’t get tired of the same old thing day after day. And, once these are baked and cooled they freeze/reheat beautifully. What I’ve been doing as of late is making a dozen over the weekend and then double wrap them in plastic wrap, stick them in a plastic freezer bag and then pop them in the freezer. Then when I’m heading out the door in the morning to work, I’ll grab one from the freezer, pop it in my lunch bag and by the time I get to the work, finish my morning workout all I need to do is pop this in the microwave or toaster oven for a few minutes and it’s total yum! Trust me, I’ve had many co-workers follow me back to my office to see what “Lori has good today” as they put it.
And just like American omelettes you can pretty much clean out your fridge when you make these by adding just about anything. The mix-ins are endless. What I love about these, over omelettes you can eat these hot, warm or even room temperature. They slice beautifully and are perfect for brunch. Plus if you want breakfast for dinner letting the kids make their own one can be super fun! We need to get our kids more in the kitchen and showing them that cooking and baking is fun…and delicious!
So definitely set aside a little bit of time and make a batch of these for your weekly meals. They are super high in protein and can be super healthy (provided you don’t add fattening foods in it… yes I hate to say it but bacon – but then everything in moderation, right?) This is on my to-do list tomorrow as I just finished my last one today.Print
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1 1/3 cup egg whites (6 large eggs), save the yolks for another use
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 cups cubed baby portabellas
- 1 cup chopped (bite-sized) bell peppers
- 1 large shallot cut into thin rounds
- 3 cups baby spinach, fresh, not frozen
- 2 Tbl unsalted butter
- 2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or Asiago cheese
- 1 cup cooked chicken sausage sliced into 1/2” rounds (optional)
- 1 cup cooked crispy bacon crumbles (optional)
- chopped green onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 F, rack in the middle.
- Spray the insides and top or line with jumbo muffin liners of a 6 Wells Mini Round Cake Panel Pan or a 12 cup standard muffin pan. You should get roughly 8-11 out of this recipe if using the muffin pan. If you want you can use these paper baking molds Individual Paper Baking Pans .
- In a medium skillet over medium heat add the oil and butter.
- When the butter starts to foam add in the peppers and mushrooms gently tossing to coat the vegetables.
- After about 2 minutes, add in 1/2 tsp of salt and mix.
- Cook for 3 more minutes and add in the shallots.
- Stir and cook for another 2 minutes or until the peppers and mushrooms have softened.
- Toss in the spinach and gently mix until the spinach has wilted. ~1-2 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking put the eggs, egg whites and milk in a bowl.
- Whisk until frothy and well combined.
- Add in the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.
- Evenly divide the vegetables and any meats (bacon or sausage) into the wells.
- Add the cheese on top of the vegetables.
- If adding in, sprinkle in the red pepper flakes.
- Pour the egg mixture over top leaving a 1/4” space at the top as the eggs will puff up when baking.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the eggs are set.
- Remove from the oven and if you didn’t use a liner, take a thin bladed spatula and run it along the outside of each frittata.
- Allow to cool for about a minute then place a cooling rack on top of the pan and flip the frittatas pan over.
- To prevent rack lines on top of your frittatas immediately flip the frittatas over (use a metal spatula to help flip) and place them, bottom side on the rack.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Note: to freeze allow to cool completely and then flash freeze (line a baking sheet with parchment paper. and place the cooled frittatas on the paper. Stick in the freezer for an hour (uncovered) or until frozen. Remove from the freezer and working quick, wrap each one in plastic wrap and then store in a freezer safe container or baggie.
To reheat, preheat the oven to 400F, rack in the middle. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes.
These individual paper baking pans works awesome for oven to freezer! Individual Paper Baking Pans