Sunday, August 8, 2010

Diary of a Secret Housewife: Potato and Squash Frittata

"Frittata."  It's a great word, a Nabokovian word.  The kind of word I imagine Giada de Laurentiis over-enunciating in a tight t-shirt to a soft-lens camera.

Free. Ta. Ta.

And it's every bit as delicious to eat as it is to say.

Our CSA provided us this week with a gorgeous array of zucchinis, yellow squashes, and red potatoes. Combined with farm-fresh eggs (also from Stillman Farm) and a red onion from the pantry, the veggies easily transform into a substantial and lovely brunch entree.

Slice thinly one zucchini and one yellow squash.  Use a mandoline, if you have one; not only will it make the task super fast, it will also make you feel like a uber fancy French chef.  Toss the slices with 1 teaspoon of salt, and set them in a colander to drain for 20 minutes to half an hour.

In the meantime, thinly slice about one pound of potatoes and 1 onion.  Again, use the mandoline if you have one, as the uniform slices of potatoes and squash will make for more even cooking and elegant presentation.

Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil or butter in a large oven-proof, non-stick skillet.  Saute the potatoes and onion over medium-low heat, stirring and flipping often, until the potatoes become soft.  If you cover the pan with a lid and slice the potatoes thinly, the process should take about 15 minutes.  Once potatoes are soft, raise the heat to medium high and allow potatoes to become brown and crisp.  Remove potatoes with tongs or a slotted spoon but keep the pan on the stovetop.

Pat dry the squash with paper towels or a kitchen towel.  Add the squash to the pan and saute for about 4 minutes, until the squash is tender and develops a little color.  Then remove the squash with tongs or a slotted spoon.

Beat together six eggs, a teaspoon of pepper, and a pinch of paprika.  You can also add in finely chopped fresh herbs, cumin, fennel, or any combination of spices you like.

Add to the egg mixture the cooked potatoes and onions, the cooked squash, and two handfuls of shredded cheese (I used about a 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan and a 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, but you can use whatever you like or have on hand).  Toss gently to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Thoroughly oil the pan, taking care to brush the oil on the sides of the pan as well as on the bottom.  Otherwise the frittata will stick to the pan.

Heat up the pan to medium-high, and pour in the egg mixture, swirling to allow the ingredients to distribute evenly.  Turn down the heat to medium low.  Now step away from the pan.  Seriously.  Step away.  Don't poke at it.  Don't stir it.  Don't provoke it.  Leave it be.

Let the egg mixture cook for about 10 minutes until the bottom of the frittata is set.  You'll know it's done when the edge of the frittata becomes nicely browned (as it is in the photo on the right) and no longer foamy (as it is in the photo on the left).

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the top is set, about 5-15 minutes.  

Take the pan out of the oven, use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges of the frittata, then slide the frittata gently onto a large serving platter.  (You can also place an inverted plate over the pan, flip the pan, and allow the frittata to fall out.  When I used this method, I found that the bottom of the frittata was not nearly as good looking as the top, so I ended up having to flip the frittata right side up afterward.)

Cut into wedges and serve immediately with a side salad.  You can also make the frittata ahead of time and reheat by putting it under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes (not too long or it'll burn).

Then put on something sexy and purr "frittata" to your spouse until s/he tells you to stop yammering and hand over the eggy goodness.


lavenderpug August 9, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

that's beautiful! and looks so tasty. love the giada enunciation--my husband and i imitate her all the time.

BigAppleNosh August 9, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

Deeelish! Now I have a good reason to buy a mandoline. Yay!

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