Heirloom Tomato Frittata

 

tomatofrittata

Tomatoes are coming on strong now and can be found everywhere at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. We are eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Recently, I made this fantastic, flavorful frittata for lunch, but it would do well for any meal.

A frittata is quick and easy to make when you don’t have a lot of time or if you have several people to serve a quick, satisfying breakfast or brunch. The Italian word frittata comes from the Italian verb friggere – to fry, suggests the simplicity of this great dish. A frittata is somewhat like an omelet, however unlike the French omelet, the frittata requires no flipping or folding.

Heirloom Tomato Frittata

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 Large eggs
3 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (more for garnish)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut crosswise into 1/4′ slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease 12-inch cast-iron skillet with unsalted butter making sure to grease up the sides. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in cheese, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. When butter is melted, pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Arrange tomato slices on top of egg mixture. Allow some slices to sink if they want to.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until eggs are just set in the center, 8–10 minutes. If desired, turn on broiler for a 3 to 4 minutes to give the top a deeper brown. When eggs are set and frittata is browned to your preferred doneness, loosen frittata from pan and slide onto a warm platter. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme or with additional fresh thyme leaves, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Cream and Butter Basted Eggs

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I used what I call the cover method to baste these eggs in heavy cream and butter.

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Knob of unsalted butter and a tablespoon or so of heavy cream with fresh thyme leaves.

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Shirred eggs? Ain’t nobody got thyme for that. 

I was hungry for shirred eggs this morning but didn’t want to take the time to heat the oven for just two eggs. Shirred eggs are delicious and a great way to cook eggs if you are serving a group. Click here for my Shirred Eggs Recipe.

I began to wonder if I could achieve a similar result without the oven. Using a skillet and a method of basting an egg that I call the cover method, I came up with what I believe is a very tasty egg. To truly baste an egg you would ideally use bacon drippings to gently baste the eggs. With the cover method, I simply crack the eggs into a lightly oiled non-stick skillet along with a tablespoon of water and cover. The water will essentially steam the eggs giving a very similar result as basting.

Here is what I did:

Cream and Butter Basted Eggs

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (Approximately)
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon heavy cream (Approximately)
Fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Drop a knob of softened, unsalted butter in the center of a cold 7″ non-stick skillet. You want to start with a cold skillet so the cream comes up to temperature slowly and does not immediately curdle. Crack two eggs in skillet and add a tablespoon or so of heavy cream. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over the eggs, cover and turn burner on to medium. Resist the temptation to look at eggs for four minutes. Check eggs after four minutes and check to see how well the egg whites and yolk are set.

Plate eggs when yolks are set to your desired doneness. Drizzle any remaining cream and butter left in pan over eggs and serve.

My new favorite way to cook eggs: Shirred Eggs


Shirred Eggs fresh from the oven.

I have discovered my new favorite way to cook eggs; shirred eggs or as the French call them, oeufs en cocotte. Not only are these insanely delicious, they are extremely easy to prepare. With the holiday’s quickly approaching and often times needing to prepare a breakfast for many people, this is also a great way to make a lot of eggs all at once.

Your guests will ooh and aah over what appears to be a very complicated breakfast. Once they bite into these creamy, cheesy, delectable eggs they will be even more impressed. Enjoy it! Only you will know truly how easy these are to create.


Shirred eggs prior to baking.

Here is my recipe for shirred eggs or oeufs en cocotte. (Makes one serving)

Ingredients

2 eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded Gruyere cheese
a few sprigs of thyme
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a four inch ramekin. You can use a smaller size but you may have to adjust your cooking time.

Crack the eggs into the ramekin. Pour two tablespoons of cream onto the eggs. Season with a bit of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle the cheese and thyme leaves onto the eggs.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the egg is ‘set’ to your preference. Serve immediately. The eggs will continue to set up once after they have been removed from the oven so get them to the table as soon as possible.

Buttermilk Pancakes from Scratch

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It’s a lazy Sunday mornings and everyone in the house is in the mood for a big breakfast. Mornings like this make me smile as they give me a chance to whip up a batch of my from scratch buttermilk pancakes.

I’ve never quite understood why people purchase certain convenience foods; especially things like any of the “Helper” boxed dinners, Alfredo sauce, and today’s subject – pancake mix. It isn’t because these things are inherently terrible or necessarily bad for you; they are full of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives though. I don’t understand why simply because things like this are just not that difficult to make from scratch. In my opinion, not only do they taste much better, but you control what goes into your food. Here’s my from scratch buttermilk pancakes. You could substitute regular milk for the buttermilk or simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice to each cup of milk and let it set for at least five minutes to make your own buttermilk substitute.

Give this recipe a try. You’ll make some of the best pancakes you ever tasted. You may even start singing, “They’re so light ‘n fluffy-brown, They’re the finest in the town…”

Ingredients

1 ½ C all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
1 ¼ – 1 ½ C buttermilk
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 T vegetable oil

Directions

In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Start with mixing 1 ¼ cups buttermilk to the flour. Add up to another ¼ cup if necessary if the batter is too dry. Add the two eggs, vanilla, and oil, whisking until mixed but still a bit lumpy.

Heat griddle and ladle ¼ cup of pancake batter onto hot grill. When the pancake begins to bubble flip and cook a couple more minutes on the other side.

Additional note

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup to measure out the batter will result in a pancake that measures approximately 4 inches in diameter. This recipe will produce 12 to 15 4 inch pancakes. I like this size because any leftover pancakes can easily be frozen with a piece of wax paper between each pancake. They can easily be taken out of the freezer and reheated for a great mid-week breakfast. Four inch pancakes easily fit in most toasters for reheating which produces a nice crispy cake as opposed to a soggy cake reheated in a microwave.