dimanche 2 novembre 2008

Potato, Zucchini and Basil Frittata

I have never made a frittata before because most recipes call for them to be finished under a broiler. I don’t have an oven, ergo I don’t have a broiler. However, I was very glad to learn that the traditional way to make a frittata – and its Spanish older brother the tortilla – does not involve a broiler. Broilers are for sissy wimps. Real women use plates to flip the tortilla and cook it using only a frying pan. And I have a frying pan, so I went to it.

This is my recipe; again it’s based on many I have seen around. Most add cheese, some even add flour and baking soda, which I am sure is another way to sissify the tortilla. I’m afraid mine isn’t truly Spanish. But it does taste great.

4 small fingerling potatoes, cooked
1 small zucchini
3 eggs
¼ cup of milk
fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Slice the fingerling potatoes into rounds. Slice the zucchini into rounds, salt and let stand for 30 minutes (either in a colander or on a plate – if you choose a plate then you may need to blot the zucchini to get the water to really come out).
2. Heat up some olive oil in a pan. While it’s heating, separate the eggs and whisk the whites until they fluff up (but you don’t want it stiff, just fluffy). Mix the milk with the yolks. Continuing to whisk the whites, pour the yolk mix into them in a steady stream.
3. Sautee the zucchini. Add the potatoes, seasoning as you go. When the mixture is nearly done, add the basil and stir it in. Arrange the vegetables so they are roughly in layers then pour the egg mixture over and turn the heat down to medium.
4. Let cook for a while, until it is fairly solid and when you lift up the side with a spatula you can see it is golden brown on the bottom.
5. Slide the tortilla out onto a plate, then put the pan on top and invert in one confident swoop (I think the confidence is the key – the frittata will know if you are a sissy or not and will respond accordingly).
6. Depending on how crispy you want it you can let it cook for another 3-8 minutes. This is a small tortilla and serves 2-3.

As you can see I used a really deep pan so I couldn’t get the damn thing to slide out without compromising the structural integrity of my lunch. I had to do a double inversion – flipped it once onto a plate to get it out of the pan, but then it was the wrong side up, so I inverted it again between two plates, and then finally back into the pan. It worked fine – it didn’t drip or slide around at all. Clearly, I am no sissy.

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