Tag Archives: frittata

My Savory Valentines: Heart-Shaped Mini Frittata

Heart-shaped mini frittataAs some of you may know already, my beloved husband and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been good in the romance department and the reason why there must be a specific day to celebrate your loved ones simply escapes me. What’s wrong with any other day of the year? Isn’t it better to show your love and affection in a totally unexpected way and whenever you feel like it?

Anyway, things have changed since Her Majesty has started celebrating Valentine’s Day and decided that we had to celebrate too. Instead of crushing her feelings (we are not that brutal! 😉 ), we decided to play along and celebrate it as a family holiday. Stefano makes sure that we have a card and a little gift for Her Majesty and, since last year, for Sofia too 🙂 and, on Valentine’s Day, we exchange cards and small presents.

When God decided to put me on this planet, he forgot to give me the sweet gene. That gene went directly from my mother to Her Majesty. That’s the reason why I always come up with some good excuse to take the savory path rather than the sweet path. I know that if I make a savory dish, I’ll be partying too as opposed to a sweet dish where, most of the time, I’ll be just watching other people to party. 🙂

Valentine’s Day is no exception to me! Last night, Her Majesty was making her valentines for her classmates. She asked me to make her favorite frittata and I decided to give it a hearty twist!

This frittata is very basic – exactly the way Her Majesty likes it! However, you can use your own recipe or spice mine up the way you want adding the vegetables and/or the spices and/or the meat you love the most. It’s all up to your creativity or, sometimes, whatever you have left in your pantry and refrigerator!

I have an additional reason why I like this recipe. I don’t have to flip! Yup! Flipping frittata is not one of my strongest skills as I confessed in one of my previous posts! Oh well! This frittata is entirely baked in the oven. Such a relief for me! 😉

Heart-shaped mini frittata

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup, Extravirgin Olive Oil
4 or 5, Golden Potatoes
10, Eggs
6 Tbsp, Grated Parmigiano Cheese
1/2, Smoked Mozzarella
2 or 3 slices, Prosciutto
Salt
Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Cut the potatoes into small bits.

Pre-heat oven at 325F.

In a non-stick medium skillet, put the olive oil and the potatoes. Add some salt (to taste), toss to coat and start cooking on a low/medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked.

Meanwhile, put the eggs, the Parmigiano cheese and some salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl and whisk it until you obtain a smooth mixture. When the potatoes are cooked, add them to the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased non-stick 9×13 inch rectangular sheet pan.

Let the frittata cook in the oven for about 20/25 minutes or until it gets that beautiful golden color.

Remove the frittata from the oven and let it cool for a while.

In the meantime, raise the oven temperature to 400F.

With a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the frittata into hearts.

Cut the smoked mozzarella into thick slices.

Place one slice of mozzarella on top of one frittata heart and another frittata heart on top of the mozzarella slice. Do the same with the rest of the frittata hearts.

Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put the sandwiched frittata hearts on the baking sheet and bake them in the oven until the mozzarella melts.

Remove the sandwiched frittata hearts from the oven and garnish them with some prosciutto and creative toothpicks. Serve them warm.

Heart-shaped mini frittata

I wish everyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day a “super-lovely” one!

F. Xx

Frittata Primavera – Recommended Wine Pairing

Cantina Terlano, Alto Adige Terlano Sauvignon "Quarz" DOCWell, it has been quite a while since our last food pairing post, so time to catch up on things…

Today we will pair Francesca’s frittata primavera with a proper wine.

As we did in the past, we will base our choice on the ISA wine paring criteria: should you have missed my post about them, you may refer to it to get a better idea of what these are.

We will therefore start by identifying the main qualities of the food we want to pair a wine with, which in the case of the frittata are: latent sweetness, fatness, some greasiness and latent acidity due to the use of tomatoes; also, we can classify Francesca’s frittata as a dish with medium structure.

St. Michael Eppan, Alto Adige Sauvignon "Sanct Valentin" DOCAs we know, using the ISA wine pairing criteria, these qualities are going to dictate the corresponding characteristics that we want our wine to possess, which are (in the same orider as above): good acidity, tastiness/minerality, decent ABV and smoothness, plus the wine we seek should be medium-bodied or thereabouts.

In light of these desired characteristics, our choice has fallen on a Sauvignon Blanc. In an effort to spread the knowledge that Italy also produces quality wines from international varieties, we will focus our recommendations on a few Italian 100% Sauvignon Blancs that are definitely worth trying out, if you have a chance:

Cantina Terlano, Alto Adige Terlano Sauvignon “Quarz” DOC, a delicious wine that ages for 9 months on its lees (partly in steel vats and partly in wood barrels) and boasts a pleasing bouquet of citrus, Granny Smith apple, exotic fruit, herbs and minerals

Vie di Romans, Friuli Isonzo Rive Alte Sauvignon "Piere" DOCSt. Michael Eppan, Alto Adige Sauvignon “Sanct Valentin” DOC, a very good wine from the winery’s flagship “Sanct Valentin” line, that ages for 6 months on its lees (88% in steel vats and 12% in wood barrels) and has fine aromas of citrus, grapefruit, white flowers, herbs and iodine notes

Vie di Romans, Friuli Isonzo Rive Alte Sauvignon “Piere” DOC, a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc made of grapes harvested from a vineyard with an excellent density of 6,000 vines/HA that ages for 7 months on its lees in steel vats and seduces the senses with a captivating bouquet of lemon, tangerine, sage, almond and minerals

Manincor, Alto Adige Sauvignon “Lieben Aich” DOC, a very interesting wine that undergoes spontaneous fermentation through the use of natural yeasts, ages on its lees for ten months in oak barrels and has elegant aromas of citrus, exotic fruit, herbs, white flowers and minerals

Manincor, Alto Adige Sauvignon "Lieben Aich" DOCVilla Russiz, Collio Sauvignon “De La Tour” DOC, an elegant wine that ages for 7 months on its lees in steel vats and possesses a complex bouquet of apple, kiwi, white flowers, citrus, herbs and iodine notes.

Enjoy, and as always, if you happen to try out any of these wines,  let me know how you like them!

Frittata Primavera and the Impossibility to Flip

FrittataAh! Frittata. Universally acknowledged as a very rustic and easy to make dish.

Let’s talk about its rusticity first. I have no recollection of any restaurant in Italy that has a frittata on its menu. That’s because it is the quintessential homemade food, not sophisticated enough to be worthy of a restaurant. Nor have I ever eaten frittata in any of the fancy households and parties I used to get invited to in Rome or Milan. Simply not chic enough. But believe me when I tell you that no one, I repeat, no one can resist a good frittata.  🙂 Let me tell you a story to prove my point.

Since I was 21, I have been spending my summers at my parents’ beach house on a fairly glam stretch of coast on the island of Sardinia. Usually, before we go to the beach, my mother packs lunch boxes with incredible treats for the whole family and a frittata is always included. We consider my mom the queen of frittata and her grandchildren are crazy about this dish. When lunch time comes, the sleek ladies under the umbrellas start eating their flavorless salads (yup, Italian women tend to be all about looking thin and fabulous) while my mother start pulling out her “rustic food wonders” including her legendary frittata.

At which point, first we get a nasty look from the ladies that says “look at those peasants!” but then the smell of frittata spreads around and the upscale offspring from the other umbrellas – chased by their nannies – start getting closer like bear cubs attracted to honey. My mother, who is a woman from the south and, therefore, very hospitable, starts handing frittata bits to everyone and, at this point, the ladies, who are the loving mothers of the kids surrounding us, have no choice but to approach and thank us. And then… the frittata does its trick: a minute later, I can see their bejeweled fingers (the reason why women go to the beach wearing jewels like a madonna in a procession simply escapes me!) with their perfect manicure reaching for the frittata and the only thing my head is hearing is that famous music from Steven Spielberg’s movie “Jaws” that is played when the shark is getting close to its victim. 😀

Bottom line, everyone loves frittata and I truly believe that it can be served as an appetizer at any party, even the fanciest, if it is properly dressed up. 😉

Let’s now tackle the concept that frittata is easy to make. Maybe it is for the other human beings, but for me it is a nightmare. I select the ingredients, I beat the eggs, I pour the egg mixture in the skillet and I let the first side of the frittata cook the way my mother showed me only about a thousand times. Everything seems to go awfully well until it is time to flip the frittata to cook the other side. Et voila’! Depending on where I decide to play the flipping game, my frittata inevitably ends up either on the floor, the sink or the stove 🙁 I simply cannot do it!

I noticed that lots of cooks and chefs start cooking their frittata on the stove and then continue the cooking process in the oven. Well, in Italy, we do not cook it that way… we flip it and, to be honest with you, I was not ready to settle for the oven option.

Since in my past professional life, I was, among other things, a problem solver, I have now been determined to find a solution to my flipping incapability. After a little research, Williams Sonoma came to the rescue. They carry a fabulous nonstick pan with interlocking handles that lets you flip a frittata very easily without using a plate and, more importantly, without having your frittata splashed all over the kitchen.

FrittataIf you want to know more about this innovative piece, check it out on Williams Sonoma’s Web site. As you will notice, it is a little bit pricey but you can always do what I do when I buy something expensive… I keep repeating myself “because you are worth it”! (no, unfortunately, I’m not a l’Oreal testimonial but I’m firmly convinced of that! 😉 )

A few more words before we talk about recipe and method. The gorgeous frittata that you see in the pictures has been flipped in the traditional way, i.e., using a regular skillet and a plate. Did I do it? Of course, not! My mother did. I will describe the way she does it (I’m great at the theory part!) because my mother always taught me that a cook should be able to cook anything from scratch with the only help of basic tools. So just give it a try, if you feel like it. You can always do what I did… resort to technology because if it is true that I treasure my mother teachings I’m also a huge believer that technology is there to make our life easier. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup, cut green beans
1 and 1/2 cup, peas
1/4 cup, chopped onion
8 grape tomatoes
2 potatoes
Half of 1/4 cup, extravirgin olive oil
12 eggs
1/2 cup, grated parmigiano cheese
Salt
Ground black pepper

Directions: 

Cut the tomatoes in half and the potatoes into small bits.

In a non-stick medium skillet, put the olive oil, the beans, the peas, the onion, the tomatoes and the potatoes. Add some salt (to taste), toss to coat and start cooking on a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Meanwhile, put the eggs, the parmigiano cheese, some salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl and whisk it until you obtain a smooth mixture. When the vegetables are cooked, pour the egg mixture in the skillet. Let it cook for 2/3 minutes and, with the help of a fork, every time the edges of the egg mixture solidify, push them back toward the inside of the frittata so that new raw egg mixture gets in contact with the skillet and solidifies. When the egg mixture is set at the bottom and begins to firm up at the top, move the skillet over the sink (in my experience, it is the easiest to clean if things go wrong), put a plate over the skillet, flip the frittata onto the plate and slide the flipped frittata back into the skillet. Cook a few more minutes et voila’!

May the force be with you and happy flipping! 🙂