I’ve made breakfast on new years day for 40 party-sore camping revellers. It was my first ever 96-egg omelet. I made it in a iron pan twice the size of a baby bath dragged out of the garage and thrown over some hot coals left from the night before. It earned me a return invitation for the following year’s party, and a reputation – the fact that I could prepare a yummy breakfast for so many people without warning, and with the mother of all hangovers made me a ‘good cook’. They didn’t know that it was because when I was 14, my mum showed me how to make a frittata, and she’s a self-declared ‘particularly average cook’.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to make – just make a thick omelet with your leftovers (and grill some cheese on top if you’re not on a dairy-free diet). I have one rule with my frittata – it has to contain potato. This is where the whole confusion of the name comes in. Many people call a frittata a spanish omelet and vice versa. Both are thick, and need to be cooked top and bottom unlike a regular omelet, but a Spanish omelet (also known as tortilla) must contain potato, and in fact, often that’s all it usually contains besides the egg and some spices. A Frittata is a thick Italian omelet, and can often contain pasta, but rarely potato. So, in fact, my ‘frittata’ is probably a Spanish omelet, especially when I throw chorizo in it. (what it definitely isn’t is kookoo – a Persian herb omelet, which sounds amazing and deserves further investigation). But then again, who said a frittata couldn’t contain potato…?
- lots of eggs, well beaten (at least 6* or 2 per person)
- potato (1/2 per person)
- leftovers (e.g. two slices of bacon, 1/2 a cup of cooked peas, shredded roast chicken)
- spices (as complementary to the leftovers – e.g. crushed garlic, smoked paprika and mustard seeds)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Thinly slice potato, and in a deep and well oiled omelet pan, fry until nearly cooked (don’t get them too brown), then add in other ingredients (starting off with anything that needs more cooking, e.g. the bacon, mustard seeds and garlic)
- Spread the cooked ingredients loosely and evenly, then add eggs, and cook on a low heat until you can see the bottom is browning nicely (lift up with a knife at the edge.(Sprinkle cheese on top)
- Put under a medium-strength grill until egg is nearly firm all the way to the middle. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil.
Serve by flipping onto a plate, and accompany with salad or crusty bread or chilli sambal (or all three).
This makes a great dinner for kids when you have no idea what to cook – also perfect for a casual drinks night as it can be served cold and cut into small wedges to be eaten as finger food.
*The dish is simply an omelet if it is not thick – you must use enough eggs to produce at least an inch-thick result. Don’t worry, it keeps in the fridge for a day or so.
Optional – cream added into the eggs will make it lighter, and grated cheese on top is always nice. My family however is on a dairy-free diet, and so we give it a miss. I have found that soy or almond milk cream works nicely, but I am yet to find a dairy-free cheese I like. Another option is using nutritional yeast combined with some breadcrumbs, salt and herbs sprinkled on top and lightly toasted at the last minute.
Other ingredient ideas:
- Chorizo, onion and lemon rind
- asparagus with garlic and brie chunks
- spinach, peas and Parmesan
- smoked trout and leeks with horseradish stirred into the eggs