Clean Out The Fridge Frittata

A handful of reasons to love frittatas: they’re super easy to make; they can be eaten on-the-go; they’re a great way to hide veggies and other superfoods you might not want to eat on their own; they’re the perfect way to use up food scraps and reduce food waste.

That last one is probably my favorite reason of all. I’m not sure I’ve ever made the same frittata twice. It’s one of my 3 strategies for using up leftovers: frittatas, soups, and chopped salads. I always just use whatever bits and pieces I have hiding in the fridge, so they’re always different!

Here’s what I had today:

Eggs, butter and sausage + dinner leftovers from last night: swordfish, roasted asparagus and sweet potato fries

We’re not putting the swordfish in the frittata, for obvious reasons (gross). But the rest – YES.

Here’s a close-up of the ingredients in one of the “clean” brands of sausage we can buy at our local Publix grocery stores (Kiolbassa). I’m okay with the evaporated cane syrup because it’s (a) organic … aka non-GMO … and (b) such a nominal amount that there is only 1g carbohydrate per sausage link. It’s a small price to pay for a grab-and-go pre-cooked sausage with no preservatives like nitrates, BHA or BHT, or fillers like dextrose (GMO corn-derived sugar).

Here are my tips for a fabulous frittata, every time:

PICK THE RIGHT SIZE BAKING DISH

I use a 12-inch cast iron skillet for a 12-egg frittata. Then, I slice it into 8 pieces for my family of 4. We each eat 1 piece, so it lasts us for 2 separate meals. If you are using fewer eggs, choose a smaller skillet or baking pan. If you want square pieces, you can bake in a 13×9 casserole dish. But with only 12 eggs, that size dish would make a pretty thin frittata, so you wouldn’t need to bake it as long. You could also use a pie pan, instead of a skillet and just skip the stovetop part that I do, and just bake the whole thing.

DON’T OVERBEAT THE EGGS

I just use my whisk (in a straight up-and-down motion) to break up the egg yolks, then mix a few times to incorporate the yolks and the whites. Then stop. If you overmix, you’ll add a bunch of air to the mixture and the frittata will “pouf up” (technical cooking term) in the oven, then deflate once it cools. Still tasty, but sad-looking.

USE PRE-COOKED MIX-IN’S

Other than things you would also enjoy raw, don’t count on things like bacon or onions cooking while in the frittata mixture. I have used raw spinach, raw tomato, fresh olives, etc. to great effect, but like I said, those are things I also eat raw. They will wilt a bit during the oven-cooking process but meats and sturdier veggies won’t cook all the way through, so you need to do those first. (I never have to worry about this, because like I said in the intro, frittatas are basically my use-up-the-leftovers kitchen strategy, so all my ingredients are previously cooked. Except sometimes, maybe I’ll saute an onion and some garlic first or something like that.)

SEASON THE EGG MIXTURE

It’s tempting to think it won’t need it if you’re using leftovers as mix-in’s that are already seasoned (like my sausage and roasted veggies), but trust me, the eggs need it too, or it will be bland. Just do a generous pinch of salt and pepper before you stir everything together.

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook any of your ingredients that need it (bacon, onion, garlic, etc.). If everything is pre-cooked, chop it all up.
  3. Whisk your eggs (I use 12). And season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the mix-in’s into the egg mixture.
  5. Heat a cast-iron (or other oven-safe) skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. of cooking fat (I use grass-fed butter). [NOTE: You can skip the stove-top step, pour the mixture into an oven-safe baking dish and just bake the whole thing from start to finish. It will just take a little longer and the texture will be a little spongier, more like a quiche.]
  6. Once the skillet is up to temp, pour in the frittata mixture and don’t touch it. Let it cook about 7-10 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the edge of the skillet.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the middle is set. (Cooking times depend on your oven and the volume of frittata you used, so just keep an eye on it).
  8. Garnish with something fresh and green! (I usually do one of the following: basil, cilantro, parsley or green onions). Sliced avocado (and hot sauce) is also awesome on top.

                

This mixture is 12 eggs + 2 pork sausage links (pictured above) + leftover roasted asparagus (chopped super-tiny so my kids will eat it) + leftover chopped sweet potatoes. Garnished with fresh basil and tomato slices on top. We also added hot sauce to the grown-up plates. This combo got rave reviews from the Husband AND the asparagus-hating kiddos. I’ll take it.

Let me know in the Comments if you’ve made frittatas before, and what your favorite combos are! OR – let me know if you’re inspired to try one now!

 

 

 

 

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