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Mama’s Kitchen: Frittata

When I was little, one of my favorite things that my grandmother used to make was frittata. We would have it as a second course after pasta or as a snack. As an adult, one of my favorite things to eat is tapas and I found out that the frittata that I grew up eating is also called a Spanish Omelet. So whether you call this dish frittata, or Spanish Omelet, it’s very yummy and easy to make. Though in Italy and Spain it’s eaten more as a lunch/dinner item, I really like having it for breakfast (it’s potatoes and eggs!) and it makes a really nice brunch item for a group of people. Photos, tips and recipe after the jump . . .

6 Large Russet Potatoes
5 Eggs
1 Medium/Large Onion – halved and sliced
Vegetable Oil

1. Peel the potatoes, rinse, and put them in a large bowl filled with water. Take one potato at a time and but into slices about ¼ of an inch thick. Put the sliced potatoes back in the bowl of water.

2. Fill a frying pan with enough vegetable oil to evenly coat the pan with a thin layer of oil. Heat the oil over medium heat, when the oil is hot, add the onions. Saute the onions until they are soft and golden. When they are done, set them aside on a plate or tray lined with paper towels.

3. In the same frying pan, add enough vegetable oil to evenly coat the pan with a layer of oil about ¼ of an inch high. Heat the oil over medium heat, when the oil is hot, add enough sliced potatoes to form one layer in the pan. Fry on each side until golden and until you can put a fork through the potato. Set the potatoes aside on a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle salt on the potatoes. Repeat this process until all the potatoes are fried.

4. Discard the extra oil from the frying pan but keep some – you only want enough in the pan to evenly coat the bottom with a thin layer. Layer the potato slices and onions until you’ve used all the potatoes and onions you’ve cooked. Put the “prettier,��? larger potatoes on the bottom and on the top.

5. In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt & pepper. Pour the eggs into the frying pan over the layered potatoes and onions.

6. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until the eggs on the bottom are cooked. You’ll know it’s ready when the frittata moves freely and detaches from the sides of the pan. When the bottom is done, remove the pan from the heat

7. Using a flat plate larger than the pan, place the plate on top of the pan like a cover. Carefully, flip the pan so that the frittata will land on the plate. Slide the frittata cooked side up into the pan so you can cook the other side. Cook on the other side for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked. Remove from heat.

*Please note, that’s Ali’s hairy arm – not mine! Sometimes the frittata can be very heavy and a bit too much for my little wrists to handle.

8. To remove the frittata out of the pan, use the flip method described in step 7. Slice (like a pie or pizza) and eat!

* The potatoes need to stay in water to prevent them from turning brown. Potatoes get brown spots if you cut or peel them and leave them out. You can even add some lemon to the water as well.
*In the photo, I used a plate that fit inside the pan – don’t do that – it will be easier to flip with a plate that is larger than the pan.
*When you add the egg and you begin cooking, the eggs will all go to the bottom and you’ll be left thinking, how will the egg get to the top? No worries, when you flip the frittata, all the raw egg will go to the bottom and cook on the other side.
*This dish heats up really well in the microwave.
*This dish can be made with any number of vegetables. My grandmother also made an artichoke frittata (same recipe, replace potatoes with cut up artichokes). I also do a variation with lots of veggies including tomatoes, green onions, pepper, mushrooms and asparagus. The only difference is that I dice the potatoes rather than slice them. You can also add some cheese to the eggs when you beat them. This variation is very popular with the brunch crowd or on the set of early-morning photo shoots.

Buon Appetito!

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