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Frittatas

Information, hints and tips on how to make Frittatas

plus lots of delicious Frittata Recipes

 

See also: Omelettes

 

Jump to:-  What is a Frittata?  |  Equipment Needed to make Frittatas  |  Ingredients for Frittatas  |  Making Frittatas Frittata Recipes

 

What is a Frittata ?

 

A Frittata is basically a thick flat omelette which originated in Italy. In most cases, extra solid ingredients such as vegetables, meats or pasta are added making it more substantial and seasonings such as herbs are also often added for extra flavour. 

 

Unlike an ordinary omelette, it is cooked until completely set all the way through with no soft or gooey parts which means that frittatas can be either served hot or cold, making them great for  breakfasts, lunch or dinner plus picnics and packed lunches: they make an interesting and novel  addition to children's school lunch boxes, providing a good source of protein and vitamins.

 

Equipment needed to make Frittatas

 

The main equipment required is a shallow pan. Ordinary frying pans or omelette pans can be used although the non-stick varieties help to ensure the frittata doesn't stick.

 

You can also get special "frittata" pans which have a hinged lid so you can easily cook both sides however these are not essential especially if you have a grill available which means you don't need to struggle trying to turn the frittata over in the pan.

 

Although you can make frittatas from start to finish in the pan,  it  may be more convenient to also use a saucepan to cook the additional ingredients.

 

You will also need:

a large mixing bowl

a fork or whisk to beat the eggs

a large wooden or plastic spoon or fork to stir the frittata in the pan

1 or 2 large plates

a knife or a palette knife to loosen the frittata in the pan.

 

When using non-stick pans, try not to use metal utensils as these may scratch the non-stick lining of the pans.

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Ingredients for Frittatas

 

The main ingredients for frittatas are eggs.  In general, allow 2 eggs per person,  however  you may wish to reduce this slightly, especially if you are adding lots of other ingredients or if you are using large eggs.

 

You will also need something to fry the frittata. Traditionally, olive oil is used and this is indeed a good choice. However, you could also use a mixture of olive oil and butter or other oils such as safflower, corn or vegetable oil,  although the flavour may not be as good.

 

It is not necessary (or traditional) to add milk or cream.

 

All manner of additional ingredients can be added to frittatas and there is a list of examples below. However, see the section below about the preparation of ingredients as it is very important.

 

Frittatas are also an excellent way or using up leftovers.

 

Vegetables

Asparagus

Artichokes

Broad Beans

Butternut Squash

Carrots

Courgettes

Green Beans

Onions

Mushrooms

Peas

Peppers (Sweet)

Potatoes

Shallots

Spinach/Chard

Sweetcorn

Meats

Bacon

Beef

Black Pudding

Chicken

Chorizo

Corned beef

Ham

Lamb

Sausages

Smoked Salmon

 

 

 

 

 

Seasonings

Cayenne Pepper

Chillies

Chilli Powder

Fresh Basil

Fresh Chives

Fresh Chervil

Fresh Coriander

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Oregano

Fresh Thyme

Garlic

Pepper

Salt

 

 

Others

Black-eyed beans

Cannellini beans

Cheese

Noodles

Pasta

Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Frittatas

Step by Step instructions on how to make Frittatas

 

Preparing ingredients for Frittatas

 

The Eggs
It doesn't really matter if the eggs are cold or at room temperature. Simply crack them into a mixing bowl and beat well, preferably with a whisk, adding salt and pepper.

Vegetables
Whatever vegetables you add should be cooked first as the actual frying time is relatively short in addition to which the solid ingredients will be partly shielded from the heat by the eggs.
 

As the object of a frittata is to have the ingredients evenly distributed amidst the eggs, most vegetables should be cut into dice no larger than 12mm/½-inch. The smaller the dice, the quicker the vegetables will cook before adding to the eggs which cuts down the cooking time.

 

In general if using onions, these should be sautéed gently in the frying pan until soft but not browned.

 

Aim to cook all vegetables until they are just tender before adding to the eggs: this is particularly important when it comes to potatoes. Depending on the vegetables being used, they can be partially boiled,  steamed or sautéed then added to the onions in the frying pan to finish cooking. This little bit of sautéing adds to the flavour.

 

Meats
Whatever meats you add should also be thoroughly cooked first,  apart from items such as ham or corned beef which in their very nature, are already cooked and ready to eat.  As a rule of thumb - if you can't eat it as it is, then it needs pre-cooking.

 

Once again, meats should be cut into quite small pieces to ensure they are evenly distributed through the frittata and heat through whilst cooking in the egg mixture. Most meats will benefit from a little sautéing before being added to the frittata.

 

Herbs and Seasonings

Roughly chop fresh herbs and finely chop chillies and garlic.

 

In most cases, herbs and seasonings such as cayenne pepper can just be stirred into the eggs in the mixing bowl or sprinkled evenly over the egg mixture as soon as it goes into the frying pan.  Chillies and garlic will have a better flavour if lightly sautéed beforehand.

 

Cheese

Cheese should be grated or crumbled.

 

Pasta, Rice, Noodles and Pulses

These should all be pre-cooked and cooled. Pasta should be cut into short lengths no longer than 2.5cm/1-inch. A great way to use leftovers from a previous meal.

 

Cooking the Frittata

Here's a short video showing the steps for making a Frittata which are:-

 

How to make a frittata video

 

Click here for full size video

  • Heat enough oil in the frying pan to just cover the base and sauté onions until softened, turning frequently Do not brown
     
  • Add other cooked vegetables, meats or pasta etc.,  and sauté very gently, turning, for 2-3 minutes or until just heated through. Do not brown
     
  • Beat the eggs with a whisk in a large mixing bowl, adding salt, pepper and any remaining seasonings
  • At this point you have a choice as to how to continue.  You can either

a)  Recommended  Remove the ingredients from the frying pan with a slotted spoon, allow to cool a little then stir into the beaten eggs before returning to the reheated frying pan. This ensures the ingredients are well distributed throughout the egg mixture  OR

 

b)  Just pour the egg mixture over the hot ingredients in the frying pan

  •  Cook over a low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes, gently stirring until large "curds" begin to form

  • Continue to cook, without stirring until almost set -only the very top should be slightly gooey.
     

  •  Finish cooking under a hot preheated grill for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively you could slide the frittata onto a plate then return to the frying pan top-side-down and cook for 2-3 minutes.

If you happen to be cooking something else in the oven, you can also finish setting the frittata in the oven however it needs to be very hot and care should be taken with frying pans which must have metal handles.

 

Serve immediately or allow to cool at room temperature.

 

 

Frittata Recipes

Most frittatas can be served hot or cold making them great for  breakfasts, lunch or dinner plus picnics and packed lunches: they make an interesting and novel addition to children's school lunch boxes, providing a good source of protein and vitamins, with the added benefit that they can be cooked the evening before and refrigerated.

 

Following the above basic tips, you can use a multitude of ingredients to make delicious and interesting Frittatas, but below are some full Frittata recipes to get you started.

 

Pepper Frittata   HT  MC  Italian  10mins

Provolone Frittata   Veg  HT  MC  15mins

Spinach Frittata    HT  MC  Italian  15mins

Chilli Pasta Ham Frittata    HT  CD  MC  PIC  Italian  25mins

Asparagus Frittata    Veg  HT  MC  30mins

Chorizo and Potato Frittata    HT  CD  MC   Italian  30mins

Gorgonzola Frittata    Veg  HT  CD  MC  30mins

Roquefort Onion and Basil Frittata   Veg  HT  CD  MC  30mins

Picnic Frittata    CD  PIC  55mins plus chilling

 

 

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