Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Potato & Italian Frying Pepper Frittata and How I Learned to Swear in Italian

One of my earliest and fondest food memories is that of my grandfather making frittata. It wasn’t the taste of this hearty, Italian omelet that made such an impression, although that was always wonderful, it was the excitement surrounding “the flip.”

Traditionally, a frittata is cooked about three-quarters of the way, flipped over on to a plate, and slid back into the pan to finish cooking the other side. It’s an hot, slippery exercise fraught with danger, and more than one of his magnificent creations ended up a broken mess. Come to think of it, this is where I first learned how to curse in Italian.

The funny thing is, as long as you have a broiler to finish cooking the top, which he did, you don’t need to flip anything. Just pop it in for a few minutes to firm up the eggs, and brown the cheese, and you’re ready to eat. So, why did he insist on the always risky flip-n-slid?

I’m not exactly sure, but I imagine it was because his father flipped frittatas, and so did his grandfather. That’s just the way they were done, so that’s how he did it. Regardless whether you’re flipping or not, this rustic egg pie was invented for late summer’s vegetable bounty.

If you can fry it in olive oil, it tastes great in a frittata, especially leftover vegetables that would otherwise end up in the trash. It’s also amazing with any kind of summer squash. Just remember that the veggies need to be tender before the eggs go in, since they cook so fast. I hope you give this “memorable” recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
12 large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
6 slices of bacon or pancetta
1 1/2 cups sliced peppers
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked potatoes
OR about 3 cups of any summer veggies
dry or fresh herbs to taste
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper flakes to taste
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
*Remember to drain oil before adding potatoes and eggs!


Anonymous said...

What would be an interesting replacement for bacon if you don't eat pork, but are not a vegetarian.

I understand it won't taste the same and I can always put butter or vegetable oil, but I'm curious what's your thought. Would a beef sausage work for example?

Thanks a lot for all your recipes.

Chef John said...

Seriously, anything works in a frittata! Whatever you like. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Hi Chef,

Looks a great recipe, is it possible to put pasta instead of potatoes?.



Chef John said...

See comment above! ;)

Anonymous said...

Yo CJ,

Nice! I've made a Frittata before, yet they always came out a little dry - I was craving for some kind of dippin sauce with it - what sauce-like condiment would you recommend?

Keep doin' what yo doin' bro!

stephanie liu said...

All my pans have rubber handles, does that mean i'd have to flip my frittata? i dont want anything melting off my pan... haha

Chibby said...

Last night's taco meat,tomato,onion,cilantro,cheddar?I should probably go buy a green pepper too.Wish me luck,lol:)

Rachel said...

I've never stirred a frittata while it was cooking - looks like a great idea to prevent the bottom being overcooked. My favorite filling is onions, potatoes, pumpkin and red bell peppers roasted in the oven with olive oil and dried herbs - soooo sweet - and I never add bacon or cheese.

Pantalone said...

This might be a good candidate for some Bacon Jam spread on top!

Chef John said...

I'm going to have to go with a nice aioli for a sauce with this!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, interesting Aioli remark...thx CJay!

So basically this recipe could be summed up with:

Take 12 eggs in a large pan + add whatever yo got! Nice!

...but what is the difference between this and a "thick omelette" then, CJay?

"The RZA of cookin'" is what my friends'n'me are calling you btw.


Anonymous said...

...but maybe it's more like the GZA of you have an opinion on that?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a stainless steel pan, can I use a cast iron pan instead?

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty sexy looking frittata. And yes, I really did think it was going to stick in the pan. I've just got to try this!

eliz said...

I don't eat pork either and I really like turkey bacon. There's a good one at Trader Joes!

MichaelFromBerlin said...

Since I donÄt have a broiler, I'd really like to see the flip-n-slid...

Come on Chef John, show us the MAGIC :-)

Anonymous said...

Made this and it was awesome!!! I added some tomatoes and squash from the garden in with it as well as bell peppers for the Spanish peppers you used. Next time olives will be added. Also I do not know how this will taste yet, but just the potatoes bacon, with onion and pepper alone smelled fantastic. I would will willing just to make those by themselves to try it out.

Chibby said...

My taco frittata worked out pretty well.A little less meat next time.Almost as nice as the quiche Lorraine I made a few weeks ago(used your recipe,of course)

Anonymous said...

Spanish Tortilla is the same thing as a frittata. I add in 8 oz. lump blue crabmeat, a generous amount of Old Bay and green onion to 12 eggs and about 2 cups precooked potato in a very large cast iron pan.Right before the oven finish I stir in a few handfuls of grated cheedar. The side dressing is mayo, lemon juice and Old Bay.

Cheers ~ glassgrl

Allison McKeen said...

I've made this a few times now in a stainless steel pan, and it sticks every time! I mean, the dish is totally worth the messy cleanup, but then I go back and watch this video and think, "What is this wizardry!?" I still have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I'm wiping out too much oil?

Super duper mom said...

I want to make this the night before and reheat it for brunch in the morning. At what point should I stop and refrigerate it. I was thinking after adding the cheese and just before broiling, but then should I reheat it on the stovetop before broiling or in the oven, and for how long? I can't imagine it would heat through without burning the cheese just under the broiler. What do you think?