Monday, April 4, 2016

Potato, Ham, and Bell Pepper Frittata

Frittatas have to be one of the most wonderfully adaptable and forgiving of all foods.   They are good for any meal from a casual breakfast to a fancy dinner party; they are delicious hot or cold; and they cheerfully accept just about anything hanging out in your fridge or pantry that needs a good home. They’re like a less-fussy quiche, or an omelet that serves everyone at the same time instead of having to bother with individual breakfasts. They also store well; make a frittata all for yourself on a Sunday and not only will you have a special weekend breakfast, you’ll have a few weekday ones as well.  Got a pile of people to feed but only a few eggs, odds and ends? Make a frittata. Your victims guests will think you’ve gone to all kinds of effort, when in reality you’re basically feeding them leftovers because you were too lazy to go shopping. That’s what we call a win-win.

One of the other great things about a frittata is that it’s very easy to lighten up, if you find yourself wanting or needing to go that route. By decreasing the number of eggs, using a measured amount of higher-calorie, flavor packed ingredients (meat, cheese), and increasing the proportion of lighter components (i.e. vegetables) you can tweak it so that it fits your needs and still tastes amazing. You just want to make sure you have enough eggs to almost cover your solid components; eggs will puff up during cooking so you don’t need to bury them, you just need enough to stick everything together so you can slice it.

The proportions I give here work well for six whole extra large eggs. If your eggs are smaller you may want to add an extra egg, or a few egg  whites;  you can also cut down on the number of whole eggs by substituting 3 eggs whites for each whole egg, or supplementing with EggBeaters if that’s your thing.  

Consider the ingredients here a jumping-off point; whatever kind of meat, cheese and vegetables you have can all be successfully incorporated into your frittata. How about cubed chicken, feta cheese, and spinach? Or shrimp, Monterey Jack, and salsa Verde? The sky’s the limit!  

 A few notes for my WW friends; I ran this one through the WW Recipe Builder and came up with 3 SmartPoints per serving (if cut into 8 servings); your mileage may vary depending on what ingredients you use, always check for yourself (I definitely do NOT work for WW).  I would recommend serving something else along with it if you’re really serving eight; fresh fruit (0 SP) and toast (varied SP) would be divine.  Otherwise you’ll probably want two servings; well worth the 6 SP.


Potato, Ham, and Bell Pepper Frittata
8 small or 4 large servings

Ingredients : 

Cooking spray
½ small onion (or 1 large shallot) chopped
1 cup red potato, raw, diced 
4 oz cooked lean ham, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced (I used half red, half green)
6 extra large eggs, beaten
¼ cup 2% milk
½ cup (2 oz) reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot 50% reduced fat)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: a few pinches of your favorite fresh or dried herb(s), to taste (dill is especially nice; tarragon is also nice, but potent – be careful!)

10 inch ovenproof skillet (oven proof is important here as it will actually be going into the oven!)

Directions : 

Preheat oven to 375

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray. Add the onion and sauté for a minute or so, then add the potato. Reduce heat to medium; let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potato is almost tender (dicing the potato quite small will help it cook quicker). Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the ham and pepper and cook for two more minutes, until everything is heated through and peppers start to soften a little. Season with a little salt and black pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking whisk the eggs and milk together until smooth, then stir in half the cheese along with some more salt and pepper (and herb[s] if using.).  Pour the egg mixture into your skillet and check to see that everything is more or less distributed. Let cook on the stovetop undisturbed for about two minutes, or until the edges start to set. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the frittata and pop the skillet (uncovered) into the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until eggs are completely set and frittata is beginning to lightly brown. Remove from oven ; cut into wedges and serve.

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