Showing posts with label Frittata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frittata. Show all posts

Monday, January 22, 2018

When You're Too Tired to Cook Diiner

For the past year or so, my life has been more hectic than normal. I confess that some nights I would rather collapse on the sofa than cook dinner. My lazy night (often on Sundays) go-to dinner that is filling, popular at my house, and is even nutritious, is a frittata.

Years ago, I read a recipe for frittata and honestly, that was how I cooked it for years! The distinctive thing about that recipe was that it allowed the frittata to cook on the stove top first until the bottom was set. Then it was popped into the oven for 7 minutes. There's nothing wrong with that. It works perfectly well.

But to my surprise, you don't have to let the bottom set first. You can just put it in the oven whenever you're ready. Of course, it does require a few more minutes of oven time, but that's okay with me.

Consequently, I have been experimenting with, well to be honest, with whatever is in the fridge that needs to be used up. In particular, I have experimented with various cheeses. The one above that puffed so beautifully was made with a soft triple cream cheese. Of all the cheeses I have tried, I think that's my favorite. It's a delicate flavor, though. Some of you may prefer a more robust flavor like a sharp cheddar, which is also very good.

My favorite ingredients (which often need using up anyway), are mushrooms and sliced ham. I almost always add a generous pinch of thyme. It's amazing how much flavor thyme imparts. And, of course, onions. I prefer to use garlic powder in a frittata. It makes a big difference but won't scorch or overpower the dish.

The other thing to remember is not to overwhelm it with ingredients. You only need a little bit of each item. The amount of cheese is up to you. If it's a hard cheese, I slice it with a vegetable peeler so that it melts into the frittata faster. If it's a soft cheese, I cut about 6 or so (1/2 inch by 2 inch) pieces.

Note that olive oil doesn't like high heat and the frittata will go into a 400 degree oven. I generally use Sun Coco Oil from LaTourangelle, which is a blend of sunflower and coconut, but any heat-friendly oil will do.

I don't use a non-stick frying pan. As long as you warm the oil and swirl it around the pan so that it greases the sides, it's not difficult to clean, even if a little bit sticks to the pan.

Sunday Night Frittata

2 tablespoons oil (I use sunflower or coconut or a blend)
roughly 1/3 of an onion
3 mushrooms
sliced ham (roughly 1/4 of a cup)
generous pinch of thyme
6 eggs
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (according to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the onion.

Pour the oil into the pan. When warm, swirl it around to cover the edges well. Add the onion and cook just below medium. Meanwhile, wash and dry mushrooms and slice them. Chop up the ham and slice the cheese. Set aside.

Add the mushrooms and the thyme to the pan, stir and let cook.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl (I like to use a 4-cup measuring cup because it's easy to pour the egg mixture). Add the salt, the garlic powder, and pepper. Whisk, whisk, whisk. They should be well combined.

Add the ham to the pan. Pour the eggs over the other items in the pan. Immediately lay the cheese where you want it and press it down a little bit with the tip of a spatula.

Place in the oven for approximately 11-14 minutes or until cooked through. The time will vary with the type of cheese. The top should be done, it should puff up a bit (expect it to deflate when removed from the oven), and nothing should wiggle or look wet.

Saute the eggs first.

Not too many mushrooms!
Don't forget the thyme! If you do, add it to the eggs.

Pour eggs over the ingredients in the pan.

Ready in minutes with almost no effort!
Coming very soon!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kale to The Queen’s Spring Frittata

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is excited today to welcome Nancy Parra, who gives us a peek at her new series, the Kensington Palace Chef Series.

It’s early summer, but with the farmer’s market in full mode you can still get wonderful fresh ingredients to make this frittata. Hi, I’m Nancy Parra AKA Nell Hampton with a new series out --The Kensington Palace Chef Series. As you might know I love cooking and cozy mysteries. This series is a blast because I get to visit London and learn everything I can about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. My protagonist, Carrie Ann Cole, is an American Chef in London as she takes on the role of personal chef to the young family. This is Carrie Ann’s Kale frittata and one of the fun recipes in the first book of the series, Kale To The Queen.


8 green onions

1½ cups of cooked peas, fresh or frozen
½ cup fresh spinach or kale
24 small new potatoes
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs of chopped chives, basil and parsley (fresh)
½ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
10 eggs (large)
¾ cup of heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese crumbled
3½ oz of thinly sliced pancetta or bacon


Cut into quarters and cook new potatoes until tender. Wash green onions and chop. Wash spinach/kale, drain well, wilt it in a pan with a little olive oil.

Melt butter and olive oil in a large (8 inch) oven proof frying pan. Cook the onions until soft. (If you don't have an oven-proof pan, cook the onions on the stove, then mix the ingredients in a baking pan, like this Pyrex one.) Remove the pan from heat and add the peas, wilted spinach/kale and potatoes. Sprinkle with herbs and parmesan cheese.

Whisk together the eggs and cream, and add salt and pepper. (I use ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.) Pour into pan over vegetables. Crumbled the feta over the top. Add pancetta in small twists.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until set and golden brown.

Serve immediately. Also makes great leftovers served cold.

About Nancy:

Nancy J Parra AKA Nell Hampton is the author of over 25 published novels which include five mystery series: The Candy Coated Mysteries (Kensington), The Kensington Palace Mystery Series (Crooked Lane), The Wine Country Tours Mystery Series (Crooked Lane), The Gluten-free Baker’s Treat Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), and The Perfect Proposal Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime).  Her writing has been called witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world.  Nancy is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. 

Nancy is offering a large-print copy of Kale to the Queen to one lucky winner. Just answer her question "What is your favorite British food?" in a comment below, and be sure to include your email (replace the periods with (dot) to keep things safe).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fun with Frittatas, #recipe by Linda Wiken, author, #cozymystery

I thought about calling it the Kitchen Sink Frittata but realized that doesn't sound very appetizing. It follows the same principle though, and much like Sheila Connolly's post last week, I've included whatever I had on hand.

Some nights, a gal just doesn't want to get too creative  :) or cook anything extravagant. Here again, I can't say, 'not cook' because this does take some prep time even though actual cooking time is minimal.

And, I do love my eggs. In my house, they're not just for breakfast! So, what to do that was more than a soft-boiled egg and toast? An omelette was an option but that takes even more steps. So, I decided to have some fun with a Frittata.

This recipe is thrown together without accurate measurements, suitable for two. So, add or subtract as suits your needs. I am a dairy-free eater, so mixed my eggs with a tiny bit of water, instead of milk.

Again, please do what suits you best.

I'd be interested in hearing what ends up in your Frittata!

What you'll need:

4 eggs
dash of water
handful of fresh spinach, chopped
3 mushrooms (because that's all I had on hand), chopped
fresh basil, chives, and rosemary, chopped
4 orange grape tomatoes  (orange and only 4 was what I had on hand)
sweet red pepper
1 garlic clove, slivered
1 c. thinly sliced Chorizo sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
enough fresh grated Asiago cheese to cover but then melt in (again, use whatever cheese is your favorite)

What to do:

1. Heat olive oil in large frying pan. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the water.
2. Chop, slice, and sliver the veggies and herbs.
3. Saute all the ingredients, except for the eggs.

4. When the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have that nice browned color, pour in the egg and water mixture, stirring all the while.

5. When the egg reaches a good scrambled eggs consistency, you're ready.
6. Dish onto plates and grate the cheese over top.
7. Serve with toast or as I did, some red pepper and sun-dried tomato Ciabatta bread.

ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cherry Tomato Frittata with Fresh Thyme

by Leslie Budewitz

I’ve been testing recipes for the third Seattle Spice Shop book, KILLING THYME—even though the second, GUILTY AS CINNAMON, won’t be out until December! But fresh thyme’s in season in my garden, and well, it’s always time for thyme, don’t you think?

Cherry and grape tomatoes are in season right now, too, although I admit my plants aren’t going to produce enough at one time this year to make a whole egg pie’s worth. (Started writing two mystery series and my garden went to seed—go figure.) We used a combination of red, yellow, and orange beauties in this dish.

But one of the wonderful things about this frittata is that it really knows no season. Because these days, we can get fresh tomatoes year-round and either grow our own herbs in windowsills or find fresh packs in the grocery stores. (For those of us old enough to remember when trucking and storage meant grocery stores’ winter fruit offerings were apples, bananas, oranges, and the occasional grapefruit, this is heaven. I still remember my mother going a little crazy at Albertson’s annual “February in Hawaii Days,” when the clerks donned Hawaiian shirts and the store flew in pineapple, coconut, and papaya. We weren’t quite sure what to do with them, but we ate the experiments with pleasure!)

A cast iron skillet is perfect for a frittata. Ours is too large, though, so we used a stainless skillet; it was a little harder to clean.

Frittatas are also super easy, super flexible, and reheat beautifully, making this a perfect dish for a light dinner—add a green salad, a crusty bread, and a glass of white wine—that can also be reheated for a yummy breakfast. The thyme and tomatoes made a lovely flavor, but it would also be yummy with an Italian herb blend (I’m working on one right now!) or herbes de Provence (there’s a recipe in ASSAULT & PEPPER, the first Spice Shop Mystery).

Turns out this recipe probably won't make the book---I just didn't need another dinner dish, and Pepper's rarely home for breakfast. So you get to enjoy it now---or any thyme of year!

And it's release day for  Daryl Wood Gerber--FUDGING THE BOOKS, a Cookbook Nook Mystery, and Peg Cochran, BERRIED SECRETS, first in her new Cranberry Cove Mysteries! Congratulations, Daryl and Peg, and HAPPY READING to all!

Cherry Tomato Frittata with Fresh Thyme

6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, stemmed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, for topping

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until well blended. Stir in both cheeses.

In a heavy, 9-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking them around in the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to brown in spots, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme and continue cooking until the tomatoes are tender and have begun to burst, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and shake the pan to distribute the tomatoes evenly over the bottom. If like us, you have a very hot stove, you may want to take the pan off the heat for a minute or two; you want to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly.

Pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes and cook until the eggs are set at the edges, about 3 minutes.

Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, work around the edge of the pan, gently separating the edge of the cooked eggs from the edge of the pan and allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. When the eggs are softly set, with only a little liquid at the edges, after about 3 more minutes, smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan on top.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the frittata is just set in the center, about 7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then sprinkle with additional thyme.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day and serve cold. Serves 4.

Leslie's newest:  BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries (July 2015)

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook,
or on Twitter.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Zucchini Thief

Does anyone else think that sounds like the title of a French novel?

I'm always a little late getting our garden started. I see people planting their vegetable gardens in April but our area is prone to frost right up to May 15th. So I guess I'm not so much late as they are early.

I bought three zucchini plants and four yellow squash plants. They're blooming, and I finally saw our first little zucchini. I watched it, planning to use it in this dish. But last night, when I went to collect it, someone beat me to it. Now I'm not naming names but the guilty party knew a crime had been committed and ran like the dickens. Half of the purloined zucchini was left behind and consumed by his accomplice who undoubtedly intended to get rid of the evidence.

You remember these guys. Thief and accomplice are in this photo.

But drat the luck. The yellow squashes are blooming and developing and – they sure look like zucchini to me! LOL! You might be seeing a *lot* of zucchini recipes from me this summer.

The look huge in this picture! They were about 3 inches long!

Consequently, I used three teensy baby zucchinis in this dish. I'm not quite sure what to call it. One of my friends recently made a quiche in which she used no crust but she poured something over the top that sort of made a crust. Must get that recipe from her! So I had a crustless quiche in mind but when I made this, I thought it was really more like a pan-less frittata.

Technically, I believe a quiche is supposed to be made with a savory custard. While this is very good, and we snarfed it up, I don't think simply adding milk to the eggs before baking constitutes a custard. On the other hand, there are baked custards. Anyone have opinions?

In my Domestic Diva Mysteries, people often write letters like this to Sophie.

Dear Sophie,

My evil mother-in-law never gives me more than an hour advance notice when she's coming over. It puts me in a tizzy because I never know whether to clean or to make something to serve her. We won't even mention getting dressed. I've entertained her in my bathrobe more than once. I have begged her to please let me know when she's coming so that I can prepare something nice. I think she takes delight in her surprise inspections.

~Tired Daughter-in-Law in a Bathrobe That Needs Washing
Dear Tired Daughter-in-Law,

Tell hubby to clean (after all, it's his mom), make a crustless quiche, and you'll still have time to ditch the dirty bathrobe. The wonderful aroma will bowl her over when she walks in the door. It can be made from items in the fridge and takes almost no time to put together.


Sophie's Tip: Use your vegetable peeler to slice cheese quickly!

This is just the kind of recipe Sophie is talking about. It's yummy for a quick brunch, lunch, or dinner, even if you don't have an evil mother-in-law!

Crustless Quiche/Pan-less Frittata

one deep dish pie pan

butter for greasing pan
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped ham (or bacon!)
1/3 cup thinly sliced cheese (I used Asiago)

5-6 eggs (use 5 if they're large or extra large)
1 teaspoon pink sea salt
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon sage
2/3 cup milk and heavy cream combined (I just used a splash of cream)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease the pan with butter. Combine the zucchini, ham, and cheese in a bowl and mix. Spread in the bottom of the pie pan.

Whisk the eggs with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sage. Add the milk/cream and whisk to combine. Pour gently over the contents of the pie pan so you don't dislodge anything. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake 45 minutes.

Mix ham, zucchini, and cheese,
Spread in greased pan.

Pour egg/milk mixture over everything.

SprinkleParmesan cheese on top.

In bookstores now!