Monday, June 14, 2010

A Freshly Laid Frittata

A Farewell to Spring Skillet Frittata (serves 4)

  • 4 TB Butter
  • 1 tub Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
  • 1 bunch Watercress (leaves separated)
  • 1 bunch Garlic Chives (diced)
  • 1 cup Fiddlehead Ferns (cleaned)
  • 1 Lemon (juice & zest)
  • 1 cup Morel Mushrooms (cleaned & chopped)
  • 1 shot Marsala Wine
  • 12 large Eggs
  • 6 TB Heavy Cream
  • 1 tub Mascarpone Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

A frittata, not unlike a quiche, is a vehicle for dumping any seasonal veg you’ve got in the house. This time around I was spring-centric with my harvest produce and crabmeat, but you should feel free to use whatever proteins, produce and cheese you’ve got in the fridge. Of course, everything tastes better with bacon!

On the stovetop, sauté each produce component separately. In this recipe, the only components that require cooking are the mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns. Melt 2 TB of butter in a large frying pan that can go in the oven (I use cast iron, nonstick also works well, but be sure to avoid plastic!) and season it with salt and pepper. Add the fiddleheads along with the lemon zest and juice, and sauté until tender (about 8 minutes). Set the fiddleheads aside and in the same pan repeat this process with the remaining 2 TB of butter and morel mushrooms. Instead of adding lemon to the mushrooms, I like to add one shot of marsala wine or sherry. Mushrooms should always be cooked covered for the first 5-10 minutes over medium heat (letting all their moisture collect in the pan and gently steaming the mushrooms into softness). Then remove the lid and let the liquid burn off over a higher heat. Keep your eye on these suckers so they don’t get crisp, as the liquid will burn off quickly. Set mushrooms aside.

Whisk together eggs, cream, and garlic chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the crabmeat, watercress, morels and half the fiddleheads. You want to keep the other half set aside so you can delicately place them atop the frittata (along with the cheese).

Return the same pan to heat on medium and pour the egg mixture into the skillet, tilting the pan slightly to insure even distribution. With a light touch, place the remaining fiddleheads and spoonfuls of cheese atop the pie. Cook covered until eggs have firmly set on the bottom, but the top is still loose (about 10 minutes).

Turn your broiler on high. Finish cooking uncovered under the broiler until the top of the frittata is set (up to 10 minutes more, depending on how far away your broiler is from your pan). Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.

Remove the skillet from the oven and serve directly out of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature (or under the stars with a friendly farmer)!

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