Broccoli, feta, lime frittata

December 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm (Alma's faves, breakfast, B_, Cook's Illustrated, Necessarily nonvegan, Uncategorized) ()


The frittata is called the lazy cook’s omelet. Sounds perfect, no? I like omelets but I’m definitely lazy. I’ve tried various frittata recipes before, but neither Derek nor I ever like them. They’re always a bit too dry and rubbery. Or over-browned. Or just meh. But I’ve always thought that maybe my technique was just wrong. So I decided to give it another go, when Cook’s Illustrated came out with a new frittata series this year. And I thought it came out pretty well! Definitely better than my previous attempts.

And Alma really likes it (at least as of September 2017). I’ve since made it several times and she always really enjoys it. The magic of feta cheese perhaps?

Their recipe is pretty similar to previous recipes I’ve tried, with three exceptions:

  1. To avoid a rubbery texture, they suggest adding 1/4 cup of liquid per 9 eggs. Any liquid will tenderize the frittata, but they suggest milk for the best flavor. (They say that adding salt also helps the eggs stay tender, but I think all frittata recipes call for salt.)
  2. They recommend stirring but not covering the eggs during the stovetop cooking phase. It’s crucial to stir the eggs as they begin to set on the stovetop. Otherwise the bottom gets too brown before the top is set.
  3. Finally, they suggest adding a touch of acid (lemon juice or vinegar) for flavor.

The original recipe calls for 12 large eggs and a 12-inch skillet and is supposed to serve 4 to 6. I don’t have a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and I was worried about it sticking in my stainless steel skillet, so I just used a smaller skillet. (I think it’s about 10 inches?) Even though the frittata ends up a bit thicker, the recipe seems to work out just fine. The stovetop cooking time may need to be lengthened a touch.and cleaning the sides of the stainless skillet is difficult. Make sure to get the oil up on the sides of pans as well as the bottom when you are heating it.

I’ve also made it in my 12-inch stainless steel skillet. It still works, but cleaning the sides of the stainless skillet is a pain. Make sure to get the oil up on the sides of pans as well as the bottom when you are heating it.

The Cook’s Illustrated recipe calls for lemon, but I pulled out a lime last time we made it and everyone liked it better than the lemon version. I also used a full half tablespoon of lime juice, whereas CI calls for only 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon juice. Below is my (slightly modified) version of their recipe.

Ingredients for 12-egg broccoli, feta, lime frittata:

  • 12 large eggs (note this assumes American egg sizes, so use German medium eggs, or 11 large German eggs)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp. fine salt, divided
  • Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 to 14 ounces broccoli florets, cut into ½-inch pieces (a little over 4 cups?) [This can easily be increased to 16 ounces, maybe more. See note below]
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon grated zest from one lime, plus 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice (lemon works as well)
  • ounces feta cheese, crumbled into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

Instructions:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in bowl until well combined. Crumble in the feta cheese.

2. Heat oil in 10- to 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli is crisp-tender and spotty brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add water and lime zest and juice; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until broccoli is just tender and no water remains in skillet, about 1 minute longer.

3. Add feta and egg mixture and cook, using heat-proof spatula to stir and scrape bottom of skillet until large curds form and spatula leaves trail through eggs but eggs are still very wet, about 30 seconds. (You’ll maybe need a bit longer if you’re using the smaller skillet.) Smooth curds into even layer and cook, without stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until frittata is slightly puffy and surface bounces back when lightly pressed, 6 to 9 minutes. It should look slightly underdone. Using heat-proof spatula, loosen frittata from skillet and transfer to cutting board. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

This makes enough frittata for Derek and Alma and me for breakfast, and for a component of one dinner (along with a salad and/or starch for example). Sometimes I don’t want to use up so many eggs, so I make a frittata with 9 (large German) eggs. We still end up with leftovers, but not as much. Below is the smaller version (about 3/4 of the original version), plus a few modifications (noted below).

Although the original recipe only calls for 12-14 ounces of broccoli florets, I think if you are using a 12-inch skillet it could easily be increased to 16 to 18 ounces of broccoli stems and florets, which would be about 2 small or 1.25 large heads. I’ve successfully made the reduced version below (with only 9 eggs) with one large head of broccoli, which weighed 500 grams, and after trimming totaled almost 16 ounces of broccoli florets and stems. If you are using a 9-inch skillet then I’m guessing you can fit max 12 to 14 ounces of broccoli?

Ingredients for 9-egg frittata:

  • large eggs (note: in Germany 9 medium eggs or 8 large eggs)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt
  • teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 to 10.5 ounces broccoli florets, cut into ½-inch pieces (3 cups) [This can easily be increased to at least 12 ounces, maybe more. See note above.]
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 teaspoon juice
  • ounces feta cheese, crumbled into ½-inch pieces (3/4 cup)

Instructions:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl until well combined.

2. Heat oil in 10-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli is crisp-tender and spotty brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add water and lemon zest and juice; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until broccoli is just tender and no water remains in skillet, about 1 minute longer.

3. Add feta and egg mixture and cook, using rubber spatula to stir and scrape bottom of skillet until large curds form and spatula leaves trail through eggs but eggs are still very wet, about 30 seconds. Smooth curds into even layer and cook, without stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until frittata is slightly puffy and surface bounces back when lightly pressed, 6 to 9 minutes. Using rubber spatula, loosen frittata from skillet and transfer to cutting board. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

My notes:

Alma ate quite a bit of the frittata this morning. I’m not sure if it’s because she helped me make it or because she was enjoying practicing cutting with a real knife, or if it’s because she thought it was super tasty.

 

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