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Smoky Link Frittata

April 3, 2012
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You know how you open up one of those mail order catalogs full of kitchen gadgets and you just drool over the stuff inside the catalogs?  And then you think to yourself that if you could just win the lotto one day, you’d buy everything in the catalog that you want?  Well, that’s my husband with the Williams Sonoma catalog.  He’d get these catalogs at work, bring them home, and he’d tell me the things from the catalog he wanted.  Oh, believe me, there were items I coveted in the catalog as well.  What is there not to like about Williams Sonoma gadgets?  Well, except for the price.  For at least 6 months, my husband kept telling me that he wanted the frittata pan set that Williams Sonoma was selling.  Every month the catalog would come, and every month he’d point it out to me.  Of course, I wanted it too.  I’ve seen Rachel Ray and Giada de Laurentiis make frittata’s on tv for years and I wanted to make them too because they looked so easy and so yummy.  But I never gave in to the urge of buying the pan set because of its price.  However, when Christmas came along and I got some Williams Sonoma gift cards, I figured that would be the perfect time to invest in this really slick, super nice pan set.  It’s basically 2 nonstick pans with interlocking handles that clamp together so that you can easily cook, then flip the frittata, thereby eliminating the need to finish it off in the oven and the need to use a plate to flip, which could get messy.

Wait, let’s back up.  For those that have never heard of a frittata before, it has been described as “Italy’s version of an open-face omelette.”  The Italian word frittta comes from fritto which means “to fry”.  At one point in time, frittata was more of a generalized term to describe cooking eggs in a skillet, whether it be the form of fried eggs or an omelette.  However, in the past 50 years, frittata has become more synonymous for being an Italian-style open face omlette that has some particular distinctions from a traditional omelette.  First off, in a frittata,  there is always at least one additional ingredient that is combined with the raw egg mixture instead of being laid on top of a mostly-cooked egg mixture and folded over the way a traditional omelette would be cooked.  A frittata isn’t folded over to enclose its contents the way an omelette would be, instead it is generally flipped over in whole and cooked fully on both sides.  Lastly, frittatas can either be served hot or cold and are usually sliced like a pie and served alongside bread or salad rather than an omelette which is generally served in whole to a single diner.

The great thing about frittatas is that they can be made with any ingredient that you have around your kitchen.  If you have leftovers you want to get rid of to make a simple, but hearty meal, a frittata is the way to go.  For our first foray into the frittata world, my husband and I chose to make a smoky link and green onion frittata.  We had a frozen package of smoky links we could easily work with and with had some green onions we thought it would make for a simple and delicious frittata.  The ingredients couldn’t be simpler: smoky links, green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Start by preparing all of ingredients in advance.  If you have everything ready to go, the actual cooking of the frittata should only take 15-18 minutes.  I started by chopping up a bunch of green onions.  I thinly sliced about half of my green onions which I designated for the egg mixture.  The other half of the green onions I was using, I rough chopped into larger slices as I designated those for sauteeing with the smoky links.

The beauty of using smoky links was that the smoky links are already fully cooked in the package.  All you really need to do with them is heat them up and they are ready to be eaten.  Since we didn’t want whole cocktail links in the frittata, we decided to chop the smoky links into little bite-sized pieces.

The last thing to prepare is the egg mixture.  As this is an egg based dish, it’s going to require a lot of eggs.  Into a mixing bowl crack open a bunch of eggs.  You’ll need the whites and the yolks.  To the egg, we added salt and pepper for seasoning as well as the thinly sliced green onions.  The salt and pepper added to the egg is the only seasoning this dish will get, so make sure to add sufficient quantities, but also remember that the smoky links are pretty salty on their own, so don’t overdo it.  Beat the egg mixture up.  The more you beat it, the more air you will add into the eggs making your frittata lighter and fluffier.

The final preparation step is to add shredded cheddar cheese to the egg mixture.  Add the cheese right into the beaten eggs and make sure that the cheese is fully incorporated.  We chose cheddar because it’s my favorite cheese, but you can certainly choose whatever type of cheese you like.

It’s time to cook now.  The frittata pan set we bought has 2 different sized, nonstick, oven safe pans; one has a deep bottom and the other one is more shallow.  In the deep bottomed pan, heat a little olive oil on the stove on medium heat.  Throw the smoky links and the remaining green onions into the pan to heat up and brown.  The green onions will quick wilt.

When the smoky links have cooked and gotten a bit crispy, then you’re ready for the egg mixture.  Spread the smoky links and green onions evenly along the bottom of the pan and pour your egg mixture right on top of the smoky links.  Use a rubber spatula to lift the cooked edges of the egg and allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath and cook.

Cook the eggs for another 4 to 6 minutes until they begin to set, especially in the center.  Meanwhile, take some olive oil and heat the other half of the frittata pan set, the shallow pan, over medium heat on a separate burner.

When the eggs have set, run a rubber spatula along the outside edge of the frittata to ensure that they will slide out fo the pan easily.  Take the shallow pan and turn it upside down over the deep bottomed pan that the eggs are cooking in.  Use the interlocking handles to make sure that the 2 pans are locked together.  In one quick motion, turn the pans 360 degrees so that the top shallow pan is now on the bottom.  The eggs should have fallen easily from the deep bottomed pan which is now on top to the shallow pan which is on the bottom.

Keep cooking the frittata with the top pan still clamped on to act as a lid for another 4 to 6 minutes.  When the frittata has finished cooking, you can lift the top lid off and take a look at your frittata masterpiece.  It should be golden and eggy and fluffy and smell divine.

This should easily slide out of the pan and onto a plate.  You’ll want to cut it up into pieces, much like you would a pizza or a pie.  I used a pizza cutter to cut right through it.  When you look at the frittata you can see the fluffy egg, the layer of melted cheese, the specks of green onion and the chopped up smoky links.

The frittata makes a delicious and hearty meal if you take a slice or two and serve it alongside a small arugula salad.  And the great thing about frittata’s is that only your imagination and what your stomach can handle can limit what you put in your frittata.  You can use any sort of greens you like; Swiss chard, spinach, leeks, etc.  You can also use any sort of protein you can find; leftover rotisserie chicken, turkey, ground meat, bacon, etc.  And finally, you can also use any kind of optional ingredient you choose; potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, whatever you want.  And don’t forget the cheese; brie, cheddar, pecorino, asiago.  Throw it all in there and see what kinds of delicious combinations you can come up with.  You can bet my husband and I are happy campers with our new frittata pans.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2012 1:32 pm

    This looks very yummy, Alisa. A bit similar to making the Spanish tortilla except that you use cheese rather than the potatoes to add to the omelet. I should try this. 😉

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