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Loaded Baked Potato Frittata

July 1, 2013
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I’ve always been a fan of loaded baked potato soup.  It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, and it’s filling.  When my husband moved to California, we began grabbing food on-the-go from The Corner Bakery more and more often, and one of the things we absolutely loved was their Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  Unfortunately, at the time, they only served this particular soup on certain days of the week, so if we didn’t time it right, we wouldn’t end up getting the soup we wanted.  And once, we actually planned to go to The Corner Bakery on the day when they served Loaded Baked Potato soup, specifically to get our hands on a cup of the soup, only to discover, when ordering food, that they had run out of Loaded Baked Potato for the day, since we had arrived too late in the evening!  Nooooo!  How could that be?  Luckily, these days, The Corner Bakery has discovered just how coveted and popular their soups are that they make all of them every day, so therefore we don’t have to worry about showing up on a day when our favorite soup wasn’t being served.

So, you can only imagine how I felt when I came across a recipe from the popular food website Two Peas & Their Pod, called Loaded Baked Potato Frittata!  Are you kidding me?  It’s a frittata and loaded baked potato all rolled into one?  It’s like having died and gone to potato heaven!  What a terrific idea for a frittata.  And ever since getting our hands on a frittata pan, my husband and I love make frittatas and have tried a bunch of different varieties, but never loaded baked potato.

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The ingredients are pretty simple: eggs, cheddar cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, potatoes, green onions and oil.  Probably all ingredients most people have lying around their kitchen to begin with.

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Let’s start with getting everything ready.  Dice up the green onions.  The amount you use will be up to what your taste buds dictate.  My husband and I both love green onions and the very subtle onion flavor they impart, but others aren’t so partial to it.  You’ll need to portion it so that you have some that you throw in with the potatoes, some that you throw in with the eggs, and reserve some for garnishing the finished product.

You’ll need to fry up about half a pound of bacon until it’s pretty crisp.  When you’re done cooking the bacon, lay the cooked strips on paper towels to soak up the excess fat.  Once the bacon becomes cool enough to handle, crumble it up by hand into tiny pieces that you’ll incorporate with your potatoes.

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The potatoes.  For our 10″ frittata pan, we only needed about 2 small potatoes.  It’s up to you what variety of potato to use.  Since we’ve had many cooking disasters with potatoes getting stuck to pans and having it ruin the recipe, we went with a thin-skinned, not-so-dense potato in the hopes that it would cook up well.  Instead of cleaning and dicing the potatoes right away to be cooked in the skillet, I actually pierced the potatoes several times through with a fork and popped them in the microwave for 1 minute.  The point of this is to help tenderize the potatoes before I cook them so that they don’t a) overcook in the skillet and start to stick or b) undercook in the skillet and not be tender on the inside.

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Once out of the microwave, I diced the potatoes into about 1/2″ cubes.  Something that is small and manageable so that it will cook quickly in the skillet, but also is bite-sized enough that you can eat it inside the frittata.  It’s up to you if you want to leave the potato skins on or if you want to peel it off.  I did it half/half, one potato was peeled, the other one had its skin on.

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When you’re ready, heat up a skillet, I used cast iron, with a little bit of olive oil.  You want to get the skillet really hot so that it will cook the potatoes all the way through.  Throw the diced potatoes into the skillet and stir so that the potatoes are coated in oil.  Then just let the pan do its job and brown the potatoes.  Stir occasionally to ensure that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  You want the potatoes so that they are brown and crispy on the outside and tender and fully cooked on the inside.  This should take about 5-10 minutes depending on how well done you want your potatoes.  When the potatoes are done, take them off the heat and add in about 1/3 of the diced green onions.  Incorporate the green onions with the potatoes.  The heat will wilt the green onions as they mix with the potatoes.

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While the potatoes are cooking, you can get the egg mixture ready.  In a large mixing bowl, crack open about 8 eggs.  Yes, this recipe uses a lot of eggs.  There’s no two ways about it.

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Season the eggs with salt and pepper.  You’ll notice that I didn’t season the potatoes at all when I cooked them.  Well that was because I seasoned the eggs instead.  I didn’t want to salt the potatoes too much and then end up with more salt in the eggs and have it be too overpowering.  You’ll have to judge what your tastes tend towards.

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To the eggs, add milk.  It only takes a couple of tablespoons of milk.  I just eyeballed it.  It’s not important that it’s exactly right on.

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Whisk the egg mixture together until nice and fluffy and all of the egg yolks have been incorporated.  Then add in half of the diced green onions right into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.419

Back to the potatoes, it’s time to add the crumbled bacon right into the skillet with the potatoes.  Use a spatula and combine the bacon, potatoes and green onions until they are all evenly distributed.

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When the stuffing of your frittata is ready, add shredded cheddar cheese right into your egg mixture.  You want enough cheese so that it melts when the frittata cooks and can add great flavor and sharpness to the eggs.  But, don’t overdo it on the cheese to the point where you have more cheese than egg mixture or else the cheese will just burn.  Whisk gently to incorporate the eggs.

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At this point, since we have a frittata pan, I heated up the frittata pan, and transferred the potato and bacon stuffing to the frittata pan.  Evenly spread the stuffing over the surface of the frittata pan, and then pour the egg and cheese mixture right over the top so that the entire surface area is covered.  At this point, the heat from the stove will do its job and start to cook the eggs.  You want the eggs to be fairly set before you move on to the next step.  However, if you don’t have a frittata pan, you can keep everything in the cast iron skillet until the eggs are set and then finish the frittata in the oven.

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When the eggs have set, cover the frittata with the top part of the frittata pan, pick up the 2 pans and flip it over, much like a waffle iron works.  Flip it 360 degrees so that the pan that was the top is now the bottom.  The frittata, which was originally in the bottom pan, should have flipped as well so that the uncooked portion you originally saw on top is now on the bottom, and the bottom part of the frittata that was cooked before you flipped the pans is now on top.

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If you lift open the top pan, you’ll see that the eggs made a clean transfer from one pan to the next.  It’s time to sprinkle on a little bit more shredded cheese to the top of the frittata so that it can melt while the rest of the frittata cooks.  Put the top pan back on top of the bottom pan, and let the frittata full cook for another 4-6 minutes.

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After 4-6 minutes, if you lift open the top of the frittata pan, you’ll see that the heat trapped inside the frittata pan has made the eggs rise a bit as they cooked, and that the cheddar cheese we sprinkled over the top of the frittata has melted nicely.  The frittatas now done.  It should easily slide right out of the frittata pan and onto your serving platter.432

Garnish the frittata with the remaining diced green onion, and then cut a slice out and serve the frittata.  The wonderful thing about frittatas is that they can be served warm or cold, which makes it convenient for storing leftovers.  A slice of the frittata goes great with a side salad.  And as you can see from the slice, I’ve cut, you can see nice chunks of the potato and crumbled bacon and you see the cheesy goodness coming out of the frittata and the green onions sprinkled on top and cooked throughout the frittata itself.  Since this is loaded baked potato frittata, you can serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top to complete the meal.  Although, my husband, who is a sour cream lover, thought that the idea of sour cream with eggs just wasn’t too appealing.

One bite into the frittata with a forkful of eggs, cheddar cheese, green onions, bacon and potato really is reminiscent of a spoonful of loaded baked potato soup!  It’s mmm, mmm good.  And with just a little bit of bacon, and some potatoes with the eggs, it provides enough protein to be filling.  This is a great breakfast, lunch or dinner item that only takes minutes to prepare, and tastes like someone else slaved away in the kitchen making it!

*Recipe heavily adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

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