Sunday, February 27, 2011

Real Men Do Eat Frittata

Yesterday our friends Pat and Larry hosted breakfast for 14 people, including us.  They put on a great-tasting spread, including apple-cinnamon French toast with melted honey butter, homemade rolls, pastries stuffed with almond paste, and an awesome sausage and egg casserole, plus bloody Marys, mimosas, and coffee.  We stuffed ourselves but ate hardly anything for the rest of the day to make up for it.

We haven't had a brunch party ourselves for a while, but when we do I usually serve these.  They are my adaptation of a breakfast casserole recipe I originally saw in the late Gourmet magazine.  ( says it came from Bon Appetit in 2000, but since I subscribed to Gourmet then and never read Bon Appetit I believe this is an error.)  I use different cheese and less jalapeno liquid because I thought the white cheddar in the original version was overwhelmed by the pepper flavor; sun-dried tomatoes that have not been packed in oil to keep the fat content down; and muffin pans rather than a rectangular baking dish because small individual frittatas are easier to serve and eat than messy slices of a large eggy hot dish.  I've also cut one egg so the recipe fits nicely into 24 regular-sized muffin cups with no leftovers.

Jalapeno and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittatas

Canola oil spray
1 pound extra-sharp cheese, grated (about 4 cups) - I like horseradish cheddar, jalapeno jack, or aged asiago
1 cup chopped drained pickled jalapeño chilies from jar, and 3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid (set aside)
3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, preferably not oil-packed
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil (if I can't get fresh I use frozen basil cubes from Trader Joe's)
17 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray two 12-cup muffin pans with canola oil.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over the bottoms of the muffin pans.  Sprinkle chilies, sun-dried tomatoes and basil evenly over the cheese. Using an electric mixer or stick blender, beat the eggs in large bowl until they are pale and slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.  Beat in the reserved jalapeño liquid.  Divide the egg mixture among the muffin pans.  (A gravy ladle works well for this.)

Bake frittatas until firm, about 10-15 minutes.   Cool slightly.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  Makes 24 individual frittatas.  Good with turkey bacon on the side!

These freeze well so sometimes I will make the full recipe just for us and freeze them in small batches.  Microwave when you are ready to eat.

"Omit and substitute! That's how recipes should be written. Please don't ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute." ~Jeff Smith

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