Phew, friends, we are getting down the wire here. Not the NaBloPoMo thing; so far so good and (knock on wood) the last third of the month should go smoothly. I mean Thanksgiving preparation is in full swing. And that means cleaning out the fridge time. When it comes to cleaning out the fridge, there is no better recipe than a frittata. You can quote me on that.
It doesn’t matter what savory things you have to use up in your fridge – leftovers, wilting vegetables, cheese, hot sauce, whatever – any of it can go into a frittata. I’m not going to suggest you use the sweet stuff as well, although you could make it into an eggy French toast, but pretty much anything else that you need to use up is fair game.
Today I had some leftover chicken and a bunch of vegetables that were either getting in the way or going a little bad. Also some cheese that my roommate left in the fridge when she went out of town that would not survive until she got back. But altogether it made a pretty excellent dinner plus leftovers for lunch PLUS now my fridge is cleared out enough for a turkey and lots of ingredients to make side dishes and desserts starting tonight.
This isn’t just a pre-Thanksgiving meal. Going out of town and need to empty the fridge? Frittata. Have some sad looking vegetables that are too wilty to eat raw? Frittata. People coming over last minute and only random ingredients in the fridge? Frittata. Don’t know what to eat but unwilling to go out? Frittata. Even if I don’t have the eggs on hand, it’s worth buying them and just using them up to get rid of everything else.
But, here’s a pro tip: when you make this don’t be like me and forget to set a timer when you put the frittata under the broiler to firm up and brown on top. Because if you do then you will only have a 50/50 chance of remembering in time to pull out your slightly-more-browned-than-you-wanted frittata. And this is just too good to waste.
Makes enough for 4 or for dinner and lunch (or breakfast) the next day for 2.
Up to 1 cup grated cheese
Up to 3 spices
2 tsp oil
2 cups filling (any meat, vegetable – including frozen – , or leftover dishes you have on hand)
½ tsp kosher salt per egg plus extra to flavor raw ingredients
Cut up filling ingredients into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl whisk eggs, cheese (if using), spices (if using), and salt. Set the bowl aside.
Heat a large oven-safe pan* over medium heat with the oil and add the ingredients to stir fry. Foods that need to cook through should go in first. Pre-cooked leftovers should go in last.
Once the ingredients are done to your liking, turn the heat down to medium-low. Give the eggs a final whisk and then pour them into the pan. Quickly stir the pan to distribute the eggs and filling. Once it is well distributed give the pan a quick shake to settle the ingredients and then set a timer for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes check the pan to see if the bottom has set up. You’ll know it’s ready when there is about a quarter to a half-inch of cooked eggs around the sides of the pan and the middle only jiggles a little when you shake the pan. Check it every five minutes until it’s ready, then turn on your broiler.
Broil the frittata for 3-5 minutes at a time until the top is lightly browned and the frittata no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve in large slices either hot, room temperature, or cold from the fridge as leftovers. To round out the meal add a vegetable dish or a salad. Or just eat more frittata.
* An oven-safe pan is crucial here since you need to be able to transition from stove-top cooking to broiling without switching pans. Nonstick pans are not oven safe but stainless steel usually is and cast iron always is.