Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ham and Cheese Frittata

Ham and Cheese Frittata

My kids love it when I make a frittata, whether it's for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  A simple, earthy egg dish similar to an omelette or quiche, the Italian frittata is usually started in a pan on the stove and is finished by baking in the oven.  You can add any kind of meat, cheese or vegetable to the dish to create hundreds of combinations to suit your taste.  I like the "fancy" combinations like spinach and feta or smoked salmon and goat cheese, but my kids love the simpler and more traditional "ham and cheese."  All of these combinations are wonderful, and the dish looks beautiful sliced in wedges like a pie and served with fresh fruit.  Frittatas are easy to make, taste delicious and look beautiful when served.  They make a nice addition to a brunch or an easy Friday night dinner.  

This is a dish the kids can help create.  Kids love to help by cracking all those eggs (just watch for shells)!  The following recipe, as with most frittata recipes serves 4-6 depending on the size of your wedges.  Two adults might be able to eat one half but if I add buttermilk biscuits and fruit, my family has a hard time finishing the dish.  Who cares!  I'll just warm up that last slice for breakfast when nobody is looking!

Ham and Cheese Frittata

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup diced ham
1 tbs chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or dill (optinal)
1 cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese

Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium bowl with the salt and some pepper until smooth.  Melt the butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Stir the ham, herbs and cheese into the eggs.

Heat the non-stick skillet. Add the butter and let it melt.  Pour the frittata mixture into the pan and stir to make sure the fillings are evenly arranged. Cook, stirring gently a couple times in the first minutes of cooking. Then let the mixture cook undisturbed until the bottom sets, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the eggs are just set and brown, about 5 minutes. Take care not to overcook or the eggs will be dry. Remove from the oven, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.  You can turn the frittata upside down onto a large platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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