I could put it into a shinier light... I could say I'm a virtuoso; I like to cook with what's on hand; I don't like to waste; I like simple, efficient flavors; but really, I just don't like spending too much money on esoteric ingredients, and it just makes sense to me to fudge a little here and there instead of not making something at all.
When I tried to explain my mentality to my mom she sighed and said, "oh no... you get that from your Ah-mah*. As kids we'd eat all kinds of crazy stuff because she didn't have the right ingredients on hand. Sometimes it worked, but a lot of times, certain things go together for a reason."
Yeah. I guess this is why I'm a bad baker. In a discipline that requires, well, discipline, I end up with a lot of dense hard bread (still good in the toaster!) and sticky muffins. It's really ridiculous how much difference a seemingly simple substitution can make.
But thankfully, as my good friend (and former caterer) DJ Achaya says, it's really really hard to F*$% up eggs. So so true. So, feeling lazy yesterday, Lucy and I figured frittata was a safe bet.
Frittata is a form of still or baked custard, or so I learned, categorized as such because it's baked and it contains eggs. (duh?) What I love about it is that it's fast, easy, you can make it with nearly anything inside, and it's really really hard to mess up.
When we took it out from under the broiler, it was sizzling and beautifully browned and smelled oh-so-good. We didn't have an oven mitt, so we had to use the kitchen towel, which of course we didn't get folded over quite right in my haste to get it out... so when Lucy said "ooh, hot!" I immediately responded with the obvious...
Lucy and Jess's flexible baked Fri-HOT-a
(our flexible choices in italics)
1/2 lb leafy greens of your choice (1/2 chard 1/2 spinach)
3/4 cup milk or cream (organic 1%)
3/4 cup cheese (organic raw sharp cheddar)
1/2 medium white onion, diced finely (stuttgarter)
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
yummy herbs (2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 4 sprigs fresh thyme)
salt & pepper to taste
optional... goat cheese, feta, parmesean or something else yummy to sprinkle on top
Preheat your oven to 350.
Chop or tear your chard & spinach into bit sized pieces. The actual size is kind of up to you and your mouth.
Beat your eggs and milk in a bowl that's big enough for them. No need to go crazy. Just make sure they're mixed. Add in your yummy herbs (don't forget to get rid of stems or anything else you wouldn't want to bite into) and your cheese.
Add some olive oil to a frying pan that's big enough for your veggies. When it's hot, saute your onions and garlic until fragrant and the onions are translucent (4 or 5 minutes). If you're using two kinds of greens like chard and spinach, add in the "hardier" ones first (e.g. the chard) so they have a little more time to cook. Cook the greens till they're all evenly wilted (they should reduce in volume by 3x or more).
Pour those yummy greens in a buttered 9x11 pyrex dish or baking pan. Pour your eggy mix on top and stir so the greens are evenly distributed. Dollop on your goat cheese or other delicious cheesy topping.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 on a middle rack, or until you can see the sides of your frittata are browning. Then move to a top rack and turn on the broiler (or, if you have one of those bottom broilers, I guess you need to turn that on). Keep it in another 2-3 minutes, checking often because it's easy to burn it quick!
Remove from the oven, and cut into generous squares.
*Ah-mah = grandma in Singaporean speak