I have a premonition that my weekend will go something like this: A wonderful time on Saturday night drinking wine with my lovely friend Diana will lead me to completely forget to change my clocks. I will wake up in a frenzy on Sunday morning, realizing that I’m an hour behind and that hungry brunch-wanting friends will be arriving at my door any minute. If ever there was a perfect time to skip the fussy Quiche crust and go straight for the good stuff…. this would be it (and by the good stuff I mean eggs and cheese and leeks, of course).
In my mind, frittatas fit right into spring. I’m not quite sure why, except, perhaps that my step-dad never seemed to make his famous frittatas in the winter. Winter was for Chuck’s ricotta pancakes. You can put just about anything into a frittata, but Chuck’s favorite has always been lobster. And for us, lobster is a summer affair, eaten outside on my parent’s deck. Chuck would save every scrap of leftover lobster meat (yes, I know, leftover lobster – a sin!) and fry it up in the morning with a few green onions, pour in the beaten eggs, layer with slices of herbed Havarti cheese. After a few minutes in the oven the cheese would brown, and the day-after lobster smell would dissipate into the warm scent of onions and fat and dill.
Although spring is still a few weeks off, I’m already yearning for sunshine and fresh green beans and short sleeves and Chuck’s frittatas. Which is why I decided to feature frittatas for this month’s Cozy, Delicious column in the Dedham Transcript. The leek and blue cheese frittata with balsamic vinegar that I wrote about in the column (recipe is here) is a standby entertaining recipe for me, but is easily adaptable. Substitute artichoke hearts for the leeks, or swap out the blue cheese for some Gruyère. Stir in a bit of tomato paste instead of balsamic vinegar, or even try a couple of minced anchovies in the mix. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, go for a sweet pear frittata. Just saute some pear slices in butter, arrange neatly in the skillet, sprinkle with sugar, pour in a few beaten eggs, and bake as usual. Top your pear frittata with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds and prepare to wow your taste buds.
Chuck is a big advocate of the cast iron skillet, and he would never make a frittata in anything else. But I have to admit that for many years I used an eight-inch oven-proof nonstick pan. However, my brother recently gave me two adorable little cast iron skillets, just the right size for a single-serving frittata. Both the recipe below and the recipe in the Dedham Transcript work for either one eight-inch skillet (cast iron or otherwise) or four individual skillets.
Chuck’s Lobster Frittata
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound cooked lobster meat, cut in small chunks
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
salt and cracked black pepper
4 ounces Havarti cheese with dill, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In an 8-inch cast iron skillet (or miniature skillets) saute the scallions in butter over medium heat. Add the lobster meat, spreading it evenly in the pan. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and do not stir. Cook until the edges begin to set, about 5 minutes. Arrange the cheese over the top of the still-runny egg mixture. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted. Run a knife around the edge of the frittata to loosen, and serve hot.