Friday, December 4, 2015

Breakfast for Dinner

I have to admit that for the longest time I despised eggs. The smell of them cooking gagged me and then that whole runny yolk thing, nauseating. When people asked me how I liked my eggs I would reply, "Baked into cookies". However, in the past five years I have learned to like them quite a lot, sans the runny yolk. I don't think I will ever get over that. I started eating them in omelets that were loaded with sausage and vegetables and cheese. When eaten this way the egg pretty much got lost among the fillings. Then I progressed to sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, eggs over hard, please. Now, I will eat scrambled eggs so long as I have some hot sauce at a minimum but hot sauce and cheese is my preference. A few weeks ago I was watching Lidia Bastianich, on of my favorite TV chefs, on public television (because food network is a freaking joke!). I love the public television cooking shows, Jacques Pepin, Lidia, the occasional Julia, Pati Jinich (where everything is super yummy, lol), Cooks Country, ALL so good. Anyway, on this particular episode Lidia was making a ricotta fritatta and it looked so delicious. Then yesterday as I was pulling out some chicken to defrost for dinner (even though I wasn't really in the mood for chicken) and I looked in my refrigerator and realized I had everything I needed to make that fritatta. That chicken was back in the freezer in the blink of an eye and I left for work knowing the first thing on the agenda was to get the recipe so I could make it for dinner. I have to say that preparing this was very quick and easy and our dinner was light yet filling. Husband was a little reluctant at first as he thought the ricotta was a bit strange with eggs but once he got into it he commented on how light and delicious it was. On the show Lidia recommended serving this with a salad for lunch or dinner but we just ate it straight up. I think adding a tad of crushed red pepper would have kicked it up a notch but then my husband would have complained that it was too spicy. He is a big sissy when it comes to spicy. But for those of you who like spice like I do, go ahead and add some. It would add a nice kick to the dish!

Lidia Basitanich's Ricotta Fritatta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 ripe large tomato, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 large basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 6 tablespoons fresh ricotta, drained

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Push onion slices to one side of the skillet, and lay the tomato slices in one layer in the cleared space. Sear the tomato, turning once until the slices soften just at the edges, about 30 seconds per side. Remove tomatoes to a plate, let onions continue to cook while you prepare the eggs.

2. In a bowl, beat eggs with the salt. Stir in basil and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese until well mixed.

3. Spread the onion slices in an even layer in the bottom of the skillet and pour eggs on top. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook until the eggs begin to set around the edges of the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Arrange tomato slices on top of the frittata and drop tablespoons of the ricotta between the tomato slices. Sprinkle all over with the remaining grated cheese. Bake frittata until set all the way through and the top is golden, about 18 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the skillet and invert onto a plate or cutting board. Serve in wedges, warm or at room temperature.