Whole-atta Frittata: Chicken,Asparagus & Mushroom
It’s pretty revolting when I go back through my most recent posts and see that I’ve only written about dessert. We do eat normal food here, so I’m going to put off the post on the banana cream pie that I put together without having to go to the store for one single ingredient — unheard of for me — and post a non-dessert recipe instead. What a concept, don’t you think?
When I was in a local cooking supply store looking for 10" round cake pans, I ran across a magazine I had to have. You probably already know that Donna Hay has a magazine, right? I’m the one who’s been out to lunch on this one? Well, that certainly is a big surprise. But if you are blissfully ignorant, as was I, it’s a bi-monthly that is full of her lovely simple, healthy, and beautifully photographed recipes. It feels like a cookbook more than a magazine with its thick glossy pages. I’ve read the whole thing about seven times already, flipping back and forth through the artfully formatted text. I’m lucky, because it survived a trip to the beach when we were sitting too close to the waves and one caught us by surprise, dousing us and our towels and bags!
In Issue 32, "Sweet & Easy," there is a feature on frittatas — something I enjoy because they are easy to put together, use a variety of ingredients, and can be very casual or elegant, depending on your purpose. Although I’d like to try all of the five recipes at the same time, the "asparagus, potato and goat’s cheese" caught my eye. I’ve only had two people to cook for during the past week, so unless I was planning on getting a cart to sell them on the roadside, making all five wouldn’t exactly pan out. I did have to go to the store for the asparagus, so also went crazy gathering other veggies for recipes I want to try over the next few days. Eating veggies is the easiest way I know to counteract all the dessert I’ve had on my plate lately.
Of course, the recipe I ended up making was only based on Donna Hay’s fritatta. I think that happens when I cook non-desserts because I’m more comfortable working with the ingredients. I don’t worry about adding too much of one thing or omitting another completely. And most of what I end up putting on our dinner plates is very good. Well, I get few complaints. (I have saved a recent disaster to share soon, and have a review of a recent recipe that turned out well, but was ridiculously complicated for what I ended up with.)
To be fair, I’ll post Donna’s recipe, then mine so you can compare.
Donna’s Asparagus, Potato and Goat’s Cheese Frittata
800g (1-3/4 lb) sebago (starchy) potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
2 T olive oil
16 spears asparagus, trimmed and chopped
1 c. (8 fl. oz.) (single or pouring) cream
1/3 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and cracked black pepper
110g (3-1/2 oz.) goat’s cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (355 degrees F). Place the potatoes and oil in a 6 cup (48 fl. oz.) capacity ceramic baking dish and toss to coat. Cook for 45 minutes or until golden. Top with the asparagus. Place the eggs, cream, parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and asparagus and top with the goat’s cheese. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the egg is set and the top is golden. Serves 4.
8 oz. fingerling potatoes, sliced in half
2 T white truffle oil
8 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
5 large (2" in diameter) mushrooms, quartered
1 chicken thigh, cooked, boned, and chopped
1/2 c. 1% milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
3-1/2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/8 c. chopped parsley
kosher salt and medium cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 355 degrees (convection setting).
- While oven is preheating, prepare the asparagus, quarter the mushrooms, and chop cooked chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
- Place fingerling halves and truffle oil — lightly salted and peppered — in a round 4-5 cup size souffle dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes until potatoes are golden and edges are beginning to brown. As an alternative to save time, the fingerlings can be quickly cooked in the microwave for about five minutes.
- When potatoes are done, spread asparagus pieces, mushrooms, and chicken over the top.
- Pour egg mixture over all.
- Sprinkle or drop small dollops of goat cheese over the top and sprinkle parsley to finish.
- Place in the oven for 35 minutes or until top is browned and center is just set.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Cooking time. The amount of time for this frittata (according to Donna) wasn’t even close to being enough. I had to double the time, which was interesting with the convection setting. I don’t normally use convection for baked recipes that have a high egg content, but this frittata was packed with other ingredients, so I thought, why not? The jury is still out, but I’d also consider heating the oven to 375 degrees.
The mushrooms? I’d considered sauteeing them first before including them in the frittata. This would have taken care of the moisture in them, which could have contributed to the need for the extra cooking time. The moisture had to go somewhere, right?
Waste no, want not. I am trying valliantly to use the ingredients I have in our refrigerator so as not to waste food or money. Smart, right? So "pouring cream" or half-n-half wasn’t something I had handy (unless I wanted to deplete my husband’s tea supply which wouldn’t have been very nice). I decided to combine the very low fat content milk with the very high and call it a draw. I didn’t have whole milk, or I would have used a cup of that. I’ll have to figure out just how much milk fat was in this dish with that combo.
With meat or without. I had the chicken thigh left over from the previous night’s dinner, or wouldn’t have made the effort. Again, I simply did not want to waste it, or bother with freezing one thigh. It was a pleasant addition to the frittata, but it would have been just as good without the chicken.
And what’s up with the white truffle oil? I bought it no too long ago for a decadent mac ‘n’ cheese recipe and am trying it with other things. It has a very heady aroma and a flavor I have to try more often to begin to describe it. So far, all I can come up with is that it’s very rich tasting. Raw garlicy…I’m still trying to decide.
Hmmm…I’d rethink the high profile dish. I’m used to making frittatas in pie pans, tart pans, or even cast iron skillets. If I try this recipe again — and you may know my philosophy about food by now: So many recipies to try, so little time to try them all…I’d put it in the cast iron skillet. That would be perfect.
Leftovers. This was completely EXCELLENT the next day for lunch. The time in the refrigerator helped pull it together and look more presentable on the plate. The flavors had some time to mingle as well. I would definitely consider making this ahead, refrigerating it, then serving it either cold, or reheated the next day. A quick reheat in the microwave, and a sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes were perfect. And guess what? There’s one more piece left just fore me!