I think I’ve written about eggs a few times over the years and it’s because I love eggs. Eggs are seriously my favorite food…Whether it be at the grocery store, at the deli or at a restaurant, eggs are ALWAYS on my radar. If I were to have my own restaurant or a cookbook, the subject would be all eggs, all the time. I think in past blogs, I’ve talked about breakfast sandwiches and deviled eggs, but now I am going to talk about one of my favorite ways to enjoy eggs – breakfast for dinner!
A guarantee in my house is that there is always a carton of eggs in the fridge. Eggs are essential for baking, breakfast, appetizers and any other occasion you could imagine. For me, I try and incorporate eggs into many meals, including lunches and dinners. Nothing beats an egg salad sandwich dipped in some homemade chicken soup. Deviled eggs can be whipped up in a hurry if company comes over and if you want to reheat some noodle leftovers, tossing in an egg or two adds some extra protein and some great texture. In fact, last night I reheated a chicken and peanut noodle dish in a frying pan and tossed in 2 eggs. They gave texture, dimension and body to the leftovers and when garnished correctly, my dinner didn’t look like leftovers at all.
Last weekend, we were having an early dinner and I was waffling on what to make and realized I actually had 2 dozen eggs in the fridge. I reminded myself that eggs aren’t just for breakfast and thought I’d see what else I had that needed using up and decided to make a frittata. A frittata is a beautiful egg dish that some people call a crustless quiche, cooked in a way that all of the ingredients are mixed together and well distributed. I prefer to start my frittatas on the stove and finish them in the oven. For this dish, I looked in the fridge and freezer to see what I had in stock and put it all together and hoped for the best! The end result was an absolutely delicious frittata served alongside a simple green salad. The thing about frittatas is that you can use whatever you have – any type of meat, vegetable and cheese depending on your dietary preferences – and the results will always be amazing.
With my frittata, I wanted to incorporate sausage meat. My local specialty food store sells small packages of sausage meat, not in casings, that I keep in the freezer for meals like this. I fried the sausage meat up alongside chopped leeks, shallots and garlic in an oven-safe frying pan. As it was cooking, I assembled the egg component of the dish. In a bowl, I cracked 6 eggs and added dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, red chili flakes, paprika, salt, pepper and a bit of milk. I added this to the cooked meat and vegetable mixture on the hot element and as the egg was starting to set on the bottom, I removed it from the heat and put the pan on the middle rack of the oven, but with the broiler on. I do this, because I find it stops the bottom of the frittata from getting overdone.
As the frittata was setting in the oven, I assembled the topping for the frittata which was composed of grated gruyere, parmesan, panko, salt and pepper and melted butter. I mixed together the topping and set it aside while I chopped up a large ripe tomato.
The frittata appeared set after about 12 minutes, so I removed it from the oven and sprinkled the chopped tomatoes on top (so they would not be overcooked) and topped the dish with the cheese and panko topping. I moved the oven rack up and gave the dish a final broil for a couple of minutes.
As you can see in the picture, I was thrilled with the result. I let it rest, cut it into slices and served it with the green salad. The great thing about these egg dishes is that you can use whatever flavours you find in your kitchen and make these dishes suit whatever mood you’re in, regardless of the time of day. Best of all, you get a well balanced meal, that is full of protein and deliciousness that beats takeout any day.
fried sausage meat
fresh herbs (sage, parsley)
salt and pepper
red chili flakes
salt and pepper
fresh, chopped tomatoes
Written By, AHWD Cooking Expert – Dan Saunders