Sunday, February 26, 2012
My Favorite Omelette Turned Frittata
So, my favorite omelette isn't something I tasted in a restaurant or at a friend's house. It isn't something I found on the internet. It is something I made up by mixing some of my favorite things. Swiss chard. I first had swiss chard at my friend Erin's apartment. I met Erin when I was 15 and a wardrobe intern at the Hip Pocket Theatre in Lake Worth. If you are in the area in the summer months, you should definitely see a show there. It is a magical place. When I moved to Boston to attend college, I would spend long weekends and Spring Breaks at Erin's apartment in Brooklyn. Erin and my mother are the two people who have most influenced my cooking, mostly because they let me cook with them. Erin introduced me to the kinds of green leafy vegetables that are best sauteed with onions and whatever savory spices you love. Swiss chard was the first one. I love it because it is tasty and has pretty colors. It was also exotic to me because I grew up eating Laotian food. The next part: lox. My ex-boyfriend/practice fiance was a New York Jew. That means he loved lox. I ate lox growing up, but I never thought you could buy it and have it at your house. Because we were students, we experimented with buying lox chips. Lox chips are the end bits that aren't quite large enough to make slices that are nice for putting on bagels. They are cheaper because they aren't quite large enough to make slices that are nice for putting on bagels. The problem with lox chips is that they are greasier than the normal lox you buy. I think it might be the increased surface area to volume ratio. These are the kinds of thoughts that sometimes keep me up at night. Anyways, they are too greasy for bagels, but they are great in eggs. Gouda. It is my favorite cheese. I didn't really try new cheeses until college because I grew up eating Laotian food. Laotians don't eat cheese. We eat delicious grilled meats, sticky rice, and lots of cucumber, carrots, and lettuce. We also eat more fish sauce than is socially acceptable. None of those things are cheese. So, back to my favorite omelette. These three items are things that I like to have in my refrigerator. It doesn't happen as often as it used to, but it's nice when it does. For the omelette, I would beat one egg, put it in my omelette pan, and then sprinkle the three previously mentioned items on top when it was almost ready to be closed. It is a very fast omelette, and it does not contain the obscene amount of eggs that diners expect you to eat in an omelette. Making an omelette for yourself before work or school feels very fancy, and it's totally doable if you're someone who likes to eat breakfast on weekdays. The frittata version happened because I invited people over for brunch. Omelettes are an awful food to make if you have guests. Frittata is the fancy European version. I've never been a huge frittata fan. I think because many places use too many eggs and not enough delicious fillings. I liked this frittata. I liked it so much I made it again. Fun fact: all of the ingredients for this come in packages that contain enough stuff to make two frittatas.
Swiss Chard, Lox, and Gouda Frittata
Serves 6-10, depending on your gluttony and availability of other side items
1 bunch Swiss Chard
1 medium onion
salt and pepper to taste
a heavy dash of heavy cream
6 oz smoked lox, chopped into small bits
4 oz smoked gouda, grated
1. Wash and chop the chard. You should try and keep the stems separate, but you don't have to go all out and remove the leaves from the stems before chopping them. Little bits of stem that get thrown in when the leaves get thrown in are fine because this will cook longer in the frittata anyways.
2. Dice the onion. Fine dicing is not my forte, so I wouldn't worry about getting a professionally miniscule dice.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until they become translucent. Throw in the chopped chard stems and saute until they begin to soften a little bit. Throw in the chard leaves and saute until they lose volume. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter an 8" round pie pan. I like pyrex, mostly because I fear nonstick. Beat six eggs with a heavy dash of cream. Pour into pie pan. Fun fact: if you have the chard already prepared, you could probably do the rest of this while drunk. Then you will have less inhibition and will add a heavier dash of cream. You will also feel super awesome for having made fancy food while drunk.
5. Add half of the sauteed chard and the lox bits. Mix them around in the eggs so they get distributed evenly. Sprinkle the top with the grated gouda. Don't mix the gouda in. It tastes better on top.
6. Bake for about half an hour. I test for doneness the way I test bread: by tapping it. Doctors love tapping and listening to things. I just poke it to see if it feels solid. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve.
Again, I loved this so much I used the rest of my sauteed swiss chard to make it again two days later. The lox was in a 12 oz container, and the gouda in an 8 oz block. Eggs come in a dozen. Exactly the right packaging for 2 frittatas.