"Americans used to say where there's a will, there's a way. Nowadays, it's where there's a pill, there's a way out." - - Burnt Toast

Early Morning Culinary. . .

As yesterday's breakfast post highlighted my occasional, inherent laziness when it comes cooking, this morning's preparation follows the guideline theme of using what you have, with a little more flair and effort.

A frittata is an interesting and relatively easy way to spice up the old standard scrambled egg or for those more advanced cooks out there, the omelette.  In reality, the frittata is basically a lazy-man's omelette with all of the yummy items baked inside of it.

Whip your eggs with a little cream or milk, I usually use 4 eggs to 1/4 cup or cream or milk.  Whip this as much as possible because the more air you incorporate, the lighter the finished frittata will be.  In a saute pan of appropriate size, in this case an 8" non-stick saute pan, heat a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and saute whatever vegetables you desire until some/most of the liquid is removed from the vegetables.  This is especially important for things like mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, items that contain large quantities of water.  If this water is not removed it will impede the souffle of the eggs somewhat and when you slice the eggs open for serving, a waterfall of goo is likely to run out of the center.  I know this from experience.

So cook your vegetables appropriately.  Once you have done that, add the eggs to the pan, they should begin bubbling nicely and the bottom should start to set almost immediately.  Leave on the stove for thirty seconds or so and then put the pan in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes or so.  Check it after 10, shake the pan a little, if the center is still jiggling, leave it for a few minutes longer.  But move quickly, you do not want to lose the residual heat of the oven, this will also flatten out the souffle.

Once your frittata is done, it should be browned nicely and set firm in the center.  Remove it from the oven, turn it out to a cutting board and slice to serve immediately before the eggs fall.  Your finished product should look something like this:

This one is slightly overcooked by a few minutes, but it has a nice color and is obviously set.  Notice the pulling away from the edges of the pan, yours, if cooked properly, should be slightly less so.

The one I prepared this morning contained stewed squash and tomatoes, edamame (soybeans), corn and sharp cheddar cheese.  I served it over a lemony spinach, artichoke and yogurt dip I made yesterday, garnished with purple basil, sliced grape tomatoes and a stripe of chipotle Tabasco sauce for a little smoky heat.

Sometimes I still feel the thrill of making great food and making it look pleasing to the eye.  But then I think of the night that two plates of sauteed scallops fell out of the broiler at the Ritz-Carlton and exploded into a million pieces ruining basically every food product within a 10 foot radius.

Or the time the lamb chops caught the oven on fire during the first sitting of a New Year's Eve dinner service at the Ritz, requiring me to unload a chemical extinguisher into the oven before the overhead system went off and shut down the whole operation.

Or the time, on July 4th in Costa Rica, I sliced my middle finger to the bone trying to split a partially frozen lobster and was rushed to the "clinic" in Huacas where the young doctor's? nurse's? paramedic's? maid's? hands were shaking so badly while holding the needle of  Lidocaine she intended on jamming into my butterflied finger that I was almost convinced I was going to have to do it myself.

Or the time. . .

. . .ah forget it.

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