Tuesday Dinner: Ham and Gouda Frittata

2013-10-15 at 17-18-23

Sick of hearing how sick I am yet?

Fine. I’ll stop. I am feeling a little better, though I don’t have much sense of taste at this point. It’s very difficult for me to cook without this, as I tend to do a lot of tasting along the way while preparing a meal. It’s the primary reason why we end up running out of spoons so quickly between dishwasher runs. There’s really no other way to check and recheck salt, pepper, herbs, bitterness, sourness, et al.

So, tonight I went with something where I really shouldn’t taste the liquid in the pan. Eggs. Salmonella is a pisser, so I was content to let things cook and let the added ham and cheeses handle the salt for me.

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My father would make a frittata by cooking a lot of greasy stuff, submerging it in eggs and letting it go for 10 to 15 minutes. This is the traditional, packed with pork, peppers and broccoli diner-style frittata found around the Syracuse area. The original and best ever was done by the former Poodle’s, or so I’m told. I’ve always been partial to the version served at the Gardenview Diner in Liverpool, though Stella’s is quite good. So was the frittata at the old Serpico’s on North Salina Street. Mother’s Cupboard…sigh…listen, if you want to be knocked over with portion size, Mother’s Cupboard is for you. So is Dominick’s. If you want a decent breakfast, you have better options.

Digressing.

This is more of a bistro frittata (for the lack of a better phrase) than a greasy spoon offering. Your eggs will end up pretty thick — almost like a thin pancake batter — by the time you load it down with dairy.

2013-10-15 at 16-18-35WHAT WORKED: Cheese. Cheese is always the answer. Use two of them and make sure they complement one another. I like smoky and creamy, so I went with gouda and gruyere. Both bring plenty of salt to the table. I know the photo shows parmigiano-reggiano, but I used that for the garlic bread. Oh, you should definitely eat this with garlic bread.

WHAT DIDN’T: Nothing. This pretty much went to plan.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Not much. She’s was rather quiet tonight, though her attention was focused mainly on The Kid who is, wait for it, sick. How did that happen?

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I think this needs some spinach for color and some added flavor.

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Ham and Gouda Frittata
By Jared Paventi

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half (your preference…I went with heavy cream)
  • 1 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 6 to 8 oz. ham steak, diced
  • 8 oz. gouda cheese, diced
  • 4 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2013-10-15 at 16-37-06Crack eggs into a deep mixing bowl. Add heavy cream and sour cream and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

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Heat oil in a large skillet until it shimmers and distribute throughout the pan. Add ham and cook until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add egg mixture, using a wooden spoon or spatula to distribute ham evenly. Top with gouda and gruyere, shaking pan gently to distribute cheese throughout.

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Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape edges and redistribute uncooked eggs. After 5 to 6 minutes on the stovetop, transfer skillet to the center rack of your oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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