Thursday, May 8, 2014

Frittata (or something like it)

Picking a basket for our home-grown Chopped! challenge, round 2, one of our criteria was to pick  "easier" ingredients. Ingredients that were new to us, but still similar to something we had cooked with before. The idea being that while it introduced us to something new (umm, kielbasa - YUM), it shouldn't be difficult to come up with recipes for them. This also made me realize that even though I cook almost every single day, and am not averse to experimenting, I was in a rut. I tend to shop for the same things, and make the same food week after week. It's easy and quick, and doesn't require a second thought on my part. And while that is appealing for a lot of reasons, but is also terribly boring. So even though the first basket kinda kicked my butt, the success of the second one was a big morale booster. And the fact that my revised take on the original attempt at the first challenge, the grape chicken was subsequently featured in both, FoodGawker and Tastespotting! You bet I smiled for days. (Also, manual settings on the camera FTW - who knew :P)

Faced with Kielbasa, tarragon, pepporncini and potatoes - 3 of those things I had to Google (I'll let you guess which three), didn't look like a good start. But Sir Google assured me that I had no need to fear. Kielbasa sounded like chorizo (it's not), and how different could tarragon be from the 100 other herbs that I keep throwing around in my food (sue me, I bought bulk packs of everything from Sam's club). Admittedly, I chose to ignore pepporncini's role. It could have been the most flavorful item if used right, but I was too busy eating kielbasa to notice. Since I also didn't want to mess around with more than one recipe, I just decided to throw it all together (with some added ingredients). In fact that's one of my major cooking philosophy - just throw it all together! Try it, it *mostly* works. Soup was one of my first thoughts, but I figured it might end up being too much like the Portuguese kale soup recipe I posted a while back. So Frittata it was! (I keep calling it frittata, coz that sounds fancy, but is it more like a Spanish omelette? I don't really know!)

Disclaimer: having made this recipe 3 times since then, I can say with confidence that it's really hard to mess up. I mean, it is a glorified omelette after all. And if you have trouble making an omelette, then you should probably just put that skillet down, and back away from the kitchen...slowly! The rest of you, read on:

Kielbasa, Potato and green leafy Frittata
serves 4-6


  • Kielbasa - 7 oz
  • Onion - 1 large
  • Potatoes - 2 medium (I used russet)
  • Spinach/Arugula - 8 oz
  • Eggs - 6 large
  • Apple smoked cheddar cheese, grated - 1 cup
  • Heavy cream - 1 cup
  • Tarragon - 1 teaspoon
  • Smoked paprika - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red pepper flakes (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Pepperoncini - 3-4 
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon


Pre-heat the oven at 450 degrees F.

Heat a cast iron skillet or an oven-proof pan on stove top.

Slice the kielbasa, and stir-fry in the skillet. Remove from the pan when slightly charred on both sides, and drain on a paper napkin.

Chop the onion and add it to the skillet, cook till it starts to wilt - 3 to 4 minutes. Dice and add the potatoes to the pan. If the potatoes start to stick to the skillet, add a teaspoon or two of oil to the pan.

Meanwhile beat the eggs till frothy, and add all the herbs and spices to it. Also add the heavy cream to the mixture.

When the potatoes soften a little bit (the edges are soft, but the middle still firm), add the cooked kielbasa, diced pepperoncini and greenery of choice to the pan. Now at this point it may seem like everything won't fit, but trust me, it will.

I told ya so!
Pour the egg - cream mix to the skillet, and sprinkle the cheese on top

Let it cook for 5-6 minutes, the eggs will start to set at this point. Pop it in the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes (till the eggs are not runny anymore).

It's best served fresh, but reheated the next day isn't bad either (there is loss of texture, probably coz the moisture sets in). The apple smoked cheddar was a happy accident, since I picked it up on a whim, and ended up loving the flavor. I do slightly prefer arugula over spinach in it, but just because it has a distinctive taste that I like. A no-fuss, quick dinner/brunch recipe, that uses only one pan - just the way I like it!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! After reading this recipe, I am tempted to try it myself in my(sorry! My wife's) kitchen. My wife will certainly not like me to mess up her kitchen but may let me try the recipe as it would be like a time off for her from cooking. Ha ha