While this blog is primarily about baking sweet treats and other goodies, I must confess that I have a soft spot in my palette for all things breakfast. Given the choice, I would probably prefer to eat breakfast than any other meal of the day. With my work schedule, it's so rare that I get to have a hot breakfast (unless it's from a drive thru) that when I do get the chance, I can get pretty excited. For that reason, breakfast for dinner is a pretty regular occurance around our house. Pancakes, waffles, breakfast burrittos, breakfast scrambles, Swedish hotcakes, omelettes - bring 'em on. Part of the purpose of this blog is to help encourage me to be a bit more adventurous and to cook things I've never tried before - it's just too easy to stick with what you know and not bother with learning a new recipe. That being said, when I see a new breakfast/brunch recipe, it tends to peak my interest. So it was while watching one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Giada De Laurentiis when she made 'Mini Frittatas' one day - they looked so good, I didn't wait for the show to finish before I headed to the kitchen.
Giada's recipe uses a basic frittata base, adds a few basic ingredients, then, unlike a traditional frittata, which would be cooked in a skillet and finished in the oven, she cooks them in mini muffin pans to make some great little bites. I knew I wanted to make a few changes, so I grabbed some potatos I had on hand and rather than using the mini muffin pan, went for the regular size muffin pan - I wanted something a bit more than a little bite. Like an omelette, frittatas lend themselves very well to customization. You can add pretty much anything that strikes your fancy and that won't offend any potential taste subjects. Put it all together, bake, and you have a tasty, portable and attractive little meal. These can be eaten warm or cold and lend themselves quite well for traveling - a great idea for picnics or even a roadside snack for a long trip.
Mini Frittatas (adapted from Mini Frittats by Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network.com)
This is the recipe as made with my modifications...Makes 14-18 frittatas depending upon the size of the pans and how full you fill them.
8 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Whole Milk (I used non-fat)
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Medium Potatos, peeled and shredded
1/2 Medium Onion, minced
1 Cup Cooked Ham, chopped
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar, grated
Fresh Basil, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a medium skillet, saute the shredded potatoes and onion in the olive oil over medium heat until the potatoes have softened and the onions are translucent - about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, basil, pepper and salt in a large bowl to blend well.
4. Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each cup with approximately 2 tablespoons of the potato/onion mixture. Add approximately 1 tablespoon ham and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Fill the cups with the egg mixture, about 7/8 full. Once the cups are all filled, tap the pan on a hard surface to make sure the egg mixutre has filled in around all of the ingredients.
5. Bake for 14-18 minutes (individual ovens will vary) until lightly browned and somewhat firm. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the frittatas to loosen them from the pan. Turn the frittatas out on a wire baking rack. Serve warm or cold with (in my opinion) a dollop of sour cream.