Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ham & asparagus frittata

Wine?  Wisdom?  My retirement fund?  (One can only hope...)

But really, I'm talking about my cast-iron skillet!  You know, the one that I received as a birthday gift last summer.  By not cleaning it other than a light scrub with salt to remove cooked bits of food, the skillet has become practically nonstick and is so seasoned that I swear I could cook a plain egg and it'd come out tasting fabulous.

Well, I took that plain egg idea a step further when I busted out yet another frittata last night for dinner: ham and asparagus frittata!

You might say I've developed quite an obsession with frittatas.  Easy, quick, incredibly adaptable with whatever ingredients you've got.  ApplesBaconGoat cheese.

You also might ask why on earth I'm sharing another frittata recipe with you.  It's because this was, by far, my most favorite frittata to date!

Salty ham and Swiss cheese.  Crisp asparagus and snappy peppers and onions.  And fluffy baked eggs.  A rather balanced meal for late in the week, too.  I swear that I eat more vegetables and fruits early in the week, and by Friday, I'm eying up that cereal box for dinner.  Please tell me this happens to you so I don't feel quite as guilty.  Thanks :)

As it cooked, I hailed my mighty skillet and raved about its superiority to the other skillet in my supply.  "That stupid nonstick piece of crap... almost 10 years old... almost not fit for cooking anymore... can't wait until I have good stainless steel pans..." And then I realized that I desperately needed that hunk of junk.  Oops.

Dear old beloved skillet, you've served me well and I would not have been able to make the frittata quite as awesome without your assistance.  Forgive me for the harsh words I said.  Love, Katy

Hot out of the oven and I could barely keep myself from digging into dinner.  After cutting the pieces, I may have started nibbling, bent over the piping hot skillet with a fork in hand and mouth hanging wide open to cool my almost-burned tongue.  I just couldn't stop!  I swear I could've eaten the whole thing without ever setting foot and sitting down in the dining room.  To me, that's a clear sign of an awesome meal.  What do you think?

I'm thinking this skillet is worth its weight in gold.  What to make with it next?  I've got a hankering for pancakes... TBA!

Ham and Asparagus Frittata
(serves 2-3)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup chopped country ham
2 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat broiler.  Heat oil in cast iron (or oven safe) skillet over medium heat.  Add asparagus, pepper, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add eggs and egg whites, whisk to combine, and stir in cheese, ham, salt, and pepper.

With vegetables evenly distributed on bottom of skillet, add egg mixture and tilt pan to allow ingredients to spread.  Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until edges of frittata are set.  Do not disturb or stir!

Uncover and sprinkle Italian seasoning over frittata.  Carefully place skillet under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until center is set and egg mixture is completely opaque.  Remove and allow to sit for 2 minutes.  Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen frittata and cut it into 4 wedges.  Serve and enjoy!

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