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Thread: Frittata-Italian Omelet/Quiche

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    Frittata-Italian Omelet/Quiche



    Frittatas are a staple of the Italian home kitchen. They're very different from the soft, sort of runny classic French omelet, which I know is considered ideal in some quarters, but I just can’t eat it. They're probably like a Spanish tortilla.

    I make it at least twice or three times a week, and would probably make it more often if I weren't concerned about too much egg consumption. It's really a complete and ideal meal, especially when accompanied by a green salad, or even better a tomato salad, and wholegrain bread, because it contains eggs and cheese for protein and dairy and lots of vegetables. For those like me who don't like the smell or taste of "plain" eggs, it's a good way to get them to eat eggs, which are really very good for you.



    The basic technique is the same throughout Italy, although each region, area, and even family has their own version. I am particularly fond of our version, which is based on that of Genoa, because I think it is more savory than others. Ours contains no meat, but there are versions with sausage or pancetta, and some people add potatoes although I don't, as I think it makes it too dense and heavy. The vegetables are sautéed after the onions if the vegetables are raw, or you can add any leftover cooked vegetables you have on hand. If I don't have that many on hand for whatever reason I'll sometimes add a small can of drained mushroom stems and pieces, or reconstituted dried procini mushrooms, which I always have.

    A frittata should be cooked over medium low heat so it doesn’t burn. In the beginning you should pull it away from the sides toward the center, and turn the pan so it cooks evenly. You can cover after a while so it stays moist. Once the frittata is browned on one side, the traditional method is to put a plate on top of it, flip it, and return it to the pan to finish cooking on the other side. My friends seem to be intimidated by that so I tell them to put it under the broiler for a few minutes to set the top. Of course, that’s only if it’s an oven safe pan. A cast iron pan is best if you know how to cook with it. However, you have to be vigilant that it doesn't get too over cooked and rubbery. The videos below show the technique.

    The following video is from a Neapolitan chef who works with Jamie Oliver. He's fun and he does three versions here, so you can see the possibilities. However, I always have problems with his videos. It's a very bad idea to use butter as it will burn and also change the flavor. At least do it half olive oil and half butter. If the peppers are raw you should probably saute them a bit before you add the onions. In the pancetta one, you should fry it down a bit before you add the onions. Garlic should never be added at the beginning as it will burn and turn bitter. If you’re going to do that use one whole clove and then remove it when it starts getting dark. I've never added chilis, but Southern Italians love them.




    This is a video from a Southern Italian American cook. I would not use those fillings, but he gives very precise instructions for those who are novices, and is a very persnickety cook, which I salute. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ4Mjmo8J0M

    The following is a video of a cook from Genoa. This is very close to the way we do it. As he explains, any vegetable can be added to the sauteed onion, but we do love zucchini. Toss in any leftover vegetables from the day before, left over boiled potatoes too, if you like. Fresh baby spinach leaves can also be added, or previously cooked kale or cabbage or escarole. As you can see, we use a lot of grated cheese. If I'm doing an 8-10 egg frittata (for four people), which is what I usually do, I would use a splash of milk, and at least 1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano, and 1/3 cup grated Pecorino, usually more if I’m using 10 eggs. In Genova they add chopped marjoram and garlic in the last minute or so of the vegetable sauté, but we use chopped flat leaf parsley and one clove of garlic, and we don't add grated nutmeg, although I might try it now I’ve seen this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTljFn6

    Like a lot of simple dishes, it's hard to get it perfect: correctly seasoned, not too dry and overcooked, not too runny, but practice makes perfect.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Frittatas are a staple of the Italian home kitchen. They're very different from the soft, sort of runny classic French omelet, which I know is considered ideal in some quarters, but I just can’t eat it. They're probably like a Spanish tortilla.

    I make it at least twice or three times a week, and would probably make it more often if I weren't concerned about too much egg consumption. It's really a complete and ideal meal, especially when accompanied by a green salad, or even better a tomato salad, and wholegrain bread, because it contains eggs and cheese for protein and dairy and lots of vegetables. For those like me who don't like the smell or taste of "plain" eggs, it's a good way to get them to eat eggs, which are really very good for you.



    The basic technique is the same throughout Italy, although each region, area, and even family has their own version. I am particularly fond of our version, which is based on that of Genoa, because I think it is more savory than others. Ours contains no meat, but there are versions with sausage or pancetta, and some people add potatoes although I don't, as I think it makes it too dense and heavy. The vegetables are sautéed after the onions if the vegetables are raw, or you can add any leftover cooked vegetables you have on hand. If I don't have that many on hand for whatever reason I'll sometimes add a small can of drained mushroom stems and pieces, or reconstituted dried procini mushrooms, which I always have.

    A frittata should be cooked over medium low heat so it doesn’t burn. In the beginning you should pull it away from the sides toward the center, and turn the pan so it cooks evenly. You can cover after a while so it stays moist. Once the frittata is browned on one side, the traditional method is to put a plate on top of it, flip it, and return it to the pan to finish cooking on the other side. My friends seem to be intimidated by that so I tell them to put it under the broiler for a few minutes to set the top. Of course, that’s only if it’s an oven safe pan. A cast iron pan is best if you know how to cook with it. However, you have to be vigilant that it doesn't get too over cooked and rubbery. The videos below show the technique.

    The following video is from a Neapolitan chef who works with Jamie Oliver. He's fun and he does three versions here, so you can see the possibilities. However, I always have problems with his videos. It's a very bad idea to use butter as it will burn and also change the flavor. At least do it half olive oil and half butter. If the peppers are raw you should probably saute them a bit before you add the onions. In the pancetta one, you should fry it down a bit before you add the onions. Garlic should never be added at the beginning as it will burn and turn bitter. If you’re going to do that use one whole clove and then remove it when it starts getting dark. I've never added chilis, but Southern Italians love them.




    This is a video from a Southern Italian American cook. I would not use those fillings, but he gives very precise instructions for those who are novices, and is a very persnickety cook, which I salute. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ4Mjmo8J0M

    The following is a video of a cook from Genoa. This is very close to the way we do it. As he explains, any vegetable can be added to the sauteed onion, but we do love zucchini. Toss in any leftover vegetables from the day before, left over boiled potatoes too, if you like. Fresh baby spinach leaves can also be added, or previously cooked kale or cabbage or escarole. As you can see, we use a lot of grated cheese. If I'm doing an 8-10 egg frittata (for four people), which is what I usually do, I would use a splash of milk, and at least 1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano, and 1/3 cup grated Pecorino, usually more if I’m using 10 eggs. In Genova they add chopped marjoram and garlic in the last minute or so of the vegetable sauté, but we use chopped flat leaf parsley and one clove of garlic, and we don't add grated nutmeg, although I might try it now I’ve seen this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTljFn6

    Like a lot of simple dishes, it's hard to get it perfect: correctly seasoned, not too dry and overcooked, not too runny, but practice makes perfect.
    Looks good, I will try it for my kids....


    Sent from my iPhone using Eupedia Forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.food View Post
    The pictures & videos are gorgeous, love these recipeswhich I am trying one tonight.
    The video on frittata genovese was removed. This is a another one: classic method and ingredients, but you can use any vegetables, even leftovers, in which case you just cut up and warm up before you add the egg mixture. If I have nothing else in the house I use onion and a can of mushrooms. He uses 1 garlic clove and some marjoram, which is traditional. Then he grates in a bit of nutmeg. We don't do that but I'm going to try it. The grated cheese he uses is parmigiano, which again is traditional, but my mother always did half parmigiano and half pecorino romano because we like it more savory. The small amount of savory bread moistened in milk helps it all set more quickly so that there's less likelihood it will burn or turn rubbery.

    Ligurians are very persnickety cooks as a whole because they're very detail oriented, precise, and are perfectionists. I approve of all three. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTljFn6WPk

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    A Southern Italian American nonna showing how she does zucchini frittata. Ours is different, with a lot more grated cheese, but this is a good and easy recipe. (I'd chop the onions smaller or they will take forever to fry (as they do for her), and not add the zucchini at the same time or they will turn to mush. Her vegetables look raw to me.)

    She's very sweet, and people love that she sings old Italian songs as she cooks. :)


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Generally, it’s a good idea to “sbiancare” (add vegs into boiling salted water for 30 sec. to 1–3 mins, depending on the vegs, 30-45 sec. for chopped Zucchine, imho, and than drain and rinse with cold or icy water :)

    Almost half cooked, crunchy, and still retaining the nutritional value.

    You can add the ”sbiancate” chopped Zucchine after blonding the onions.

    Rule, LOL, White-Pepper only with Eggs/Frittata !

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Generally, it’s a good idea to “sbiancare” (add vegs into boiling salted water for 30 sec. to 1–3 mins, depending on the vegs, 30-45 sec. for chopped Zucchine, imho, and than drain and rinse with cold or icy water :)

    Almost half cooked, crunchy, and still retaining the nutritional value.

    You can add the ”sbiancate” chopped Zucchine after blonding the onions.

    Rule, LOL, White-Pepper only with Eggs/Frittata !
    You're a man after my own heart, although I don't always take the time to "blanch" them, just making sure the onions are finely diced and "blonded" before adding, in my preference, thinly sliced zucchini. :) It's the details that make the difference.

    I find Americans either cook their vegetables to death or they serve them almost raw. Considering the vegetables I've seen on plates, mushy, grey, with just some salt and maybe a blob of butter on them, no wonder so many Americans don't like vegetables. As for fruit, I love it even here, but there's no comparison to eating fruit that ripened naturally, which is like a flavor explosion in your mouth. Oh god, the PEACHES and cherries and figs of home! Absolutely to die for.

    Anything worth doing is worth doing PROPERLY. Perfectionists should rule the world. :)

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