Well, wasn’t I just all full of myself after my last two sublimely delicious vegetarian dinners! With the aroma of a Middle Eastern snack shack still lingering in the house I made plans for tonight’s dinner entree–a healthy and hearty frittata. Now the house smells a bit like burnt egg. Yup. Not good.
I’ve only made one other frittata in my life, a Barefoot Contessa roasted vegetable one that overwhelmed my taste buds with the intense flavor of the roasted veggies. So this time around I chose a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Hers was pretty basic, with potatoes, broccolini (we used kale), mushrooms, onions, and parmesan cheese inside and melted on top. The up front prep was pretty easy. First simmer the potatoes in vegetable broth until tender:
I got into trouble pretty soon after I took this photo. The potatoes were taking their time softening up, so I covered the pan, stepped away and realized they were sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. After some scraping around, I added some olive oil and the rest of the veggies:
Once these cooked down a bit, I added the egg and parmesan mixture:
At this point the recipe says to lower the heat, cover the dish and let it set up. As a note, this recipe cooks the frittata almost entirely on the stove rather than in the oven. Once it’s almost set you sprinkle it with more parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler to brown up and finish setting. Well, even with the heat down low we started smelling the bottom burning before the top was set. So I paced around still waiting for it to set up because the thought of undercooked eggs…well I just can’t do it. Finally we got it under the broiler and it was done:
The brown on top is the melted parmesan-that part wasn’t burnt. I have to say it looked great and very much like the one from Smitten Kitchen. Here’s a close-up of a slice:
I’ll spare you a photo of the burnt underside (Ok, I didn’t actually run for the camera at that point).
We ate this with less than our normal enthusiasm and murmured comments to each other about the ways to make it better, other than not burning it, of course. I concluded my comments with a declaration that “I don’t think I like eggs for dinner”. David didn’t look too excited about working his way through these leftovers, and that’s the true test of a recipe in our house. If David, who is endlessly inventive with leftovers can’t conjure up a way to make a dish work the next day, out it goes. Bye bye frittata.
Obviously my frittata technique failed me here. And as I left the dinner table feeling unsatisfied and headed over to the still unfinished Linzer Torte for some sweet relief (eating just a few feelings), I reminded myself that this was just a lousy meal, nothing more, nothing less. It can be very hard for me to keep these kinds of experiences in perspective, and I still struggle to not get too attached to outcomes. Since that’s the case, I suppose the universe will send more of these experiences my way until I figure it out, if not in the kitchen, then in the sewing room or in the garden or wherever. Well, bring it on…