Fear

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I’m pretty comfortable in the kitchen.  I’ve been baking and cooking since I was about six, and most of the time I don’t think twice about trying a new recipe.  Generally, I like using new ingredients or new techniques – sometimes that’s half the fun of being an amateur cook.

This is one of those rare recipes that I really had to talk myself into.  Yes, the frittata looked amazing, with many of my favourite ingredients.  But to make it, I had to get past my fear of cooking by putting a skillet in the oven.

You see, I’m one of those people who have a bad news story about cooking with a skillet.  A few years ago, I pulled a skillet out of the oven with an oven mitt, which I set down while I turned the heat off.  Then, as you might guess, I instinctively tried to pick up the skillet with my bare hand to move it elsewhere.

I managed to avoid a really bad burn by immediately dunking my hand in ice water, and keeping it there off and on for the next hour.  But it was still painful and blistered for longer than I’d like to recall.  As a result, I’ve been very reluctant to use my skillet in the oven again.

I never did get around that fear, but this frittata sounded so amazing that I decided to put the mixture in a glass baking dish right before cooking it.  It tasted delicious – one of those rare meals that everyone in my family enjoyed – and I’ve made it several times since then.  So whether you have the courage to use the original instructions, or opt for the peace of mind you get from baking it in a separate dish, please don’t be afraid of this recipe.

Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata with Red Potatoes and Scallions
(adapted from Fresh & Green Table, by Susie Middleton)

1 medium unpeeled red potato, cut into small (1/2”) dice
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (first amount)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (second amount)
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (third amount)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (white part, and as much green as needed to make 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (first amount)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (second amount)
1 broccoli crown, cut into small (1”) florets, about 3 cups
7 large eggs
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/8 tsp (about 6 shakes) Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups extra sharp aged cheddar, coarsely grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put the potatoes and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover by 1”, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain well and let cool for several minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

In a 10” ovenproof skillet, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat.  Add the green onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl of potatoes.  Return the pan to the heat and add 1 Tbsp of the butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Raise the heat to medium high.  When the butter has melted, add the broccoli and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Uncover and cook, stirring, until the florets are mostly brown on all sides and have lost much of their stiffness, 3 to 4 more minutes.  Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes, and transfer the broccoli to the bowl of potatoes and scallions.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Wipe out the skillet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, 1/2 tsp salt, Worcestershire sauce and several grinds of pepper.  Stir in the cheese.  Add the broccoli mixture and stir well.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil.  When the butter has melted and begun to sizzle, pour and scrape all the vegetable custard mixture into the skillet.  Gently stir once or twice to move the contents of the pan around so everything is evenly distributed.  Let the pan sit on the heat until the custard is just beginning to set, 1 to 2 minutes.  Pour the custard mixture into a 10” round baking dish, and bake until the frittata is puffed, golden and set, about 25 minutes.  (Or take a chance and put the skillet directly in the oven.)

Let the frittata cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.  The flavour gets better as it sits, so eat it warm or at room temperature, or even the next day.  Cut into wedges and serve.


34 comments:

Gloria said...

Beth I think look delicious!

Belinda said...

OUCH! I think we've all done that before. I keep reburning that "baker's burn" or whatever - it took about 10 years for the first to fade...and then I promptly redid it. The frittata seems all worth it!

Bonnie said...

Beth, I had to cringe, as I knew where your story was headed only because I, too, have grabbed a hot skillet. Frittatas make Sunday night suppers. I've never used potatoes....this sounds wonderful!

Valerie said...

Ouch!! I can only imagine how painful that must have been! On the plus side, you're not a real food blogger until you have a few scars to show for it. (Not really, but we all have them.) ;)

I'm glad you overcame your skillet fear because this looks Amazing! Cheesy, buttery, onion-y...perfect.

From the Kitchen said...

I'm glad you conquered your fear because this looks delicious!

Best,
Bonnie

Natalie Aguirre said...

This looks good. Could you put it in a casserole dish? I've made frittata like that.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love frittatas! You can put almost anything in them and they turn out well. (Anything within reason, of course!) When I saw your title for the post, and the picture of the frittata, I somehow knew exactly what you were going to say. I'm a slow learner, I guess, but I've done the same things more times than I care to admit (several times a year at least!). But I put skillets in the oven a lot. If I'm doing hamburgers on top of the stove, for example, that's how I finish them - sear them, then put them in a 350 degree F oven to cook through (you get great, moist burgers that way). So I guess what I'm saying is I've had lots of opportunities to burn myself. I've taken to putting oven mitts right next to the skillet when I take it out of the oven so that when I go to move it, I'll remember. Works some of the time. ;-) Good post - thanks.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yum! Burning my hand on my skillet is my big fear too.

I think I'll make that for dinner this week. :D

yummychunklet said...

I'm glad you overcame the fear. This looks great!

Carol said...

Beth, I've done the same thing.
A few times :(
But what a gorgeous frittata! Looks delicious.

Janet Johnson said...

This looks really yummy! I've never used a skillet in the oven, so I'd be a tad nervous, too.

Also, just wanted to let you know you won The Truth About Faking by Leigh Moore in my giveaway! :) Just let me know what format you would like. :)

Kristy said...

I've done that! And I use a skillet in the oven often, mostly for searing then finishing in the oven. As often as I've done it, I still do it now. It's sooo painful!

When I was in Alaska recently, one of the chefs kept joking (sort of) that he couldn't feel anything in his hands anymore. So common in chefs, I think!

Your frittata looks amazing!! Great job :-)

Claire Davis said...

Sounds delicious, I bet the potatoes make it more hearty perfect for dinner!

Cindy said...

Ouch--bad experiences are hard to get past.
I made a frittata last week, it had great promise but ended up not being blog worthy. My electric range does not really have a 'low'. So the bottom of the frittata was over cooked.
But yours looks delish--I'll give it another try.

Angie's Recipes said...

Ouch...it must be very painful..but at least the frittata has turned out great.

Guru Uru said...

Ugh bad experiences can really get you down but this fritatta looks perfect to me :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Pacheco Patty said...

I don't even like to think about grabbing a hot skillet handle, ouch!
Good thing you've overcome your fear and baked this delicious frittata, the recipe sounds fantastic;-)

Food Gal said...

Just think of those as your battle wounds! LOL
But putting it into a baking pan is smart. Works just as well, too.

a. maren said...

frittattas scare me too, and for the same reason! i've made two, and one came out good and the other not so much. i will have to give this one a try, it sounds great!

Julie said...

Nothing worse than a burn!! I always hear all good cooks have experienced one or two!

I love frittatas. This one looks delicious.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've done that too. It's awful. I've burned myself far too often. It's sadly become a running family joke... *sigh* :)

Katerina said...

Well, Beth I have my little painful baking stories too! It is so good that you passed over your fear and made this delicious frittata!

profiterolesandponytails said...

Oh, I have so been there. Fortunately, I've never burned myself to the "degree" that you did Beth -- that sounds very painful. My girls like broccoli, and I also like to use Worcestershire when cooking, so this is on the MUST MAKE list. Thanks for sharing!

Vicki Bensinger said...

Wow this does sound incredibly delicious! I could eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Barbara said...

Ouch! Been there, done that, Beth. But it still doesn't stop me from making a frittata! This looks like a great recipe and it's going on my list, but I have roasted veggie one I saw Ina make recently that's next.

Meagan Spooner said...

Oh god, I cringed just reading that. Sounds super painful! I have one of those oven "mitts" that you actually tie around the handle. It's for cast-iron pots that get hot while cooking, but I think it'd be perfect for leaving on a skillet after removing from the oven, just as a reminder!

This looks delicious. Do want. *drool*

Lizzy Do said...

Ouch...your poor, poor hand! But I'm glad you've healed and were willing to try this yummy recipe...I know we'd love it, too :)

artofnaturalliving.com said...

I do smaller fritattas, cooking in an 8 or 9 inch stainless steel pan and just put them under the broiler for a couple minutes (handle sticking out so it stays cool)which makes them safer and fast enough for an emergency meal. However you make them, fritattas are such a versatile food that it's worth getting beyond the fear!

Ruth said...

Makes my stomach growl just to read this!

grace said...

what a painful memory! if there's one thing worth getting past a fear like that, it's a frittata!

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, I am happy to hear that you overcame your fear of baking with skillets. Fritattas are delicious and the family always enjoys them. This sounds like a wonderful recipe to try. Blessings to you my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

Kathy said...

Beth, So sorry about your burn…I actually did that once myself, but pulled my hand away before I burned it badly. This frittata looks so delectable…and I’m sure tastes even better!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Ooh, this looks delicious! I've done the same thing by putting my skillet in the oven, by the way, so know that you're not alone. It looks like this still turned out wonderful by baking it in a glass dish rather than the skillet, which is great!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

There is another wonderful recipe from Susie Middleton - I am reading your posts "from top to bottom" here...frittata is indeed a wonderful dish to prepare for the family - I tried one with tomatoes and parmigiano reggiano the other day (also not in a skillet but a French oven-proof porcelain baking dish) and the kids loved it. But your broccoli and cheddar version looks fantastic!

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