Courters' Kitchen: Frittata a fancy way with leftovers

Courters' Kitchen: Frittata a fancy way with leftovers

April 4th, 2012 by Barry Courter in Life Entertainment

Pasta and Brie Frittata with Waldorf salad is an easy dish to make for a laid-back Sunday morning.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

BARRY SAYS: The frittata, depending on your definition, is either a fancy omelet or a working man's quiche. Or it's a way to utilize some leftovers in a delicious way.

Several years ago, while we were sharing a house on St. George Island in Florida with two other families, Kelley did just that. She used pasta, eggs, mushrooms and whatever else we'd not eaten the night before to make a frittata.

Because it looks like leftovers, I didn't think the younger members of our party would touch it. They scarfed it up in seconds and occasionally still talk about it as being a highlight of the trip.

For my money, it makes for a perfect late-morning meal.

KELLEY SAYS: The frittata is one of the easiest dishes to make. We have been making this every Sunday morning in some version for about a month. The beauty is you can use leftovers of just about anything in these recipes. Cooked meat of some type can always add to the flavors. You can make Italian or Mexican versions, with meat or without.

I happened to have a large wedge of Brie in the fridge and thought it might pair well with caramelized onions and mushrooms. I wanted to add pasta, and whole-wheat capellini sounded good. The result turned out well, but if I were going to do this variation again I would add some type of meat.

I paired the dish with my remix of a Waldorf salad. Frittatas are great for a late breakfast or light supper. With the weather already heating up, we will be eating lighter and cooler meals.

BARRY: This week's version was good, and I liked the Brie and cream flavor, but the ones with garlic, pepper and mushrooms are my favorite. Of course, it really kind of depends on what's in the fridge, though I suppose you could plan and buy whatever you want just for the frittata.

Plus, it's fun to say.

Pasta and Brie Frittata

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion

1 leek (white part only), sliced

6 crimini mushrooms

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Whole-wheat capellini, about 2 cups, cooked al dente

6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

3/4 cup Brie

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 325 F.

Combine butter and olive oil in skillet on medium heat, and sauté onion and leek until limp. Reduce heat to low; cover skillet and continue to cook on low for about 30 minutes. Add a tiny bit of water if onions begin to stick or burn.

Stir mixture, and add mushrooms, sugar and black pepper. Cook a few more minutes to incorporate.

Turn off heat and cover until cooled. When ready to assemble, add cooled capellini to onion mixture along with thyme leaves.

Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with nonstick coating. Add pasta with onions, and spread out in plate. Top with Brie and then pour over egg mixture and heavy cream. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Waldorf Salad

1/2 cup light Marzetti balsamic vinegar dressing

11/2 teaspoons coarse ground Grey Poupon mustard

11/2 teaspoons mayonnaise

3/4 cup shredded carrot

1 stalk chopped celery

2 Fuji apples, diced

3/4 cup sliced seedless black grapes

1 green onion, sliced

3/4 cup golden raisins

Field greens

2 sprigs fresh chopped mint

1/2 cup lightly salted walnuts

Mix dressing, mustard and mayo. Pour over next six ingredients. When ready to serve, place mixture over greens and top with mint and nuts.