Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Brunch

This weekend my sister had some friends in town, giving me the perfect excuse to make a tasty brunch before we went to the beach. We are both trying to be carb-conscious so I decided to make a frittata. I love frittatas because they are so easy to make and yet guests are generally impressed by them. Brunch isn't completely without some tasty home fries, which I had to make for our guests, and of course mimosas.

For my frittata I don't follow any specific recipe, I have read quite a few different ones and use elements from each to put mine together.

The recipe is below:

serves 6-8

10 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (approximately)
4 hot Italian turkey sausages
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
5-6 oz ciliegine sized mozzarella (small cherry tomato sized mozzarella balls) halved
2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsps unsalted butter
1/3 cup grated parmigiana
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat over to broil. Heat a saute pan to medium high with 1 tbsp olive oil. Remove sausage from casing, break up with a spatula and brown, approx 5 mins or until cooked all the way through. Once cooked remove sausage to paper towels to drain and cool.
2. Wipe out pan, return to heat and heat 2 Tbsps butter and 1 tbsp oil to medium. Once pan is heated add onions and peppers. Cook slowly until the onions begin to caramelize and the peppers soften.
3. In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add parmigiana and basil. Beat to combine.
4. Heat a large non-stick oven-safe pan to medium high. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pan. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies. Add the sausage, evenly spreading through the eggs.
5. As the eggs start to set-up, gently pull the eggs from the side of the pan, letting the uncooked eggs flow to the edges. When the eggs are cooked approx halfway (the center is still slightly liquid and the top is very soft), top with mozzarella and carefully move the pan to the heated oven. The rack should be in the middle of the oven, not right below the broiler.
6. The frittata should cook until the cheese melts and the eggs are cooked all the way through. The top will start to turn a nice golden color. This will take approx 5-10 mins.
7. Remove pan from the oven (Be careful of the hot pan handle) and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a cutting board or platter. Cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Once you are comfortable making frittatas the possibilities are endless for the filling. I also like pancetta, Gruyere and tomatoes. If you decide to use tomatoes I advise cutting them at least and hour before you need them, salting them and letting the excess juice drain on paper towels. You don't want any extra liquid mixing in with the eggs.

I find that brunch, is not complete without home fries (even if I'm not eating them). I make mine with diced potatoes (approx 1-2 inch dice), chopped onions & garlic and tons of salt pepper, cooked nice and slow until they are golden brown and crispy. This can take up to an hour to get right so start them early! Just enjoy a great cup of coffee or a tasty mimosa (made with orange tangerine juice for extra sweetness) while cooking and the time will fly.


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