When I saw this recipe for a frittata that included asparagus, it needed to happen. It had almost every good thing about breakfast in it: eggs, ham, cheese and asparagus to make it even more healthy. Breakfast is not my thing, but as I’ve said before. I do like to make breakfast for guests. This weekend I made breakfast for family guests.
I added the red peppers to put my trademark on the frittata. Peppers add a really nice pop of flavor to egg dishes. I also made the recipe a little larger as I wanted leftovers to reheat for several mornings.
This recipe called for an oven safe skillet and I didn’t have one except for cast iron. Those are stored in the deepest cupboard in the kitchen. It requires hands and knees and a very long arm to reach the stack of about 6 different sized frying pans. So I was not real eager to dig one of those frying pans out to make this frittata. In fact, I didn’t. I was going to flaunt the pros and use one of my trusty no-stick skillets. It turned out well with my improvising; I’ll detail it later.
I started by cleaning and blanching my pound of asparagus a day earlier. I snapped the woody ends off, cut them into 1″ pieces and then into a quick boiling water bath, followed by an ice water bath. They would retain their beautiful green color with a little crunch left in them.
With everything at hand the next morning, diced, blanched, fried, I was ready. I heated my 12″ skillet with a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of oil so that the butter wouldn’t burn. I sautéed the onions and red peppers until they were translucent and turning brown. Ham was next into the skillet, heating it through until it was toasty hot.
Next I added my blanched asparagus, stirring occasionally to get it heated through. I wanted to retain that slight crunch for texture. While that heated I put the eggs into a pitcher with the seasonings and whisked until it was fully mixed. I started to pour it into the skillet. Oh and then stopped and ran to the fridge to get the cheese. Oops, I’d forgotten the cheese.
Back at the skillet I sprinkled the parmesan, then the white cheddar over the top, then poured the egg mixture over the veggie and ham mixture in the skillet. I turned the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until it was getting set. I’d put a lid over it the skillet to make it cook faster.
The frittata was risen and gorgeous, and ready for the final broil to brown the top. I carefully slid the frittata out of my non-stick skillet and onto a baking sheet covered with foil. I put the pan into the preheated oven and let it broil for a few minutes, watching it. It turned out beautifully!
I pulled it out of the oven and let it set a couple of minutes while I got out dishes, rolls and fruit to go with our frittata. I sliced and served. It was so good! I should admit I think the bottom got a little too dark before I slid it out of the pan and under the broiler. If I’d put the lid on earlier it would have cooked faster before it browned so much. It didn’t taste burnt, the brown was just a cosmetic thing. Note to self to watch it closer next time!
This was super fast since I had everything ready to go the night before. It could even be made the night before and microwaved in slices for breakfast if everyone isn’t eating at the same time. But it is definitely worth making again and again. Asparagus added just a great touch to a regular breakfast eggy/omelet type meal.
White Cheddar, Asparagus, & Ham Frittata
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped
1 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces, blanched
6 oz ham, diced
salt & pepper to taste
2 egg whites
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon half & half
6 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Saute onions and peppers in melted butter 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add asparagus & sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add ham and sauté until heated, about 4 more minutes. Season with a little salt & pepper.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together eggs, egg whites, milk, and half & half with a fork or whisk. Add salt & pepper if desired.
Sprinkle parmesan, then white cheddar over the ham and veggie mixture in the pan. Pour egg mixture into pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Cover to speed it along if necessary.
Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Or slide frittata onto a foil covered baking pan and broil. Remove from pan and cut into servings.
Adapted from Erin’s Food Files