Mei making dumplings

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Irene making dumplings
Fridge Cleanout Frittata
fridge cleanout frittata

This is my favorite dish to make on Sunday mornings, when I've got a bit of time and at least one cup of coffee down. I love that it manages to both clean out the fridge and feed the whole family a reasonably lazy breakfast.

As long as you've got enough eggs, the rest of the meal can be scavenged from what's hanging out in the fridge. Look for cooked leftovers, veggies nearing their end, deli meats that need to be eaten, random bits of cheese (this is my favorite way to use up the remnants of a cheese board, on the morning after a party) and especially anything pickled or marinated or fermented that will add a good hit of flavor. The above frittata includes: half a jar of Kalamata olives, roughly chopped; a small wilted bunch of scallions, chopped and charred in a pan; 2 scoops of roasted and pickled yellow peppers; the end of a jar of homemade Herby Green Sauce, and a last few lonely artichoke hearts marinating in the fridge. It's the perfect opportunity to clean out all your jars and tupperwares! 

The Rough Recipe 

Serves 3 to 8 people (perfect dish for a brunch party) and takes 30-40 minutes. 

Here's what you'll need: 

  • Anywhere from 8-24 eggs, depending on how many people you want to feed (I estimate 2 or 3 eggs per person, depending on what other food you've got)
  • Kosher salt
  • An oven-safe roasting or baking pan, anywhere from an 8x8 brownie pan to a 18x13 baking sheet, that roughly fits how many eggs you've got. The 8x8 pan above took 8 eggs, a full baking sheet can hold up to 24 eggs
  • Parchment paper and non-stick cooking oil spray (or regular oil and a paper towel)
  • 2-3 or more other items that will fit into your pan, all chopped into bite-size pieces.

If you have any root vegetables already roasted or cooked, that's great. If it's an allium like onion or scallions, give it a light saute with a splash of olive oil until tender (I like to cook the scallions with no oil until lightly charred). If it's a stem or stalk, add it to the pan and cook until tender. Many veggies-that-are-actually-fruits can be added raw, like tomatoes or avocados, but you could also saute zucchini or summer squash with the other vegetables.  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, then crack however many eggs you have into a bowl. Add a good pinch of kosher salt, then whisk until smooth. 

Lightly spray your chosen pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease it with a light layer of neutral oil. Lay down a layer of parchment paper, then spray or grease again. (This is what sets this frittata apart from all other frittata recipes I've known where I end up having to scrape a sad broken frittata out of a sticky pan. It's just so easy). 

Scatter all your ingredients onto the pan, pour the eggs on top, sprinkling with more salt and pepper if you like. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the frittata is just set in the middle; the time will depend on how deep your pan is and how many eggs you've used. Slice into squares and serve right away or at room temp - it'll be delicious either way, so it's perfect as a make-ahead brunch item. 

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Serve with crusty bread or your favorite condiments like olive tapenade or hot sauce or top with fresh avocado. Whatever you don't eat, refrigerate and reheat in the microwave or stick between two slices of bread for an instant egg sandwich. 

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