According to Ben Franklin, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Much as I’d like to believe that, I find bacon more reliable proof of divine benevolence. Combined with the some good ingredients, patience, TLC, and the right soundtrack, that cured pork treat serves as the foundation of a perfect Sunday morning frittata. (More pics after the jump.)
Put the White Album on the hi-fi, turn your oven to 350F, power up your espresso machine, park the little one(s) in front of a blank notebook and crayons, and begin prep.
- 4 slices of thick bacon, diced
- 1 onion, small dice
- 4 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/8”-1/4” rounds (use the slicing disc on your food processor or a Japanese mandoline)
- a handful of freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 8 organic brown eggs (six plus two egg whites)
- lemon pepper
- chili powder
- tbsp of freshly-minced garlic
- fresh-brewed double-shot Americano
After prepping the ingredients, place a large oven-safe Teflon fry pan — egg dishes being one of the few acceptable excuses to use Teflon — on your stovetop at medium heat. Add the bacon. The goal here is to render the fat from the bacon without cooking the meat too quickly (or, worse, burning it). So, keep the heat moderate and use the slow rendering process as a chance to enjoy that Americano. By now, Clapton is wailing on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, you’re caffeinated, and the house smells like bacon. Life’s good.
Once the bacon has melted and there’s a healthy (“healthy” here a synonym for “sufficient”) layer of fat in the pan, slowly add the onions. Remember what you learned in elementary school: Oil and water don’t mix. And here you’ve got very hot bacon fat (oil) and onions (basically, water). You don’t want splattering.
Toss the bacon bits, onions, and liquid pig candy every couple minutes to ensure that everything cooks evenly. Once the onions start to caramelize, add the zucchini slices. Same warning as before: Zucchinis are basically all water, too. If you add them too quickly or too early, you’ll risk splattering, will overcrowd the pan, and will end up with soggy vegetables.
While everything slowly sizzles and you ponder Rocky Raccoon’s plight, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Pour in the cheese (yes, into the liquid eggs) and season with chili powder and lemon pepper. Grab a fork and whisk well.
Once the zucchini has shrunk to about half its volume and the onions are golden brown, add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, then pour in the egg mixture.
I’ve never been a fan of frittatas cooked well on the outside, but soft on the inside. So, even though you ultimately will finish the frittata in the oven, I suggest first par-cooking the eggs on the stove. The best consistency seems to come from quickly folding the outside edges of the eggs into the middle as they start to firm up in the pan. Repeat a few times until the mixture resembles half-cooked scrambled eggs throughout. Place the pan in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
One of the best parts about meals that finish in the oven is the ability to do most of your cleaning before you eat. Take a few minutes to wash and dry everything while the frittata cooks to perfection. You’ll enjoy breakfast that much more knowing that the kitchen is already clean.
Once the top (soon to be the bottom) of the frittata has browned, remove the pan from the oven. Don’t forget that the metal handle on the pan is now 350 degrees. Use a good silicone potholder to move the pan to your countertop and leave a rag or potholder on the handle to remind you that the handle is hot. (This is a mnemonic to remind our brains, typically accustomed to seeing fry pans on stovetops with cool handles, to be careful. I’ve made the mistake of grabbing them before; it ruins your week.)
Now it’s time to flip over the frittata. Place a cutting board on top of your pan, and then quickly (but carefully) turn both over. There’s enough bacon fat that the frittata should slide out easily.
Slice into 6 or 8 pieces like a pizza and serve with a second Americano (you’ve earned it), a slice of whole-grain wheat toast, and the Sunday paper. Easy like Sunday morning.