Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Frittata? Omelet? What's the difference?

Frittata with celery, onions, garlic and Grana Padano.
So what, other than the obvious point that one is French and the other Italian, is the difference between an omelet and a frittata?  There's no denying that the finished product is similar, but the results certainly aren't identical. Nevertheless, I like them both.

The key to me is that an omelet is made over screeching high heat and takes only a minute or two to fashion from start to finish. It's the 50-yard dash of egg dishes.  Call the frittata a mile run, then:  It's cooked low and slow and gently develops its texture over 15 minutes or so of gentle cooking on stovetop or in the oven.

But yeah, they're both essentially a round, flat delight fashioned from eggs and filling ingredients.  Either way, what's not to like?

Tonight I went the frittata route, looking at a fairly empty refrigerator and pulling out celery, onions and garlic as filling ingredients and Grana Padano cheese and black pepper as topping.

The procedure is as simple as one, two, three:

1. Chop celery, onion and garlic fine and saute them in olive oil in a nonstick skillet until browned and somewhat softened. Set aside and wipe out the skillet.

2. Crack three eggs: Humane and natural cage-free free-range strongly preferred; for me, I won't buy or eat industrial eggs now that better alternatives are easily available.  Whisk the eggs in a bowl with one tablespoon water for each egg and a bit of salt and pepper.  Stir in the reserved veggies.

3. Put a little more olive oil in the same skillet and put over high heat.  Pour in the egg and veggie mixture and give it about a minute to set while sprinking 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano cheese over the top.  Reduce heat to very low, cover and leave for 15 minutes, checking occasionally.  When it's finished and set, slide it out to a serving plate, cut into wedges and serve.