Frittata Friendly

For my first dish of the new year, I didn’t want to step into it blindly, like I usually do with recipes.  I have looked to recipes as a way to learn and to an extent, test my ability to be obedient and to follow.  What I’ve learned last year is that not all recipes live up to their potential.  If I didn’t like the recipe, I blamed the source.  I should know better than that.  If it looks or feels wrong, I should take it upon myself to improvise and improve.  Even a little research ahead of time wouldn’t hurt.

The first winner of the new year is a Potato, Sausage and Kale Frittata from the February 2003 Food and Wine.  Not only did I carefully read it over, but I compared it to my cooking bible, Cook’s Illustrated Best Recipes.  The two recipes varied quite a bit in quantity and ratio.  FW had more than twice as much filling and egg as BR.  They both employ a stove and oven technique, although FW uses the broiler.  BR was able to better explain the loosen and tilt method as a means to cooking the eggs, an active process which feels unlike the cake-like thing that I was making.  I also compared these to another frittata recipe that had been successful for me, concluding that I would use my largest frying pan (11 1/2″), stick to the list and proportions of FW ingredients and finish it in the oven at 350 degrees for 2-4 minutes, not the broiler.  My reality was that this Fast 30 minute recipe took over an hour with everything taking longer to cook than expected from the sausage and the potato, to the final finish in the oven.

Did all the extra attention pay off?  I’d say so, otherwise I would have ended up with a burnt undercooked frittata given the instructions.  With this lesson, I feel that I can confidently craft any frittata of my making, although I can’t complain about the combination of sausage, golden potato and kale, which I love, and seem to have many recipes for in soup, pasta, and casserole form.  The real winner in the recipe is the Yukon potato which accounts for the pockets of velvet-y smoothness.  I would think that the eggs would give it a fluffy creaminess, but it functions more like glue, holding everything together.  It’s a foolproof frittata.

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