Monday, March 18, 2013

the incredible, edible egg: sweet potato ham frittata

We are quite fortunate to have access to a continuous supply of eggs.  Eggs from chickens like Wilma and Thelma who roam my parent's farm eating bugs, scratching sawdust, and chewing on grass. They live one of the happiest chicken lives possible. As a result, their eggs are fresh, flavorful, and filled with deliciousness!

Eggs are a staple food in our abode. When dinner just isn't going to happen or when the fridge is looking a little bare, we resort to some sort of scrambled eggs or omelettes. Omelettes are the hubster's specialty. He's always concocting tasty combos like pesto and mozzarella, marinara and pepperoni, ham and cheddar, spinach and leftover chicken. When omelettes are on the menu, I simply help prep the ingredients then step back and watch the omelette master at work. A cheap, delicious meal that doesn't require me slaving over a hot stove...sounds good to me!

We've recently discovered the beauty of frittatas. The perfect dinner that combines protein, veggies, and carbs in a delicious, easy, eggy package. Our favorite combination thus far is a sweet potato, ham, spinach frittata. It's flavorful, filling, healthy, and a quick weeknight dinner.

Sweet Potato and Ham Frittata 
(inspired by Whole Foods' The Whole Deal circular and this Spinach and Potato Frittata)

1/2 c. cooked ham, chopped
1 c. sweet potato, chopped
1/2 c. cooked spinach leaves (about 1 c. fresh)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. shredded cheese
6 eggs
2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
salt and pepper

Note: I suggest stocking your freezer with ham steaks when they go on sale. The best deal I've found lately is 3 for $5...less than two dollars each!! Sale price ham really helps to bring down the total cost of this meal. This frittata costs us around $2 for the ingredients, but it might be as much as $4 (I realize not all of you are blessed with free eggs). Still a frugalish dinner in this age of expensiveness!

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a 10 inch nonstick oven-safe saute pan over medium heat
3. Add 1 c. sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 2-4 minutes until golden brown on bottom. Then flip and cook the other side. Remove sweet potatoes when they're fork tender. Allow to cool slightly before adding to eggs.
4. Then add 1 c. fresh spinach to the pan and saute for 1-3 minutes until wilted. Remove from pan.
5. In large bowl, beat six eggs then add all the other ingredients. Mix well.
6. Using same saute pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium and turn pan so the oil coats the whole pan. Then add egg mixture. Smooth the mixture out with a spatula.
7. Cook on medium in pan for 7-10 minutes until the bottom is a light brown.
8. Then insert pan into oven and cook 13-15 minutes until the bottom is a golden brown. Be careful you don't overcook the frittata - nobody wants dry eggs.
9. Take out of the oven (watch the handle of the pan - it's HOT!) Slide the frittata onto a plate or invert it. Inverting never ends well for me, so I choose the slide method...
10. Serve warm or at room temperature. We like our frittata out of the oven nice and warm.

Be frugal and use this recipe as a frittata base. Try different filling combinations with what you already have in your fridge/pantry. Whatever you substitute for the ham, sweet potato, and spinach should add up to about two cups. Happy cooking, friends!

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