Fridge-tata: Going recipe-less with breakfast
January 18, 2011 § 3 Comments
Long weekend away in a ski house with friends + cooking in + stuffed refrigerator = “fridge-tata”
If you’re not an egg lover or have not gone out to for brunch in 15 years and aren’t familiar with a frittata, it’s the Italian take on the classic French omelette: Beaten eggs in a hot skillet, but with the fixins in them and presented flat, not folded. And finished off in the oven. Served in slices. Come to think of it, it’s like a slice of egg cake. Filled with sausage or salmon, chicken or chopped tomatoes, their many formulations stuff recipe sites and cookbooks.
I’m telling you now, throw out the recipes and create your own on auto-pilot. It’s as easy as opening your refrigerator.
We’ve been members of a gay ski house up in Vermont for going on eight years now. On any given fall or winter weekend, the house is filled with boys from NYC and Boston, boyfriends flying in from elsewhere and occasionally a few girls. There can be up to 12 or 14 folks sitting around the dinner table. The New York boys have a reputation for preparing over-the-tops meals – usually creatively fueled with several apre-ski cocktails. Caviar shows up on the menu several times a ski season.
At least one breakfast each weekend is something I’ve dubbed a “fridge-tata.” While I can take credit for the name, I can’t take credit for the process. That would go to the likes of Hal and Steve. They stare into the open fridge, assess the leftovers, and pull out the fridge-tata’s fillings. Chicken and green beans? Tuna and asparagus? As long as they have six or more eggs and that huge skillet (it must be 16 inches), they can create a breakfast fortified enough to fuel a day of downhill.
On Sunday, I created my own single-serving fridge-tata for a post-snowshoeing snack.
- leftovers of salmon, rice (created from some seasoned packet and a half can of chopped tomatoes) and beans
- two eggs, beaten with salt and pepper and a touch of milk
- mango key-lime salsa to taste
-Using a small, 8-in. skillet set on medium, I heated up the rice and beans. Meanwhile, I whisked up my eggs with salt and pepper.
-After beans and rice formed a bit of a crust on the bottom, I broke it up a bit and added my little hunk of leftover salmon. I waited because I didn’t want the salmon to be cooked to much more than it already had been.
-With the salmon in there for about 30 seconds, I added the eggs and turned the heat down to medium low.
-I let the eggs set a bit – enough so that I could lift the sides with a spatula. This took only two to three minutes.
-The top of the fridge-tata needed to set, so I put a lid over the skillet for a minute or two.
-Serve with salsa.
I could have used another egg or two to make the fridge-tata thicker. But then it would have been too much for me to finish. Had I cooked a more massive fridge-tata in that larger 16-in. skillet, I would have used way more eggs – probably eight or more. And, I would have cooked it on the stovetop until the eggs set up, covered it and set it on medium low for maybe 14-15 minutes, and then put it under the broiler for a minute or two to make sure the top was crisp.
It’s not the gourmety-est dish. But it’s the perfect way to deal with leftovers when roughing it in a ski house.