Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mushroom and Potato Frittata

What's the difference between a tortilla and a frittata? No, this isn't a bad culinary joke - the answer, is that a tortilla is 'flipped' in the pan to cook both sides, while the frittata is cooked one one side in a pan and then grilled to cook the top.

Now, don't say I don't teach you nuffink.

The reason I made this frittata, as opposed to a tortilla, is that I wanted to try out my new cast iron frying pan on both the hob and the grill. This is the first time I have not bought a non-stick pan - opting for a VERY heavy duty, seasoned, solid iron (100 tons at least), very grown up pan, that looks as if I will be able to hand it down to my great-great-great grandchildren, perfectly intact.

Anyway, did it work? The answer, is a resounding YES! I don't know what has come into me, but I feel so comfortingly 'olde worlde cook'-ish with my cast iron pan, that I'm considering never buying anything non-stick again. Teflon? Pah! If it wasn't good enough for Mrs Beeton, it isn't good enough for me. Turning 40 does strange things to you, I must say.

So what does this frittata taste like? Well, I think using the cast iron pan gives it a certain savouriness or something I can't quite put my finger on. I'm sure in a blind-tasting I wouldn't be able to tell whether or not I had used a non-stick pan, but food isn't all about empirical data. It's about history, nostalgia and dare I say it, a bit of romance?

Go and buy a non-stick pan NOW! If you don't buy one ready-seasoned, like me, you will need to fry in it a few times and not scrub off the cooking residue too much when washing it, in order to build up it's non-stick layer.

Do I really need to tell you that this dish is way under the Potless budget? Well, for completeness I will: £1.50 per serving. I thank you.

Serves 2


300g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
200g mushrooms, finely sliced
1 large red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 eggs, beaten
Pinches of salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until soft. Fry the mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme in the olive oil, on a moderate heat, until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes and move them around the pan to pick up all of the oily juices. Add the eggs and ensure everything is evenly covered. Cook until the bottom of the frittata is sealed (10 minutes approx). Transfer the pan to a hot grill and cook the top until the frittata is golden on top. Serve warm.

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