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QUICK FIX

Ham in Eggs

MENU: Frittata, Fruit Salad and Warm Croissants

April 08, 1998|JOAN DRAKE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If baked ham is going to be the focal point of your Easter menu, it's likely that there will be bits and pieces left over. A cup is all you need to make this frittata for a brunch or light dinner.

When there's no ham on hand, add a small, fully cooked center cut slice to your shopping list and a couple of minutes to the countdown to cut it into chunks.

The frittata can be inverted as instructed or made in an oven-proof skillet and run under a broiler to finish cooking the top. Either way is quicker than baking, a third method used to make these flat open-faced omelets.

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Drake is a freelance writer living in San Luis Obispo.

FRITTATA

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

6 spears pencil-thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

6 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1 cup diced baked ham

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt, pepper

Saute onion, bell pepper, asparagus and mushrooms in butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Combine eggs, milk, ham, cheese thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir to evenly combine ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until edges begin to set, 3 to 4 minutes.

Lift sides of frittata with rubber spatula, tilting pan to allow uncooked egg mixture to flow under. Continue cooking until bottom is set and top is barely runny, about 10 minutes.

Place large flat plate or baking sheet over skillet and invert frittata, then slide uncooked side back into pan. Cook until bottom is golden and center is set, about 5 minutes.

Slide frittata onto large plate and cut into wedges.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings:

235 calories; 608 mg sodium; 254 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 0.39 gram fiber.

MIXED FRUIT SALAD

4 cups mixed fresh fruit chunks, such as cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, strawberries and pineapple

1/2 pint blueberries

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine mixed fruit and blueberries in large salad bowl.

Whisk together sour cream, orange juice and ginger in separate bowl. Serve with fruit.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings:

97 calories; 21 mg sodium; 9 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.71 gram fiber.

COUNTDOWN

30 minutes before: Chop onion, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

25 minutes before: Saute onion, bell pepper, asparagus and mushrooms.

20 minutes before: Beat eggs and combine with milk, ham, cheese and thyme.

18 minutes before: Pour egg mixture into skillet.

15 minutes before: Slice fruit for salad.

10 minutes before: Begin warming croissants. Prepare dressing for fruit.

5 minutes before: Invert frittata onto plate, then slide back into skillet to finish cooking. Place fruit in serving bowl.

INGREDIENTS

STAPLES

Butter

Cheddar cheese

Eggs

Ground ginger

Milk

Onion

Orange juice

Pepper

Salt

Dried thyme

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SHOPPING LIST

6 pencil-thin asparagus spears

1/2 pint blueberries

4 to 6 croissants

Seasonal fruit of choice

1 slice center-cut cooked ham

1/4 pound sliced mushrooms

1 red bell pepper

1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream

Kitchen Tip

Chef's Tips

Buy pencil-thin asparagus to eliminate peeling. Prepare by snapping off the tough lower ends of the spears where they break easily, then rinse well under cold water before cutting into pieces.

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