La Frittata with no flipping out

I am in the middle of menu planning for Italy and it’s important that I get it right. Like my friend Ed says, A. I can’t have people showing up for take out and B. food is a major part of coming to a cooking course. I have list and more lists of options and I have to decide–what are the most important things to know how to make, for introducing the familiar and the unfamiliar tastes, or familiar foods paired with the unexpected dish fello or technique to broaden what a person can do in the kitchen, a little history of Italy, and most important of all, getting people excited about eating, even if they are there for Deruta. It has to be a balance of what people already know, what they want to know, of texture, temperature, and taste, and keeping everybody happy.
Planning menus is one my favorite things to do, but at the same time it can take me down by the ankles. It’s like making any other dinner. WHAT AM I GOING TO MAKE AND WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE JUST DO IT FOR ME?!! Then when that passes, I try to bring it back to the basics. Nobody is afraid of an egg say, and on any given day, there is an egg in the fridge of a lot of people. A frittata is one my best tricks. You can fry and dry an egg on a grill that hasn’t seen the light of hope in the back of a fast food chain, or you can, with that same egg, get the white to mix in with the yolk, just until they are nearly but not quite the same (with a teeny pinch of salt for every egg), get a heavy saute pan warmed up with a little butter and a little olive oil, (let’s say a tablespoon and a half total) for 8 eggs. Grind in three turns of black pepper. When the butter stops making noise, and the pan is hot but not smoking, tip in the egg. Don’t go to answer the phone and don’t involve yourself with anyone at this point who needs you to move from the stove. Let the egg set. You will see the outer edges going a pale yellow after about 30 seconds. Your flame should be medium to low. It’s not an omelette (made hot and quick) , just a frittata, so you want to go slowly. With a heat resistant rubber spatula, lift the sides of the egg and let the liquid run underneath. When the top is nearly set, but about 2 tablespoons of soupy egg are still on top, scatter baby arugula leaves over one side. Drizzle with a teeny bit of your absolute best olive oil. Finish with parmigiano reggiano, and if you have it, some tiny cubes of fresh mozzarella, not too many, just 10 1/4 inch cubes. Now with a metal spatula, lift up one half of the frittata and flip over the other for a half moon. This is the way I like it. It’s now traditional. Traditional would be to slide it onto a plate, invert the thing and after about 5 seconds on the other side, even less, slide it back out onto the plate. The most important thing here to not over cook the egg, but to leave it a little runny. You need to decide for yourself, especially if you know what you like and what you don’t like how you think a thing should be done. So I fold mine in half. I like the cooked on either side and runny in the middle. Serve with homemade gnocchi that have no more than butter and lemon as a sauce, and a warm carrot salad where the carrots are tender, but have a memory of crunch, tossed with balsamic, orange, olive oil, currants and toasted pine nuts.
Maybe. Or fry the potatoes and serve with roasted tomatoes. Or a side of roasted pumpkin and tiny grilled pork chops and strips of pancetta. Or on it’s own with warmed bread rubbed with butter and a cup of coffee. The beautiful thing about the egg is, it has a lot of soul mates.

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