Not so fast frittata

It may be because I am a child of the 70’s when convenience started to pop itself up another notch.  Cooking with boxed cakes and canned spaghetti was an art and if we could have afforded TV dinners with cake included for all the kids at my birthday party, I would have stapled a balloon to each one and included myself as a member of the Hartford, Connecticut Jet Set.  Or maybe it’s because my mother could make dinner (never from a mix), for 6 in the under 7 minute time frame she had when she got home from work, which inspired me to thrive on the challenge of cooking AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

It’s not always the right choice.

Fritattas are already a convenience food.  The other night, when I was making fritattas for 35 I decided to use the biggest pan I had.  Why make 18 that each serve two when you can make 2 that each serve 18?

I’ll tell you why–because if you are using a pan that has rubber fixed to the handle, you can’t put it in the oven, and if you can’t put it in the oven, it’s hard to have control when it’s time for flipping and that thing is air born.
So make your fritattas in little batches, and make your people wait if they have to.  That’s what nuts are for.  Start by caramelizing your onions.  Ease a tablespoon of unsalted butter to melting, and then add a spill of olive oil.  Bang the skin off a clove of garlic and throw it in the pan uncut, along with a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf.  Slice one bursting with youth yellow or red onion as thinly as possible and add to the pan.  Give it a little kosher salt and saute over a low to medium heat until it is so delicious that it becomes to difficult to think about sharing it.  That’s how you know it’s done.  Cool to room temperature.  Whisk no more than 6 eggs together and season them with a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt.  Wipe out the saute pan so that it is completely clean.  Heat the pan over a medium flame and give it another pour of olive oil (the better the olive oil, the better the flavor).  Add the onions to the egg and pour into the pan.  Let it set for a minute, and then very carefully push the edges towards the middle of the pan (just a half an inch or so) with a wooden spoon, to let the egg flow underneath itself.  When the top still looks very wet, but not like it has big pools of egg left, slide the egg without flipping, onto a plate of the same size.  Put a pat of butter in the pan.  Now get your courage up, and flip the whole plate onto the pan so that the frittata is cooked side up.  Almost immediately to about 10 seconds later, your frittata will be done.  It should be still slightly wet in the middle.

Serve with sauteed asparagus, French green olives with the pits and ridiculously good bread.

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