Thursday, 7 July 2011

Potato Chip Frittata: Healthy, But Not!

I just returned from an awesome vacation out west. Spent time in Vancouver, and a handful of glorious days in Ucluelet. Go to Ucluelet. Don't hesitate. Serious. Vancouver was wonderful and walk, you bike, you look at mountains and ocean. And then you come back to Toronto, if you live here like me, and you're happy to be back in the edginess. No one in Vancouver seems to do anything bad (I mean, except for rioting). No one even stays up late! Anyway, I ate a lot of potato chips while I was away, just 'cause I could. Whatevs, I went for like 18 bike rides and 20 hikes.

My first day back to Toronto I had a couple of lovely people over for dinner, and I had eggs, and I wanted to do a frittata. Getting comfortable with the frittata is key for dinner parties, in my humble opinion. It's pure dead brilliant, as the Scots say. Eggs are key, so stop here if you hate them. But hating eggs is crazy talk. You make the frittata ahead of time, throw in a salad and some bread, and blammo, dinner.

FYI, this is a photo of sea lions off Ucluelet, not a frittata.
But look how cute they are.

The recipe, involving predominantly the aforementioned potato chips and eggs, is from a glorious, luscious cookbook called Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan. She rules. And so does this cookbook. She calls this a 'wink' recipe, something developed by those saucy French to get a bit playful with the traditional Spanish recipe for potato tortilla. Try serving it to your health nut friends who never eat potato chips, and then tell them after they've eaten it.

Are people getting tired of these cutting board shots?
Potato Chip Frittata
From Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

4 eggs
3 green onions, sliced finely, or a small onion, treated the same
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of herbs of your choosing     (I used cilantro and parsley, but other delicious choices would be chives, or basil, or dill might even be nice)
1 tbsp of oil, canola or olive
1/3 of a big bag of potato chips    (I used kettle chips, salt and pepper flavoured - but here's where you can get crazy: why not try making it with dill pickle, hmmm? Or sour cream and onion? Just don't use all-dressed - they're gross)

So here's what you do. Set your oven to broil, and move your oven rack up so it's pretty close to the actual broiler, but not crazy close. Dorie gives you an actual amount of inches the pan should be from the broiler but I found that too much work. Just make sure your rack is pretty close, but not as close as it can get, you feel me?

Crush the shit out of those potato chips with your hands, in a bowl big enough to fit the eggs after. Really crush the chips up, so that they're in little bits. In another bowl, crack in your four eggs, and then add the garlic, herbs, and onion. Then whisk that all up. Add the whisked egg action into the potato chip bowl, and mix it all up well. Heat up the oil over medium heat in a smallish frying pan (I was a bit concerned about using my small frying pan but it totally worked, it's only four eggs after all). The pan needs to be able to go into the oven, so cast iron is ideal. If you have a pan whose handle won't go in the oven, you can wrap that handle in foil and proceed.

Once the oil gets a bit hot, pour in your egg/potato chip mixture, then turn the heat to minimum. Let it set for a couple of minutes. Don't do what I did and get nervous and leave it too long thinking it wasn't set yet. Just wait a little bit (about three minutes or so), and run a spatula around the edge. If the edge keeps together in your spatula go-around, pop your pan in the oven, and broil for another few minutes. Keep a good eye on this puppy, as it won't take long for everything to set up good. Take her out of the oven, slide it out of the pan, and place on a cutting board or similar to serve.

The frittata tastes best at room temperature, which is why it's so ideal for the dinner parties. You could make it even the day before and be all easy breezy re your main course when your friends arrive. You've got this covered, yeah?

"It tastes healthy, but it's not!"
- dinner party guest

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