Should you flip a frittata?

In Food, Musings on December 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

This cold and lazy (cozy?) winter’s morning, found us waking up to New-Year’s-eve pressure, not having any exciting plans for the last day of 2010.  By the time noon came around, we had resigned to the prospect of watching fireworks at midnight with a friendly hand-out of oliebollen at the town square. But getting to that conclusion had us ravenously hungry. Which is when we decided on making a frittata for brunch. What is a frittata you ask? Like all good bloggers, we could link you to wikipedia, but will suffice by saying that its a ginormous omelette with stuff in it!

The recipe we decided to adopt is this one for a spinach and potato frittata. Every thing proceeded according to plan more or less (the potatoes cooked readily, the spinach and garlic additions added wonderful aroma and texture, and the eggs and milk made a fluffy cloud of appetizing goodness – the latter a sight I had never seen before). And then popped the question – which will surely bother you too if you enter the frittata fray – should I flip the darn thing? If yes, HOW??

Frittata : Flipped, and Un-flipped

Frittata : Flipped, and Un-flipped

Since we’d already oiled two different pans – having thought of cooking it on one, then picking another one before the oil was hot and the potatoes added – we flipped the frittata from Pan#2 onto Pan#1 after it was browned on the bottom, to brown the top (which has some cheese on it, and therefore lends to some delicious browning).

Googling the titular question leads to many recipes for ‘faster, friendlier, flip-free’ frittatas, advertisements for ‘frittata pans’ and the suggestion that what we did was pretty much the way to go, unless we planned to cook the whole darned mess in an oven in the first place.

To contrast the rich silky mouth-feel of the frittata, we decided to make a spicy (moroccan-inspired?) orange salad from this 1980 NY Times recipe, mainly to use up oranges that aren’t getting used up, and some green olives that came out of a can that was too big for any sane human family to consume. We used half a teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli powder instead of the cayenne and paprika mixture the recipe suggests. The centuries old add-mirch-to-something-khatta trick works fantastically here, and the raw garlic is the real star of the dressing, as it gets milder and smoother with all the orange/lemon/oil it sits in.

Spinach-Potato Frittata with Orange-Olive salad

So to answer the question, Should you Flip the Frittata? If you feel like, flip it…if you don’t, don’t.

Its 2011 – do as you please!

PS: We’re thinking we should make ‘flipping the frittata’ a euphemism for a difficult/confusing decision about which you have no clue in the first place, and whose resolution barely matters.

  1. I never flip it because if I do, it breaks and I have a mess on my hands! And, thanks for that link to the Moroccan orange salad. I have a bunch of organic oranges on hand.

    • Ha ha…Manisha, many a time we start out wanting to make an ‘omelette’ and end up piling in too many veggies which makes it almost frittata-esque…but since we didn’t originally think of it as a frittata, we try to flip with a spatula, without a care in the world, and yes, we do also, end up with a mess 🙂
      The salad is really really good. We also tried the orange avocado salad mentioned in the same NYT post on another day, and that was awesome too. Looking forward to hearing how yours turned outl

  2. I cheated a little bit with the salad: garlic infused olive oil instead of garlic and olive oil, cilantro instead of parsely cos that’s what I had and red chilli powder instead of cayenne and paprika. It was very good!

    I’ll try the avocado salad the next time I buy those wonder fruits.

  3. I don’t think that flipping a frittata ever occurred to me. I broil it for about a minute or so after it sets, and it turns out great every time. Marcella Hazan also does this, but mentions that some people prefer the flipping method.

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