Not one of my better recipe ideas

For all of my loyal guests who have come to believe that I can’t put a foot wrong while cooking breakfast, today would be the day that I dispell those illusions.

I love to create new entrees for our breakfast guests, and I get ideas everywhere. And I’m continually thinking of how to present these entrees for maximum “pretty.” Today, we had four guests for breakfast. Asparagus is in season in the garden, and I’d found a yummy-looking recipe for asparagus frittata which included sauteed onions and artichoke hearts. To my mind, however, this combination would have very little color, all of it pale grey-green. So I decided to add some roasted red peppers, some ham, some feta, and a little grated Parmesan to the frittata.

The problem is that frittatas are usually made in a pie plate or a sauté pan, and the smallest diameter of either that I own is 9″ which would result in a pretty flat frittata–even, I thought, with all those ingredients. Then I had a brainstorm: I have a 7″ Springform pan I rarely use. Why not bake the frittata in that? That way, I could just release the exterior of the pan, and cut the resultant puffed concoction into four lovely pieces, et voilà! The recipe called for a baking time of 15-20 minutes, but because I know frittatas hold well and actually are a little better if rested once baked, I put the dish in 40 minutes in advance of our 9:30 breakfast.

Well. This is an example of why you should try out such experiments on yourself before you try them for company. One does not make a frittata in a cake pan. First of all, some of the egg mixture ran out under the springform sides of the pan. (Fortunately, I’d anticipated this possibility by putting a cookie sheet under the pan.) Then, the high sides blocked the heat necessary to bake it evenly. When the alarm went off at the 20 minute mark, the frittata was still uncooked in the middle. I baked it for the full forty minutes, and still it wasn’t completely done.

So at 9:25, we had a game change, and I made a Tuscany omelette on the stove with all the above ingredients except the asparagus (no time to harvest, clean, and steam it). Why I didn’t just do this in the first place is a mystery. The guests loved it, and never knew it wasn’t what I’d originally planned.

I baked the frittata in the oven another five minutes and let it rest ten minutes. The result, freed from the springform pan, is what you see in the picture here. Chris and I ate it for breakfast and it was very tasty but, cooked or not, the result looked like a mishmash. Chris described it thusly: “Tastes great, but it looks like the dog threw up.”  (!!!!! See what I put up with!?!)

So, lesson learned: Cake pans really are only for cakes. Next time, I’ll use a square Pyrex dish.

But I’m still going to keep trying new things…

Quote of the Day: Are you casting asparagus on my cooking?? — Curly Howard

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