Frittata brings taste of Italy to breakfast, brunch buffet tables

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Pretty soon everyone will be able to be outside enjoying the fine weather and the company of friends and family.

Are you having a brunch or breakfast buffet this year?

Do you want something different from the usual scrambled eggs?

Here's a frittata (from the Italian word fritto, meaning fried,) which is an omelet, flipped to cook, or broiled to finish, so that it is cooked on both sides and served flat and cut into wedges.

You can prep all of the ingredients a day ahead so that you'll be able to breeze through the cooking.

Be sure to use a large, heavier weight non-stick skillet to do the omelet cooking.

Crab, Camembert and Fusilli Frittata

(serves four to six)

1 cup fusilli pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 very small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 large Roma tomato, roughly chopped

1/3cup semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

2/3cup cooked fresh or canned crab meat

5 ounces Camembert cheese, rind removed, cut into small pieces

6 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water until it is al dente. Drain and set aside to cool.

Heat half of the oil in a small frying pan over low heat, add the onion and cook for four to five minutes, or until softened but not browned.

Transfer to a bowl and add the Roma tomato, semi-dried tomatoes and coriander. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the crab meat and add to the bowl.

Next, add half the cheese and the cooled pasta and mix well. Beat together the six eggs and the two extra yolks, and then stir into the frittata mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining oil in the larger frying pan and when hot, pour in the frittata mixture and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler to a low heat. Scatter the remaining Camembert over the frittata before placing it under the broiler. Cook under the broiler until cooked through and golden brown on top.

Remove from under the broiler and let set for five minutes. Cut into slices and serve immediately.


Last week we concentrated on lamb dishes for the holidays. Here's another idea to fill-in your buffet table that will compliment your other selections.

By itself or accompanied by rice or pasta, it will be a standout.

Mediterranean Chicken

(serves four)

8 chicken thigh cutlets

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 ounces shallots

4 cloves garlic

1/2cup white wine

14-ounce can chopped tomatoes

12 Kalamata olives

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

4 slices prosciutto

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/2cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the skin and the fat from the chicken thighs. Heat half the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken on both sides (three to four minutes per side).

Arrange the chicken in a large, flameproof casserole dish.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat for four minutes, or until soft but not browned.

Add the wine and bring to a boil.

Add the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, tomato paste, oregano, basil and sugar. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Boil, stirring for two minutes, then pour over the chicken and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, place the prosciutto slices in a single layer in a frying pan. Fry for three minutes or until crisp, turning once.

Break the slices into large chunks and set aside.

Arrange the chicken on a serving dish, cover and keep warm.

Transfer the casserole to the stove top and boil the pan juices for about five minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon the juices over the chicken, sprinkle with lemon rind, parsley and capers. Top with the pieces of prosciutto and serve.

David Kelly has been a working chef for more than 40 years. He has been bringing recipes and cooking tips in Culinary Corner for 21 years.

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