Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Zucchini & Mint Frittata

Written By: Chris - Oct• 16•12

While on our wonderful vacation, Bill and I enjoyed a fun cooking course in the “bon appetite culinary center” on board the Oceania Cruise Ship with Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly.  What a blast!  This cooking experience was a lot of fun especially because I got Bill’s participation!   We put on our aprons, got familiar with our work station, started off with Mimosa cocktails and got things rolling!

One of the terrific dishes we prepared were Frittata’s.  These are wonderfully versatile and you can enjoy them for breakfast or for dinner.  What is great is that you can use whatever you have on hand that is fresh and tasty from your pantry or refrigerator.  This frittata dish comes from Pasqua “Packy” Laghezza, the wife of Franco Semeraro, who is the Sr. Vice President of hotel operations for Oceania Cruises.  The secret to this frittata is the fresh mint, one of the flavors of the Puglia region of Italy.  This recipe was featured in the Taste of the World cookbook and if Bill and I can make it turn out wonderfully, I’m confident that you can too!

Serves 6 to 8.  You can certainly cut it in half, which is what we did in class and it was a perfect generous portion for two or four!

Ingredients:

8 slices White Bread, cut into small cubes (about 3 Cups)
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
Kosher Salt
1 small Zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into small cubes or half moons (about 1 3/4 Cups)
freshly ground Black Pepper
10 Large Eggs
3 1/2 Cups grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley, finely chopped 
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint (finely chopped or more, to your liking)

Place the bread cubes in a small bowl and cover with the milk.  Let soak (up to 30 minutes).

Mean while, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Chop the zucchini into small cubes, (enjoy this.. we don’t see Bill with a knife often!)  thinly slice onion and chiffonade the mint.  Heat an ovenproof,  nonstick 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, zucchini and onion along with a generous pinch of salt adjusting the heat as necessary to cook the onion without browning.  Stir gently occasionally, until tender and onions have become translucent, about four to five minutes.  Remove from heat and season with pepper and/or more salt to your liking.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk.

Gently squeeze the bread with your hands allowing to remove any excess milk, and discard the milk.

Add the bread to the eggs and whisk until combined.  Stir in the cheese, the zucchini mixture, parsley, and mint.  Pour the mixture back into the frying pan, spreading it in an even layer.

Transfer to the oven and bake until lightly golden on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before turning out onto a dish and serving.

Chef Kathryn’s tips: She likes to use the ingredients of regional cuisines to inspire frittatas.  For example, you could use jalapeno peppers, cilantro, chorizo and queso fresco (or Monterey Jack cheese) for a Mexican frittata.  For a Spanish frittata, use piquillo peppers, Spanish ham, and manchego cheese.  her favorite Greek-inspired frittata uses roasted red peppers, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, dill, mint and oregano.

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

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