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Eric Akis: Ham, cheese and veggies make mini frittatas memorable

Chef Eric Akis shares his recipe for mini Italian-style frittata, an omelette-like creation that in this case is rich with mushrooms, vegetables, ham and cheese.
Mini frittata, with mushrooms, ham, vegetables and cheese is cooked in a muffin pan. ERIC AKIS

Frittata is a round, Italian-style omelette often made in a skillet that when served is cut into wedges, creating multiple servings. My twist on that egg dish today is that, instead of a skillet, I used a muffin pan to make them, creating 12 mini frittatas.

To make them, I sautéed bell peppers and mushrooms until tender, mixed in green onions and seasonings, cooled those ingredients, and then mixed grated provolone cheese and chopped prosciutto cotto, an Italian-style cooked ham.

I then sprayed a good quality, non-stick muffin with oil spray. The muffin pan cups were then filled with a beaten egg mixture and the bell pepper/mushroom mixture. The muffin pan frittatas were then baked until the eggs were set and light golden on top.

After cooking, you let the frittata cool in the pan a short while, before carefully removing them from the pan. You can serve the warm and appealing frittata for breakfast with toasted, buttered slices of Italian bread and ripe slices of tomato. You could also serve the frittata for lunch with a mixed green salad alongside.

You can make the muffin pan frittata in advance and reheat them. See the Eric’s options part of the recipe details.

Muffin Pan Frittata

Mini versions of Italian-style frittata, an omelette-like creation that in this case is rich with mushrooms, vegetables, ham and cheese.

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 21 to 23 minutes

Makes: six servings (two frittatas each)

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced small mushrooms

2/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper

2/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper

2 medium green onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced, widthwise

1 tsp dried basil or oregano

1/4 tsp garlic powder

100 grams prosciutto cotto, chopped (see Note)

1 1/2 cups grated provolone or mozzarella cheese (about 125 grams)

10 large eggs

1/3 cup half and half (10 per cent) cream or milk

• salt and ground white pepper to taste

• vegetable oil spray

Heat oil in 10-inch or similar-sized skillet set over medium, medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the mushrooms and bell peppers and cook and stir until tender and any moisture coming out of the mushrooms has evaporated, about five minutes. Mix in the green onion, basil (or oregano) and garlic powder, and then remove from the heat. Spoon and spread the mushroom/bell pepper mixture on a wide plate and cool to room temperature. When cooled, mix in the chopped prosciutto cotto and grated cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place eggs in a bowl and beat well. Now mix in the cream (or milk), salt and pepper.

Grease a scratch-free, 12-cup, non-stick muffin pan with oil spray. Ladle 1/2-inch or so of the egg mixture into each cup. Now divide and set some the mushroom/bell pepper mixture into each cup, reserving about one cup of the mixture to top each frittata with. Pour the remaining egg mixture into the cups, filling each one near to the top. Now top each frittata with some of the remaining mushroom/bell pepper mixture.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and frittata are light golden on top. (The frittata will puff when they bake, but will settle back down once out of the oven.)

Cool the frittata on a baking rack a few minutes, and then use a thin spatula to loosen, lift and remove them from the pan and onto plates. Serve immediately (see Eric’s options).

Note: Prosciutto cotto is a cooked style of Italian ham that’s sliced and sold in the deli department of most grocery stores. Other types of deli ham, such as country or black forest, will also work in this recipe.

Eric’s options: To make the frittata in advance, to reheat and serve later, remove them from the muffin pan as noted above and set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate frittata until ready to serve. They can be made a day before needed. Reheat frittata by baking in 375 F oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through. Once cooled, the frittata could also be wrapped and frozen, to thaw and reheat at another time.

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Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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