One of the pleasures of an Ina Garten recipe is that it predictably yields a yummy product. Sure, it could have something to do with the talent of the recipe creator—and I don’t want to take too much away from that—but part of the credit must go to ingredient lists that go something like: 1 cup of butter, ½ cup of oil, 1 and ½ cup of sugar, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, ½ cup chocolate chips, 4 large eggs, etc. (I’m only slightly exaggerating here…) With a lot of fats and sugars, it’s hard not to like the end result.
On the flip side is something like a Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook recipe. Sometimes the austerity of one of those recipes makes me shrink in horror. I know that today’s fat-laden cooking might be a tad unhealthy for us, but surely original culinary artists didn’t really intend that we whip up everything with cooking-spray coated non-stick pans and evaporated skim milks?
So, I cheat. I convince myself that I am cooking something “healthy” by choosing a recipe from Martha Stewart’s cookbook Healthy Quick Cook, and then I add some fat—but not too much! A little bit of fat does add a lot of flavor though…
Case in point. I like Martha Stewart’s Sage Egg-White Frittata, but I find 1 cup of chanterelles a bit expensive, and I only usually have 3-4 eggs whites leftover from a weekend baking event. I rarely have the recipe’s required 9 egg whites around! So, I improvise.
Here’s a link to Martha’s recipe so that you can have the less fat original version which was my inspiration, but you can also follow my (dare I say, “tastier”?) version.
4 egg whites
2 T butter
1 t olive oil
1 and ½ cups mixed mushrooms (including some cremini), sliced thickly
about 12 whole small and medium sage leaves
1-2 oz. (ie, to taste) crumbled gorgonzola
(NOTE: Don’t worry too much about the exact numbers of eggs and egg whites. The idea is to use egg whites you have around after you made some crème brulee—or whatever! How about some combination that would roughly equal 12 white or yolk parts? That is, 6 whole eggs is fine; or 8 egg white and 2 whole eggs. Do make sure though that you do include at least 2 whole eggs for flavor and color.)
1. Whisk together the egg whites and the whole eggs and lightly salt and pepper.
2. Melt 1 T of butter in an oven-safe 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until it foams. Dump the mushroom slices in a single layer, quickly stir around to coat them with the fat, and then let sit—without stirring—for a couple of minutes. Then stir to redistribute and let sit again for another couple of minutes. Continue until mushrooms release a nice fragrance and the slices are getting lightly browned. Remove to a plate and then salt and pepper to taste.
3. Turn the broiler on, and wipe the skillet clean with paper towel. Place pan back on medium to medium-high heat (depending on your stove) and melt the remaining 1 T butter and the 1 t olive oil until hot and the butter is lightly foaming.
4. Whisk the eggs mixture again—just to recombine—and then dump the browned mushroom into the egg mixture. Then, pour the egg/mushroom mixture into the hot butter/oil. Throw on the sage leaves on top of the egg mixture, and let sit for 2 minutes. Rotating the pan and tilting it slightly to one side, slide a thin spatula underneath the settling frittata and let the runny egg mixture flow to bottom of pan. Do this evenly throughout until the top is only slightly wet. Altogether, this process should take about 5 minutes from the time you pour the egg mixture into the skillet.
5. Place the pan under the broiler with the heat about 6 inches from the top of the frittata and cook for 1 minute. Then pull out the pan and scatter the gorgonzola crumbles on top and place back under the broiler for 1 minute longer. You can check to make sure that the frittata has assumed a puffed up and lovely light brown color and that the cheese is nicely melted.
Remove from oven, slide onto a cutting board, cut into slices, and enjoy with some French bread and a light salad.