CEimB: Vegetable Cheese Strata / Frittata

by Joanne on June 25, 2009

Who else didn’t read the recipe before starting it with the intention of serving it the same night? 

On Saturday, a quick perusal of ingredients needed for this weeks CEimB recipe was done prior to grocery shopping.  I saw the whole wheat baguette required in the recipe and thought…”I’m not going to buy one. I’ll make it and really do a bang up job!”  Then I read the recipe this morning, before beginning my baguette. Major Whoops!  No homemade baguette of mine was going to lay soaking in eggs and milk and other stuff, unseen in all its golden crusted, delicate crumb glory (or so I imagined).  So I ditched the baguette idea and realized there wasn’t time to do the recipe tonight if I wanted to follow Ellie Kreiger’s “Vegetable Cheese Strata” page 26 of “The Food You Crave”.  The recipe was chosen this week by Jen of A Mid-Life Culinary Adventure.  You see, the recipe requires the egg mixture to sit over night, or 8 hours, after being poured on top of the cubed whole wheat baguette.  Quick thinking and personal preference turned this minor disaster into half a success. 

DSCN1433

The recipe and original ingredients can be found at Jen’s blog.  In a nut shell, my ingredient changes were:

  • No bread of any kind.
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms were used
  • 4 Whole Eggs plus 1/2 cup EggBeaters
  • 2 cups “AllWhites” – 100% Liquid Egg Whites
  • No milk
  • 1 cup Non-Fat Greek Style Yogurt
  • 2 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 oz Crumbled Reduced Fat Feta

The result of these changes was a not so traditional Apple Crumbles frittata.  If you have ever wondered about the difference in egg dishes, omelet vs. frittata vs. strata vs..etc., click here to find out the “skinny”. 

Frittatas can often be found in the oven at Apple Crumbles.  The differences between this one and my usual frittata are as follows: 

  1. I never mix the cheese with the eggs. I put the cheese on top.  
  2. I rarely add yogurt or milk.  
  3. I never use egg whites, only EggBeaters and whole eggs.  
  4. The frittata goes into the oven in the stove top pan instead of being transferred to a 9 x 13 baking dish.    

The Results:

Very good in my opinion.  I had it at dinner, fresh from the oven.  Ted didn’t like it at all. He had it for breakfast, reheated.  He knew right away it wasn’t my typical frittata.  He said it was chewy, grainy and not as fluffy.  There was so much in this dish, it was surprising there was a lack of flavor and I think it was the amount of egg whites that was the turn off to the texture of this dish – or maybe reheating it did something scientifically funky to the mix?  It just didn’t have any pizazz.  It was a dish that needed a good side (such as fresh vegetable skewers) or a nice salsa to compliment.  DSCN1429

 One other point to mention, and I’m not sure if anyone else suffered “shrinkage“…who’s thinking of George on “Seinfeld” right now? 🙂   … my frittata came from the oven beautifully puffed up. About 10 minutes after sitting at the table it shrank away from the sides and flattened out all over.  This is a dish that needs to be presented immediately upon completion.  We have a lot of leftovers and it seems it will be up to me to make the best of them.  

DSCN1432

 Good pick Jen.  Maybe I will try again using the bread, but will omit the mozzarella cheese and use less egg whites.

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10 Comments

  • At 2009.06.25 08:25, Danielle said:

    Sorry you didn’t like it that much, it definitely looks good though!
    I don’t remember the exact recipe but I have definitely done the same thing where I planned on making something that night but realized an important step had to be done ahead of time. So frustrating but you made it work!

    • At 2009.06.25 10:01, Lauryn said:

      That’s too bad that you weren’t a huge fan, but I have to say, your photos look incredible! Sounds like you did a great job thinking quickly! I sprinkled parmesean cheese on top of mine at the last minute and, simply from a looks perspective, I wish I hadn’t. Mine tasted great, but I think it looked better without the cheese on top. So I think you were right to mix in the cheese rather than sprinkle on top!

      • At 2009.06.25 10:25, Sara said:

        Oh no! I have definitely shot myself in the foot multiple times by not reading a recipe in advance. Glad you were able to make something of it, even though it wasn’t a favorite. It certainly looks good though.

        • At 2009.06.25 11:16, nick said:

          You silly goose, you have to read the WHOLE recipe before starting.

          Looks like all turned out reasonably anyway, too bad for Ted he didn’t get to try any while it was fresh and hot, I don’t think it would’ve been nearly as good heated up (we didn’t have this problem, we annihilated it immediately).

          You have a good baguette recipe? I love making them myself but I screw the scoring up so horridly every time it makes me not want try again.

          • At 2009.06.25 11:47, Amy I. said:

            Aww, too bad Ted didn’t like it. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a positive experience with reheated eggs. So brave of you to even think about making your own baguette, but you’re right, I wouldn’t have wanted to hide it either 🙂 Glad at least you enjoyed eating your experiment!

            • At 2009.06.25 15:47, Liz said:

              Yours looks so good and eggy. The bread in mine was soggy and I would much rather have something more like yours which looks firm. And, I agree, despite the lengthy list of ingredients, it was pretty bland.

              • At 2009.06.25 23:30, Maria said:

                Nice job improvising!!!!
                Yours looks much lighter than mine…..I liked the bread bottom idea; however, it was quite dense and therefore filling to the belly…….perhaps w/o it, I would get that light
                airy egg bottom that i see yours has……like a frittata.

                • At 2009.06.26 00:24, Leslie said:

                  Sorry this didn’t make it for you. I find that if I reheat eggs, I have to drown them in salsa to cover the funky flavor.

                  • At 2009.06.26 11:47, Cathy said:

                    Sorry the frittata wasn’t a rousing success, but it looks beautiful, and I have no doubt that I would love it. I missed this week but look forward to revisiting this one soon!

                    • At 2009.08.07 02:01, Jennifer said:

                      A ridiculously tardy “thanks for baking” – I know it didn’t turn out as well as you hoped, and I totally agree that it had a lot of ingredients yet somehow lacked flavor (I’m relived I’m on the only one to think so!).

                      Anyway, I appreciate you carrying on despite many obsticals!

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