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Summer Squash and Tomato Frittata
In our household eggs are commonly referred to as "the magical binder of leftovers". And it's definitely true. Whether it's a scramble, omelet, frittata, or a quiche I can use eggs to clear out various leftover produce, meats, and cheese from the fridge. They even make a meal out of leftover pasta sauce that's quick and easy when you don't feel like having pasta again. While there are plenty of dishes to ponder using eggs and leftovers, tonight I will focus on frittatas.

The first time I made a frittata it was for a big potluck-style brunch. I had recently borrowed a very enticing cookbook of frittata recipes from a friend and it seemed like the perfect thing. You can make it ahead of time and it can be served at any temperature. I think the one I made was a sausage and red bell pepper variant. It turned out to be very simple and straightforward so I found that after making one I easily could whip one up with whatever I happened to have on hand.

If you're not familiar with frittata it is kind of akin to a quiche. Only there's no crust and not as much baking involved. I often make mine completely on the stove because I don't want to heat up the oven.

So here is a simple recipe to get you started:

Bacon & Mushroom Frittata with Smoked Gouda

1/2 lb of whole mushrooms
8 slices of bacon
8 medium eggs, lightly beaten with 1/4 cup of milk
1 cup of grated smoked gouda plus additional small shavings to garnish
handful of fresh parsley

Heat a large deep non-stick pan over medium. Using kitchen shears cut bacon into pieces over the pan and then break apart and stir letting the fat render out. Cook until the bacon is crispy to your preference. Remove the bacon from the pan to paper towels to drain. Return the pan with the rendered bacon fat to the heat. While the bacon is cooking slice the mushrooms into 1/4" pieces. When the bacon is done and out of the pan, saute the mushrooms in the bacon fat until tender. Add the bacon back to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bacon & mushrooms. Gently stir to combine. Sprinkle the grated cheese liberally over the dish. Cook on low gently lifting at the edges and tilting the pan to let the uncooked egg underneath. When the eggs are set on the sides & bottom turn the heat down to low and cover the pan with a tight lid or aluminum foil. (Alternately if your pan is oven-safe you can pop it under the broiler). Let cook until eggs are set through and the top has puffed up a bit from the steam. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and the small shavings of smoked gouda. Serve with a lightly dressed salad.

You can make a frittata with leftovers really fast because you don't have to cook them like the bacon & mushrooms in my recipe above. For example; lets say you have some roasted asparagus, maybe some leftover ham, and oh, how about some cheddar cheese. Heat your deep skillet, add the ham and heat through until it starts to render some good fat and flavor. Toss the asparagus (chopped into smaller pieces) and heat through. Add your egg & milk mixture then add the cheese. Cook as above and garnish with additional cheddar.

You get the idea? The possibilities are really endless. There are recipes that use potatoes, leftover pasta, even some that can be done in the slow cooker. So no more wasting all those leftovers!

Ok, that's it for tonight. What's for dinner at your table tonight?

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