Frittata muffins are grab-and-go breakfast fare

Formulas for fast breakfasts with a little flair filled this week’s A la Carte.

The most novel among them is a “pizza” prepared on naan bread and sauced with pumpkin puree. This incorporates pantry and freezer staples of my kitchen in a way I likely would have never devised before this week’s story.

Although baked ham cups are among the more predictable concepts, it’s the one to which I personally gravitate. Blame my undying and unwholesome fondness for McDonald’s Egg McMuffin.

Yes, the recipe could be much more wholesome with a sprinkle of veggies. But here’s an alternative that uses just about any cooked grain in individual, muffin-cup frittata. Made the night beforehand, these could constitute true grab-and-go fare because they would eat like quiche, which I don’t mind cold, while masquerading as an actual muffin.

The recipe, courtesy of Tribune News Service, calls for quinoa, although the title indicates that any grain could be used. I’d also reach for amaranth, mentioned in a previous post, which is so small and sticky that it doesn’t disrupt the egg’s texture. Amaranth souffle is a dish I’ve made, but these would be much simpler.

Tribune News Service photo

Frittata Muffins for Any Grain

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, preferably red or black

2 cups fresh or frozen peas (do not thaw)

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Grana Padano cheese, Parmesan or sharp cheddar, plus 1/4 cup finely grated, for sprinkling

1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (about 3)

1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped herbs, such as a mixture of mint and parsley or dill and mint

1 to 2 teaspoons minced serrano chili, veins and seeds removed for less heat (optional)

7 large eggs

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper

12 pitted salt-cured black Moroccan or green olives (optional)

Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan, preferably nonstick, with olive oil or coat with cooking spray.

Place the quinoa, peas, shredded cheese, scallions, herbs and chili in a medium bowl and combine well with a fork. (If grains are precooked, make sure to separate any clumps.) Divide equally among muffin cups, about 1/3 cup for each, filling until almost full.

Place the eggs in a large bowl and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. (If using previously cooked salted grains and greens, only use 1/4 teaspoon salt.) Whisk well until foamy, for about 30 seconds. Divide egg mixture into cups, using about 1/4 cup for each. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 teaspoon of the finely grated cheese and gently press in 1 olive (if using).

Bake in preheated oven until frittata muffins puff up and turn light golden on top and golden-brown around edges, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Using a knife or thin rubber spatula, carefully go around edges of each muffin to gently release from pan. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 muffins.

From “Simply Ancient Grains,” by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press, 2015).

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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