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Asparagus and Ham Frittata

6 ounces ham, cut in 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled if thicker than a pencil
12 eggs
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (about 1/3 cup)

1. Heat the broiler.

2. Cook the ham, parsley and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over low heat until
ham renders its fat and begins to shrivel, 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut up the asparagus. Start cutting from the base in 1/4- to 1/2-inch
crosswise slices. Cut up to the tips, but leave the last inch of the tips whole. Add
to the ham and continue cooking another 5 minutes.

4. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat in a 10-inch
nonstick skillet or omelet pan. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a fork to break
up the yolks. Do not whisk -- you don't want to beat air into the eggs. Stir in the
asparagus, ham and parsley.

5. Pour into the skillet and cook, stirring gently, just until the eggs start to form
curds, about 5 minutes. Be careful to scrape the bottom of the pan while you're
stirring to keep the eggs from setting up too quickly. Cover and reduce the heat
to low. Cook until the top is almost set, another 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan and place the pan 4 or 5 inches under the
broiler. Cook just until the cheese begins to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove
the frittata from the broiler and loosen the sides with a thin spatula. Set aside to
cool to room temperature. When ready to serve, remove the frittata from the pan
and cut it into wedges. Or, cut it in 1-inch squares and place a toothpick in the
center of each to serve as an appetizer.

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