Photogenic Foods

If you were to scroll through the photos that currently reside on my cellphone, you would find an odd mix of subject matter. Sure, there are the images from yesterday’s Century Farm visit with the Doedens, photos of the strange clouds that took over the sky on Friday evening, and remembrances of our March trip to Florida.

But you would also find photos of beers, snapped during Sunday afternoon craft brew tastings at our house to enter on the Untapped app, which logs the beers you’ve sampled and the tasting notes for it. When I enhance the photos, it saves each picture twice, and I rarely remember to go in and delete them, so I get duplicates of each beer bottle.

And there’s also food. Lots of food pictures. Some of memorable meals, especially from our road trips — the variations of crab cakes I gobbled down during that March sojourn, a burger that Bryan particularly enjoyed in the Twin Cities, fish tacos eaten in Panama City, Fla., and ginormous ice cream cones as big as my head (and yes, I ate the whole thing).

Occasionally, I snap photos of dishes that I make, particularly when I think they might warrant sharing in this blog or on the food page. And occasionally, something particularly good-looking that Hubby Bryan has concocted.

Such was the case with this photo here today. It is of a frittata that Bryan put together for Sunday brunch.

A frittata is an egg dish that is remarkable in its versatility. You can throw just about anything in it — all those bits and pieces of leftovers that don’t add up to a meal — and it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and, in fact, can be eaten either hot or cold.

In the frittata shown here, Bryan piled in some leftover spaghetti noodles (leftover pasta adds body and texture), halved grape tomatoes, onion, red peppers, cheese — I know I’m missing something, maybe some bacon? — covered it all with the egg mixture, cooked it on the stovetop and placed it in the oven for the last few minutes of cooking time and then sprinkled fresh basil over the top. Yes, it’s like a big omelet, only you don’t have to learn how to fold it properly to encase the ingredients.

A frittata is really one of those spur-of-the-moment, throw-it-together,  I-don’t-really-have-a-recipe-for-it kind of thing. So I don’t have the exact recipe for what is pictured here.

But I knew you readers out there would want a recipe that would be an approximate facsimile. So I turned to my good buddy (we’ve never really met, but I feel like I know him) Alton Brown of the Food Network. Here is Alton’s go-to recipe for a frittata. Feel free to make it your own with whatever ingredients you have on hand. I would certainly add onion, if nothing else.

Make-It-Your-Own Frittata

6 eggs, beaten

1-ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (or whatever cheese you prefer)

½ teaspoon black pepper

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon butter

½ cup chopped roasted asparagus (or any leftover vegetable)

½ cup chopped country ham (or any leftover protein)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves (or whatever herb you might grow in your garden)

Preheat oven to broil setting.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to blend together eggs, cheese, pepper and salt.

Heat a 12-inch, non-stick, oven-safe (if handle is not oven-safe, wrap it in foil) sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add asparagus and ham to pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.