The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Quick and easy cheese and potato frittata recipe

Indian running duck eggsThe Chicken Lady dropped by on Sunday with a present of six eggs laid by her Indian Running ducks. Wonderful rounded eggs. Two creamy whitish ones and the others with a gentle bluish, greenish tinge. When I opened the lid of the box they looked almost translucent. Magical.

Duck eggs are the perfect present. Softer shaped than the average chicken’s egg, they have a bigger yolk to white ratio and taste far richer.

We’ve only ever eaten them once before – a memorable brunch at Alison and Richard’s house in Norwich. He produced them with a flourish. I was a bit edgy about them, remembering my mother’s golden rule.
“Always make sure that they are properly cooked or you may get…”
I can never remember what lurgy might be contained in the eggs. In Norwich I ate my breakfast like a lamb and didn’t mention the quandary to Danny. We survived.

Of course we did. I discovered on the internet last night that the occurrence of Salmonella in duck eggs is lower then in chicken eggs. I also found out that duck eggs are higher in protein than chicken eggs. As they contain less water, they can become rubbery if you overcook them.

And this was after we had eaten our delicious golden duck egg frittata.

It was the second frittata that I have ever made and the third that I’ve enjoyed. I’ve been a fan of the souflette for years and have eaten gruesome cold rubber omelettes in Spain, tucked into my lunch box and grimly chomped. When Anna invited me to lunch and mentioned that she always used 9 eggs in her frittata I was intrigued. Would this feed 9 people? Would it be edible?

I saw her peeling and slicing some potatoes and my heart sank. Even though she is a great cook I expected rubbery potato omelette and woolfed down the corn chip appetiser.

Anna’s frittata was superb. I just had to make one for Danny. The Mediterranean answer to egg and chips. I made a pretty good one, off the cuff (too late to ring Anna) with feta cheese and potato. Cooking it slowly on the stove top and finishing it under the grill.

Last night I did a bit of recipe research. Prue Leith detailed a complex manoeuvre for turning over the frittata involving a sauté pan, a large plate and a lot of nerve. I took the soft option and plumped for Delia’s method, 15 minutes on the stove top (lowest setting) and 30 seconds under a high grill. No nifty summersault. I also nicked her idea of putting cubed cheese into the beaten eggs. Wonderful as these burst when cut or munched. Delia suggested mushrooms and a melty Swiss cheese. As I didn’t have these to hand I chopped a mixture of cheddar with a little stilton and with an Alpha Carnivore Irishman waiting in the wings, I couldn’t jettison the potato and survive the meal.

Easy, delicious, quick and substantial. A perfect dish. And there was even a doll’s sized slice to take down to Mike in Saffron Walden this morning.

Quick, tasty and easy cheese and potato frittata recipe ( for 3. Use 8 -9 eggs for 4 people)

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 100g of cheddar cheese cut into 1 cm chunks
  • 20g of Stilton or any blue cheese cut into 1 cm chunks
  • 15g of grated cheddar (topping)
  • Half a tsp of good mixed dried herbs or a tblsp of fresh ones (a good mix of herbs such as thyme, oregano. marjoram, parsley and chives. Don’t include rosemary unless it’s just a sliver as it will overpower the other herbs).
  • 1-2 tblsp of virgin olive oil.
  • Qurter tsp of sweet smoked paprika to serve

Method:

  1. Peel and cook the potatoes. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Chop your cheese, whisk the 6 eggs with a fork and chop your herbs.
  2. When the potatoes are ready, slice them into 0.5cm chunky slice and set them aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil gently in a large sauté pan. When the oil is hot add the chopped cheese and herbs to the beaten eggs and pour into the sauté pan. Immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting and distribute the potato slices over the top, sprinkle the grated cheddar and leave for 15 minutes. Do nothing. Set the timer for 12 minutes!
  4. When the timer goes off set your grill to the highest setting so that it will be sizzling when you transfer the frittata from stove top. Finish under the high grill for 30 -60 seconds.
  5. Serve immediately with a crisp green salad. And some good table wine.

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9 Comments

  1. Sharon J

    Your recipe sounds delicious!

    I used to love cooking but these days my health doesn’t allow me to do much as I tire very easily, have to keep sitting down every other minute and by the time I’m finished I’m too exhausted to enjoy it. I’m hoping my energy levels will increase though so maybe I’ll be able to try this one day in the future.

  2. Mildred

    Ooooo! This sounds so yummy, and we always have eggs/cheese/potatoes available! Thanks!!

  3. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    I love frittata – & when made with your own smallholding’s eggs, herbs, cheese & potatoes, it’s near as dammit the perfect meal.

    Our Indian Runner ducks are laying superbly at the mo – at almost double the rate of our lazy hens! The eggs are wonderful, & are proving to make heavenly gelato.

    Meanwhile Roberta-goose has also been busy in the egg-laying department; & has now settled down to hatch the eggs she’s laid over the last few days, so we can hopefully look forward to a gaggle of lovely little goslings before long.

    And the goats have been busy too – seven gorgeous kids from the maiden mums already this week; although unfortunately five are boys, which isn’t expanding the Milkforce by much. So does anybody want a pedigree British Toggenburg stud male by any chance….?

    And at least we’ve got lovely, light, creamy goats’ milk again; apart from withdrawal symptoms for the clean, fresh taste our health has gone downhill through the temporary return to cows’ milk. Eugh, never again!

    One thing I’m NOT getting though, is sleep; what with Tony’s snoring & the goats burping into the baby monitor, it’s a bit too noisy for my tranquil taste!

    Shame I can’t use some of your honey in our lovely goats’ milk gelato – what a stunning combination that would be.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sharon J

    The frittata was delicious and so easy to make. Hope that you are feeling better soon.

    Hi Mildred

    The first time that I made this I used feta cheese and potatoes which was quite good. The harder cheeses work better though.

    Hi Jo

    Love hearing about your goats. I laughed at the image of the goats burping into the baby monitor. The goat’s milk and duck egg gelato sounds scrummy.

    Why not think of keeping some bees – it’s fascinating.

    How exciting to have the prospect of goslings!

  5. Louisa

    Sounds scrummy, I’l be trying this one!

  6. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    I’ve seriously considered keeping bees –

    & would love to, in fact – we have a wild bee box in the orchard. Unfortunately though I have a nasty reaction to the stings & I gather the more you get, the worse said reaction gets; so cannot risk anaphylactic shock if the OH’s away long-haul flying.

    Shame; it’d ‘bee’ wonderful to have all that increased pollination in the garden; plus all that unctuous honey. Apart from the bee box, we try to ‘do our bit’ for the local population with haymaking – did you know that the huge increase in silage production in recent years has massively depleted the bee population, as the wild plants in traditional hay meadows never get to flower if they’re cut too early? Silage may be convenient – but not good for the balance of Nature, unfortunately.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Louisa

    It is really good and a great dish if you need to eat in a hurry.

    Hi Jo

    What a shame about the bees. You’re right the condition does get worse the more you are stung.

    I didn’t know that about silage.

    Thanks for looking after the bees!

  8. The Chicken Lady.

    Hello Fiona
    I made my first Frittata tonight, like you I worried about the potato element, but I followed your recipe and exchanged the herbs for fresh chives, and it was a huge success, 3 clean plates.
    I will definately be adding Frittata to our regular weekly menu.

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hello TCL

    I am so pleased that you tried this. It’s so good. I love the idea of the chives. The last time that I made it I considered adding some of our lardons for flavour and then lost my nerve and just added lashings of garlic. It’s definitely a recipe that cries out for experimentation.

    Thanks for your comment.

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