In Honor of Julia’s 100th Birthday: A Mini-Quiche (Frittata) Photo Shoot
Our much loved culinary icon and legend, Julia Child, would have turned 100 today! In honor of her big day, I have renamed what started out as mini-frittatas to have more of a French flair – mini-quiches. Wow – to be such a woman who has had such an impact on the world. At 40, she didn’t know how to cook. At 53, she started an American food revolution and while doing so, became a much loved icon to so many. I have been on a frittata kick recently and decided to make a mini version, thinking the cute little shape would also give me an opportunity to practice my newly learned food photography tips and tricks. My online video course was spectacular….Penny de Los Santos, whom I mentioned in my last blog, is just awesome. I learned a ton from her online video course and she even made me cry a few times with her poignant stories – in a photography class! So as I was photographing my little frittatas (uh, quiches), I could hear her in the background ‘Stay with the shot. Think about composition. Get in tight. Make it messy. Make it real.’ So shoot away I did….what great fun to practice. I feel like a pro as I teeter on a chair or pull out my freshly organized food backdrops and props!
So back to my little frittatas, quiches – call them what you will (I am sure there is some culinary rule that would tell me the proper difference between them) but these little guys are tasty, versatile and quick to make. Toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. And they are great served warm or at room temperature. Easy and light summer supper to beat the heat. And to our grand dame of the culinary world, a very warm ‘Bon anniversaire’ to you!
Mini Mushroom, Spinach and Tomato Frittatas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, diced (try to use plum or Roma tomatoes which have less juice)
4 cups of baby spinach, trimmed
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Grated parmigiano cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a muffin tin (12 cups) with nonstick spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown about another 5 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted. Stir to combine. Remove from stove to cool.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Stir in the cheese and basil. Add in the cooled vegetable mixture. (Be sure the mixture is cool or you will end up with scrambled eggs!)
4. Fill each muffin cup almost to the top with the mixture. Be careful not to overfill as they will rise/puff slightly. Sprinkle top with grated parmigiano cheese.
5. Bake until the egg mixture is set in the center and browned slightly, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Using a spatula, loosen the little frittatas and gently move to a plate. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese if desired and serve immediately. Enjoy!