No, I wasn't at Wimbledon, but I am a huge tennis fan and this year was a fantastic tournament. Sunday's Gentlemen's Singles Final match was truly epic and I had a conundrum: it was on in New York starting 9 a.m. EDT and by mid-match we were hungry but glued to the television. So, in an effort to make a meal we could eat in front of the TV (a CARDINAL SIN at Scrumptious Street ha ha for those who clicked that link) I tried out something new. Here is a photo of my "Frittata Muffins".
I almost didn't post this, but Mr. Scrumptious lovingly reminded me that not all delicious food must be beautiful and that an idea that's perfectly executed in my mind but less than perfect in reality doesn't have to remain a secret. Wise man, that Mr. Scrumptious.
The idea was that I'd have a frittata taste and style, but poured into muffin tins so that it would be puffy, airy and light and we could eat with our hands. As they were progressing, I kept getting more and more excited, because they did EXACTLY what I thought and hoped they would. After several minutes of baking they browned and then puffed up, just like muffins do so that there was a beautiful dome on top. I watched through the light and never opened the door and saw them becoming crispy, golden and the perfect model of a frittata muffin. I squealed in delight and triumph. When they were finished, I removed them and set them on the counter, ready to position my camera. And promptly, quietly, without warning and by the time I'd turned around, they had collapsed. As did my excitement and demeanor. Alas, I should have realized that for my idea to work, I needed to treat them as a soufflé. And, I thought I was so clever by placing the muffin tin in the oven while it was preheating so that the tin would be hot when I poured in the egg, so they'd get brown even on the bottom, like a regular frittata. That part did work great!
I was ready to hide them away from you all in shame, when Mr. Scrumptious reminded me that not everything has to be perfect and that sometimes sharing the mistakes is good too. We can all learn from this one, including the fact that eggs are infinitely delicate, even though they seem robust. It all depends on how you treat them. So, I should have tried it by separating the yolks and vigorously whisking the whites and adding it all so slowly. But, in my haste not to miss anything good in the match, it didn't occur to me until too late.
Nevertheless, here is the recipe. I will surely try them again and see if I can get them to stay aloft. My solution to the problem was to serve them in lettuce "cups" with a light mustard vinaigrette dressing. It turned out to be spectacular. So, even though not perfectly executed, delicious and pretty in its own rustic way, I guess.
Makes 6 "muffins"
1/2 c. milk
1 T. minced fresh herbs, lemon thyme and tarragon from my herb garden here
1 oz. diced provolone cheese
1/4 tsp. dried mustard
2 scallions, white part only
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 white asparagus spear from a jar
butter lettuce leaves for eating
1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, streamed in
salt and pepper to taste
1. Brush the cups of a muffin tin with olive oil and place a muffin tin in the oven and preheat to 400˚F.
2. Mince the herbs, cut the asparagus into about 8 chunks and chop the cheese. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard in a liquid measuring cup with spout. Stir in the herbs and cheese.
3. When oven is preheated, pour the egg mixture directly into the muffin tin cups. Spread the asparagus into two of the muffin tin cups.
4. Place muffin tin in the oven and bake 14-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Make the vinaigrette and toss the lettuce leaves in the dressing.
5. Remove the muffin tin from oven and let the "muffins" cool slightly until you can run a knife around the edge and scoop them out with a spoon. Place in the lettuce leaves and eat immediately.
By the way, even if I had done them like a soufflé, I still would likely have only gotten 3-4 minutes before they collapsed. C'est la vie.