24 May 2012

Frittata v Spanish omelet

I've made breakfast on new years day for 40 party-sore camping revellers. It was my first ever 96-egg omelet. I made it in a iron pan twice the size of a baby bath dragged out of the garage and thrown over some hot coals left from the night before. It earned me a return invitation for the following year's party, and a reputation - the fact that I could prepare a yummy breakfast for so many people without warning, and with the mother of all hangovers made me a 'good cook'. They didn't know that it was because when I was 14, my mum showed me how to make a frittata, and she's a self-declared 'particularly average cook'.

It's the easiest thing in the world to make - just make a thick omelet with your leftovers and grill some cheese on top. I have one rule with my frittata - it has to contain potato. This is where the whole confusion of the name comes in. Many people call a frittata a spanish omelet and vice versa. Both are thick, and need to be cooked top and bottom unlike a regular omelet, but a Spanish omelet must contain potato, and in fact, often that's all it contains besides the egg and some spices. So, in fact, my 'frittata' is probably a Spanish omelet, especially when I throw chorizo in it. (what it definitely isn't is kookoo - a Persian herb omelet, which sounds amazing and deserves further investigation). But then again, who said a frittata couldn't contain potato...?


  • lots of eggs, well beaten (at least 6* or 2 per person)
  • potato (1/2 per person)
  • leftovers (e.g. two slices of bacon, 1/2 a cup of cooked peas, shredded roast chicken)
  • spices (as complementary to the leftovers - e.g. crushed garlic, smoked paprika and mustard seeds)
  • grated cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Thinly slice potato, and in a deep and well oiled omelet pan, fry until nearly cooked (don't get them too brown), then add in other ingredients (starting off with anything that needs more cooking, e.g. the bacon, mustard seeds and garlic)
  2. Spread the cooked ingredients loosely and evenly, then add eggs, and cook on a low heat until you can see the bottom is browning nicely (lift up with a knife at the edge.
  3. (Sprinkle cheese on top) Put under a medium-strength grill until egg is nearly firm all the way to the middle. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil.

Serve by flipping onto a plate, and accompany with salad or crusty bread or chilli sambal (or all three).
This makes a great dinner for kids when you have no idea what to cook - also perfect for a casual drinks night as it can be served cold and cut into small wedges to be eaten as finger food.

*The dish is simply an omelet if it is not thick - you must use enough eggs to produce at least an inch-thick result. Don't worry, it keeps in the fridge for a day or so.

Other ingredient ideas:
  • Chorizo, onion and lemon rind
  • asparagus with garlic and brie chunks
  • spinach, peas and Parmesan
  • smoked trout and leeks with horseradish stirred into the eggs


  1. I wondered what the difference was.. Well not any more.
    Good lord 96 egg omelet... !!! You could have done with 3 ostrich eggs ;)


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