Sometimes I like to switch up my breakfast routine. I often eat eggs, usually scrambled, sometimes oatmeal with a banana, maybe an opened grilled cheese sandwich, along with whatever yogurt, plain, vanilla, or with fruit, is available. My childhood was mostly eggs, bacon, and sugary cereals, which I haven’t eaten in decades. But lately, I I wanted to try something different.
As I browsed the internet, I saw a fritatta recipe with asparagus, but none was handy for me, plus asparagus would take longer to cook. And l wanted to eat fairly soon, since this was breakfast! However, I had a small package of fresh spinach, so for sure that would work, be fairly quick, and taste delicious. This recipe called for a muffin pan, which caught my eye on the screen. In bite size pieces, once cooked; they then could be frozen or refrigerated, and later on, easily reheated for a snack.
Substituting ingredients is a great idea for adding diversity to recipes, and also to our palatte. In addition, when using what you have in stock, you may not need to make an extra trip to the grocery store. In this manner you don’t always need to use the exact ingredient called for. As someone learns to cook more and more, they can experiment, make discoveries, some work well, others you may not repeat. And too, even a beginner cook can make substitutions, if they’re careful, and move along slowly as they’re getting familiar with the recipe. Making changes overall may feel more intune to foods which please you, as you replace one item for another which is similar or slightly different. In addition, you may wish to leave out an item totally. Taste is so individualistic!
INGREDIENTS Yield 10-12 muffins
6 eggs, lightly mixed
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
3/4 -1 cup cheese, grated – use a good melting variety such as, cheddar, fontina, gruyere, provolone, and perhaps taleggio or Robusta Gouda, these add a slight more kick
1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked or regular (optional)
3-5 ounces -fresh spinach, chopped in half inch to 3/4 quarter in pieces
3-5 scallions, chopped
1-2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 In a large bowl mix the eggs and milk, salt and pepper, worchestershire sauce and paprika, if using. Add three quarters of cheese. Set aside.
2 In a medium frying pan, heat the oil to medium low, add the scallions, cook 3 minutes until transparent, do not brown. Add the spinach, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes as the spinach wilts. Add a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat off, cover and let t he vegetables steep for a few minutes as they cool down too. When cool, add them to the bowl with the eggs, and stir in.
3 Spray a 12 inch muffin pan well with Pam, or oil, or rub a little butter on each individual opening. Preheat the oven t o 375 degrees.
2 Fill each opening approximately 3/4 full, leaving room for the mixture to expand. Cook 18-20 minutes, just until the filling turns slightly golden. Remove from the oven, and while the muffins are still hot, carefully place some or all of the remaining cheese on each muffin. Cool five minutes, serve warm, with toast and jam if desired.
TIPS AND TWEAKS
- For adjustment ingredients, be careful not to fill the egg and vegetable mixture with too many other additoinal cooked vegetables. Some choices are: shallots, bok choy, cabbage, small pieces of ham. You want theses ingredients to compliment and balance the eggs, not to overwhelm them.
- At the end of the time, close to when you’ve finished cooking the spinach and scallions, add 1-2 garlic cloves mashed, turn the heat to low, and cook 30 seconds to one minute.
- Add herb flavors you like, such as oregano, dill, marjorum, thyme, rosemary and winter savory. Mix these in with the egg minxture, approximately a half teaspoon each.
- For a bit of spice and diversity, add a tablespoon of salsa, or tomato sauce, and cayenne pepper t o the egg mixture, .
- Check out your refrigerator for bits of leftover cooked vegetables you may want to add to the egg mixture. Experiement wth a new ingredient which excites! Again, don’t overfill the egg mixture.
- Trying substituting goat cheese instead of those mentioned above, for a unique, biting flavor. Add it to the egg mixture. Or, just use the goat cheese on top of the muffin, once the muffin has finished cooking.
- Use half and half instead of milk, or half and half, and half milk.
- One or two slices of bacon can be added to the egg mixture. Instead of the oil in t he beginning, cook bacon, remove it, when cool, cut it up and add to the egg mixture. Leave the remaining oil, adding any that might be needed while sauteing the vegetables.