GROUND BEEF AND SPINACH FRITTATA (JOE’S SPECIAL)

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According to Wikipedia, “a frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelet or crust less quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables, or pasta. The word frittata is derived from Italian and roughly translates to “egg-cake”.

It’s obvious from the name, that at one time this was Joe’s (whoever he might be) favorite way to prepare or eat eggs. And as it happens, a “Joe’s Special” is one of Mr. Cs favorite ways to eat eggs too. So I decided, I better get on the stick and learn how to make a “Joe’s Special” for my dear husband.

After looking at several recipes on line, I came up with this version. I tried it out on Mr. C. this morning, and he declared it a hit, even though I didn’t have any green onions for the garnish. (Next time I will be better prepared!)

And as usual when I started to write my preface to this recipe, I got to thinking about the ingredients in the dish with an eye towards the nutritional value. I was actually surprised. There was less fat in the form of butter, cream, and cheese than in most omelets or scrambles that I prepare. And the small amount of olive oil that was used; well it’s actually good for us. Then of course there was the vegetative component – the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. All veggies that have nutritional value and that I try (especially the spinach) to use in my cooking as much as possible.

So all in all, a relatively healthy dish that tastes wonderful and is easy to prepare. And kind of “retro” to boot. I like that. Actually many of the recipes that I feature have been favorites for decades. Some are still in vogue, but many have been relegated to dinosaur fodder and that I simply can’t allow to happen. (You show me one person who doesn’t like Deviled Eggs (except for my husband), Not Your Mama’s Chex Party Mix, or Sloppy Joes and I will give up the cause.)

But until then, look forward to more relics from the dark ages coming your way. Up next – Biscuits and Gravy.

  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-8 oz. lean ground beef
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a couple large handfuls of fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 T. finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • sour cream, opt.
  • chopped green onions, opt.
  • toasted and buttered crusty Italian bread, opt.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and allow the meat to get very brown on the bottom side. (You really want that nice caramelization to occur. It helps flavor the entire dish.)

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Turn the meat over and break up with spatula. Add the onion, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until spinach wilted. Meanwhile whisk the eggs. When the spinach is wilted, add the eggs to the beef mixture and cook until mixture is slightly dry. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Romano and give the mixture a stir or two. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a liberal sprinkle of green onions, and a side of toasted bread.

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks