Is it an Omelette, Frittata or Quiche?
Here they are: a trinity of brunch egg dishes. All three of these preparations are wonderful for some of the same reasons:
they help you use up leftovers,
they impress your friends
potatoes are a welcome, but somewhat unusual addition.
While all three of these dishes contain eggs, the preparation methods vary. So, to clear up any confusion, here is a primer on omelettes, frittatas and quiche.
A traditional French omelette contains eggs with perhaps a splash of water and a pinch of salt and pepper. The eggs are briskly whipped and are cooked in clarified butter over medium high heat.
These omelets are turned out when the top is still a little custardy and unset, and if made correctly, they do not have any color on them. They are rolled out of the pan in thirds, like a business letter. French omelettes are served very simply, usually just with some herbs. That’s it.
Americans have taken the omelette and run with it, making it bigger, badder and more full of stuff. And there’s nothing wrong with that””time to clear out the fridge!
Some rules to remember when making an omelette: use a non-stick pan; cook and/or heat up your filling ingredients first. The cooking process is so fast that the ingredients, especially chunky ingredients like potatoes and some meats, won’t have time to heat up if you don’t.
An American omelette is generally cooked until mostly dry on top and golden on the bottom. They are folded over once, like a taco shell, for service. Omelettes are usually served hot.
The frittata is Italy’s answer to the omelette. Frittatas are generally thicker than omelettes, the ingredients are mixed in instead of sprinkled on, and while started on the stove, frittatas get finished under the broiler. For service, frittatas are sliced like pie and served either warm or at room temperature.
A quiche is a savory custard baked in a pastry crust, or as in a potato crust. Unlike omelettes and frittatas, which don’t necessarily contain a dairy component in the egg mixture, quiche gets its wonderful richness from the addition of whole milk, half and half or even some cream. Hey, no one ever said it was diet food; I just say it is tasty!
Quiche can be served warm or at room temperature.