Sunday, April 3, 2011

White Cheddar, Asparagus, & Ham Frittata

I knew I wanted to do something special & delicious with my cheese I purchased on my field trip to Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and I’d been craving a special brunch-type breakfast for a while.  Spring vegetables began popping up in the grocery and I couldn’t resist some seasonal asparagus.  Though I had one of my favorite pie crusts in the freezer, I chose not to make a quiche.  I thought, “Why not challenge yourself and try something new?”  So frittata it was.  I used to wonder what the difference between a quiche and a frittata was.  Growing up in a rural area, all I ever really knew were breakfast casseroles that usually involved hashbrowns, sausage, and/or cornflakes.  Quiche & frittata sounded so fancy.  Since I’ve been cooking on my own for quite a while now, I’ve come to discover that quiche & frittata aren’t really that fancy.  They’re filling, delicious, and pretty simple to make.  And the difference?  Well, there’s not a whole lot.  A quiche is baked in a crust, and a frittata usually has less liquid to egg ratio.  You cook in on the stove top, then finish it in the oven.  Similar to an omelet, but honestly easier & less messy in my opinion!

The Saturday morning following my field trip, I invited a couple friends over, and set to chopping, shredding, sautéing, cracking, & whisking.  I shredded up my AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS White Cheddar with Cracked Pepper cheese, and chopped up some onion, asparagus, & ham.  I cracked a few locally produced eggs, whisked them together with a touch of milk and half & half, then stirred in cheese.  I sauteed the veggies & ham and added the egg/cheese mixture.  After letting it cook a little on the stove I transferred it to the oven.  What came out was a delicious, savory, and satisfying breakfast.  A perfect way to highlight the local cheese!  I must admit, though I only have one recipe in my blog for quiche, I’ve made it many many many times.  It’s safe to say our favorite quiche has some new competition!  This frittata was so easy to make, and is probably a bit healthier because there’s no crust involved.  I can’t wait to make it again!


White Cheddar, Asparagus, & Ham Frittata


1/2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, chopped
approx 4oz ham, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
4 eggs
2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons milk*
1 Tablespoon half & half*
4 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded (Kenny's Farmhouse Aged White Cheddar with Peppercorn is an AWESOME choice for this frittata!)
1 oz parmesan cheese, shredded

Necessary tool: oven safe non-stick 12 inch saute pan

*I chose to use milk and half & half, because the only milk I have on hand is nonfat, and I wanted to make it a bit richer. Feel free to use 2% milk or whole milk, and skip the half & half.


Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Saute onions in melted butter 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add asparagus & ham, saute another 3-4 minutes. Season with a little salt & pepper.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together eggs, egg whites, milk, and half & half with a fork or whisk. Add salt & pepper if desired. Stir in cheddar & parmesan cheese.

Pour egg mixture into pan, and stir to combine with rubber spatula. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into servings.

loosely based on Alton Brown's recipe

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