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Brussels Sprout and Bacon Frittata

 

As a Content Creator (appended with a saracastic ™), I can tell you that December is a weird time. All we want are buttery cookies, heavily spiced cakes, and luxe cocktails and if sparkly string lights were edible, probably that too. Who can blame us? This year — as we try, against what sometimes feels like stacked odds, to find cheer and festivity wherever we can concoct it — the singular devotion to December decadence seems even stronger. I can put the whole internet to sleep merely by saying, “So, how about some salad?”

 

a not-small amount of baconadd shallotsthen brussels

But what about dinner? It’s still happening, right? [I didn’t say breakfast. That will be a jelly doughnut with a latke chaser, obviously.] Much as I try to ignore it some days, 5pm arrives and with it the “Wait, we don’t have a dinner plan?” conversation as we go through the list of things we have and try to find those in the very narrow Venn diagram of what most of us want to eat or want to cook, 5pm becomes 6pm and the Small and Hangry are demanding treats.

 

whisk eggsadd to bacon and brusselscook partially on the stovefinish under the broiler until set

Enter: The dinner frittata. Separate from the breakfast frittata, which I prefer more delicate with herbs and unchallenging extras, I like a dinner frittata to have an absolute clutter of vegetables and, because it’s the holidays, a bit of decadence. This brussels sprout and bacon frittata from Justin Chapple (whose last book is wonderful and whose spaghetti pie is a mainstay here) in a 2014 Food & Wine has checked all of the boxes twice this month, its own December miracle. There’s a significant amount of both bacon and brussels sprout in it — it’s most of the volume — plus cheese, a couple shallots, and chives and it was clearly cooked up by someone who understands that a dinner frittata should be hearty enough to actually feel like dinner to frittata skeptics. I hope it fills the void between trays of sparkling treats for you too.

 

brussels sprout and bacon frittata

Brussels Sprout and Bacon Frittata

The brussels sprouts will be a significant part of the volume of the frittata — we love it but it might not be for everyone. If you’d like more egg to come through, use only 1/2 pound. The original recipe calls for a 12-inch skillet but I like my frittatas thicker. If you use a 12-inch, you’ll only need to broil the frittata for 3 minutes.
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 small- medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved and sliced 1/4 -nch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1 cup shredded gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives, divided

Preheat your broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. No broiler? Just crank your oven up as hot as it goes, usually 450-475°F

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until darker in color and almost fully crisp, 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (taste a piece of bacon; if it’s really salty, you might be fine with 1/2 teaspoon) and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese and half the chives. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until the eggs start to set, about 1 minute, and then a few minutes more, until the bottom is lightly browned, about 4 more minutes.

Transfer to the broiler (or very hot oven) and cook until the top is a deep golden brown and the eggs are just set in the center, about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Poke a knife in a couple places to see if any runny egg spills out; if it’s still runny, return it to the broiler for another 1 to 2 minutes. Scatter remaining chives on top and finish with a few grinds of pepper.

If you’d like, run a rubber spatula around the edge of the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate, then cut it into 6 pieces and serve. Or, you can serve it directly from the skillet, as we do.

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