Cooking with leftovers - Christmas ham frittata

12 January 2017
I did a similar recipe in December but I'm posting this one today because I want to show how I dealt with our leftover Christmas ham, and it just so happens to be another baked frittata. A frittata is like an omelette that you can cook either on the stove top in a frying pan or in a baking tray in the oven. Either way, frittata is a great addition to your cooking from scratch repertoire because they're nutritious, easy and quick to make and they're extremely versatile. Generally they're a cheap option too and they become even more frugal when you use the vegetables you need to use up that day and eggs from your backyard. Frittatas may be eaten hot or cold, I prefer a cold slice, and are a great addition to the lunchbox or when travelling on the road, if they can be kept cold of a hot day. It's easy to adjust this recipe to make a vegetarian version and we often have it with vegetables only.

You can make a nice short crust pastry to hold the frittata mix or you could use three or four sheets of frozen filo pastry but it works really well with no pastry so that is usually how I cook it. You just have to make sure you grease the baking tray well or cover it completely with baking paper.

The ham we had this year was the best ham we've had for a long time. We enjoyed it with our family for Christmas day lunch, and over the following week as a ham and egg breakfast, ham and egg sandwiches, ham, tomatoes and potato salad, ham and cheesy pasta. Gracie had a couple of ham meals and the chickens enjoyed the skin. It was well used, that ham.

But when it got down to where I could see the bone, I cut off all the ham I could and left just the bone and gristly bits. That was wrapped in a couple of freezer bags and is now in the freezer to make soup later in the year.

 Leftovers Frittata 

This is the basic recipe for all my frittatas:
  • 8 or 9 eggs, beaten (nine if you have a couple of small eggs)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 250ml (one cup) cream
  • crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
Once you have the basic "custard", you add whatever you have in the fridge that you think your family will enjoy.  It goes well with most vegetables, I always include onion and garlic and often use capsicum, peppers, chilli or zucchini. I've also used baked pumpkin, eggplant, leeks, peas, herbs and asparagus. If you want to stretch the meal or have meat eaters who aren't impressed with a frittata, add sliced cooked potato and mushrooms. They add a lot of substance to it.

Here is the step-by-step process in photos:

Add ham, red onions, green onions, salt, pepper and herbs to pan, or whatever vegetables and seasonings you want to add. Cook until the vegetables are translucent - about 10 minutes on medium heat.
Break the eggs into a large bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are mixed together, add a cup of cream and cheese and mix in. I add the garlic to the eggs too instead of to the frying pan. I think it cooks better in the eggs.

Pour the egg mix into a greased and lined baking tray, add cooked potatoes, vegetables and ham/bacon/chicken and stir gently into the eggs.

Place in the oven at around 170C and bake until the top is golden but still a bit wobbly. Over cooking eggs will make them rubbery. It's much better to slightly under-cook them because they continue cooking in the tray for a little while after you remove them from the oven.

How did you go with your Christmas leftovers?  Did you manage to use them all without wasting anything?