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Caramelised onion and tomato frittatas

November 28, 2010

I’m not alone in saying these are downright delicious. I didn’t even manage to get a picture of these once they were cooked, as I was bringing them to a dinner where they were devoured and complimented pretty sharpish. Then again, it’s a little hard to go wrong with caramelised onion, but when you caramelise it with super tasty tomatoes, the results are out of this world kind of tasty.

It all started with some eggs, and creme fraiche. I used The Collective’s creme fraiche – holy cow (no pun intended). While it cost a little extra compared to the regular Tararua I normally use, the flavour difference far outweighed the piddly extra cents spent. If you’ve never had creme fraiche, it’s more refined than cream cheese, milder (not so salty), super smooth and not so solid. I feel a bit wrong putting in the same league as cream cheese really, but it’s nice to know sometimes what comes close. You can use it sort of in the same way as cream cheese, especially where you don’t want the cream cheese flavour to dominate.

After scrambling these up with some mustard and a wee bit of salt, I added some onions that had been caramelised with chopped tomatoes (I managed to get some super fancy packet tomatoes for cheap so used some of those – the equivalent taste of cherry tomatoes, but even sweeter – I nearly died with joy when I had one raw).

This was the real gold of the frittatas – smoky, sweet, tangy, lightly salty…all the good things in life.

Since I was making these for other people I tried making things a little prettier by sprinkling in some chopped chives – always wonderful with tomatoes colour and taste wise.

Then into the pans they went, with a paper thin piece of parmesan. They stuck rather miserably to the metal so I think I’ll have to grease the mini muffin trays more liberally next time. The greased silicone presented no problems on the sticking front though, so if you have them, use them!

All up, these were pretty easy to make but AMAZING to eat. The only real effort they require is the caramelising of the onions, but it’s not difficult and if you do everything else while they caramelise then it’s all good. In muffin form they would be great to take to lunch the next day too, although good luck resisting them all for that long!

Caramelised onion and tomato frittatas

makes 12 medium muffin sized frittatas, which fall to about 1.5cm thick

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced (I sliced the slices into four to speed up cooking slightly)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes or super sweet tomatoes
  • about 1 tsp brown sugar
  • about 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • about 3 Tbs cooking oil

Place the above, minus the sugar, in a frypan, turn heat to medium and let the liquids that escape cook off a little, turning every five minutes or so to help this along.

Meanwhile, whisk together:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • just under 200g creme fraiche (you can use all 200g, I just like having a little leftover to spread over toast etc)
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt

It’ll seem as though the creme fraiche won’t “dissolve” into the eggs, but it will, you’ve just got to break it up a bit with the whisk first. If you want, finely chop up a small bunch of chives to add a pretty splash of green. Shave some parmesan to add to the top as well if you wish.

Once liquids from the onions and tomatoes have mostly cooked off, add the brown sugar along with a little splash of water (I know, it seems pointless to cook the water off then add it in – I think it’s magic). Turn heat to medium low and let cook on an even layer, turning and stirring every two minutes or so – you want the undersides to get a little dark at least once to really bring out the smoky potential. Once nice and brown like in the picture, let cool. Preheat oven to 170C (340F), arranging a rack one level above the centre.

Meanwhile, generously grease your muffin tin with butter (not oil, or they will still stick). Fill the muffin cups barely half way with the egg mixture, then add in a little of the cooled onion mixture, enough so that the filling is about 3/4 of the way up the cups. Top with a sprinkling of chives and the parmesan. Bake in your preheated oven until puffy and the tops are golden. If you press down on the tops they should spring back and not ooze. Cool on racks before attempting to remove.

These don’t need a whole lot to compliment them flavour wise since they’re such a deliciousness bomb, but if you’re doing them for a dinner, I’d suggest something plain!

PS. Can you tell I’ve gotten over my baking rut?!

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