In my last post on breakfast tapas I suggest zucchini latkes to complete the meal and promised a recipe. While attempting to create my version of latkes I discovered a variety of not only ingredients for these tasty pan fried indulgences but for the names of them as well. Google told me that a frittata is an Italian dish resembling the Spanish omelet. My Italian brother in law, Tony, creates what he refers to as frittatas that look similar to latkes, savoury fritters, and the potato pancake. The important thing to note; what they are called doesn’t matta one frittata! What goes into them does. And nobody makes these ‘whatever you want to call them’ like Tony.
In an effort to whip up the zucchini frittatas Tony creates I asked my sister in law if I could get his recipe. She explained that it was all guess work on his part. He’s been making his frittatas for years so literally throws this amazing concoction together handful by handful, and he changes it up depending on what’s available in his home grown garden. I knew by memory there were eggs, flour and zucchini. I also knew there were cheeses, herbs and seasonings. What I needed to know was the quantity of these ingredients in order that I could create Tony style frittatas.
So, once again I hit the internet and was left scratching my head. This was going to be more labor intensive than I thought. Feeling a little frittered, I scanned recipe ingredients for zucchini latkes, frittatas, fritters and potato pancakes. A latke in Jewish cooking is referred to as a pancake, usually potato based. A fritter applies to a variety of smaller portioned and battered fried foods. I always thought of fritters as sweet, like apple fritters but this need not be the case. The German version of potato pancakes has similarities to Tony’s frittatas with some notable differences. Unlike the German potato pancake where the potato is the star of the show, Tony’s recipe can have an array of fresh ingredients that may include potatoes but also zucchini, parsley, oregano and basil, all based on what’s plentiful in his home garden. What I came up with is partly what I remember of Tony’s frittatas and what I discovered through research and experimenting.
Marla’s Frittater-cakes (made Tony style, kind of)
1 – 2 zucchinis, shredded (depends on the size, if small then you may need 3 – 4)
2 – 4 new potatoes shredded (depends on the size….)
1/4 cup Asiago cheese (or more if you like cheese)
1/4 cup Romano cheese (or more if you really, really like cheese)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more if you really, really, really like cheese)
3 large eggs (more if you really liked more of anything above and need more liquid)
1/2 cup flour (add more flour a little at a time if the batter is too runny)
½ TBSP baking powder (I’m guessing here but it worked for me)
salt, pepper (I’d say ‘to taste’ but I don’t like tasting batter so use your own judgement)
Oil for cooking (coconut oil adds an interesting nutty flavour, or use what you usually use to fry food, and if you don’t often fry food then go for canola)
Optional ingredients in small amounts, chopped, diced, minced or pulverized as you wish:
Onion (any variety, just don’t use a whole one), fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh spinach, garlic cloves…..
Once the zucchini and potato are shredded, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a large bowl whisk the eggs. Gradually add in prepared veggies, cheeses, salt, pepper, you may need to add another egg at this point, followed by flour and baking powder. The batter should not be too runny nor too dry.
On medium-high heat add about two TBSP oil for each batch of about 6 – 8 frittater-cakes. Let the oil get hot before you begin adding the batter so it crisps on contact. I like small portion sizes so use a TBSP (a regular sized cereal spoon) to scoop and drop each frittater-cake into the hot pan and then use the back of the spoon to press and spread them out. Cook until golden then flip. Cook through the other side. Drain on a paper towel. Be sure to stir the batter between each batch to keep it smooth and together.
I like frittater-cakes best while still hot and crunchy however, they are also good cold.
I also use them as a base for eggs benny rather than the traditional English muffin. Delishio!
Frittater-cakes can be served as a side dish or, on their own with non-fat Greek yogurt (tapas style with egg-apas as in my previous post)
Also great for a picnic or, a lunch to go.
Forget about freezing. There won’t be any left to freeze 😉
And now for the WINE!
From the Prosecco region, North of Venice, Italy
I used to think I was not a Rosé kinda girl. That changed with this beautiful organic wine direct from the Prosecco region of Italy. With a 00 sweetness code and at 11% alcohol, this wine can be paired with many a savoury dish.
Try it for a special brunch with the frittater-cakes and eggs benny (hollandaise on the side)
This very special Rosé’s spritzy finish makes it even better on ice!
Special thanks to Tony!
A few of the websites explored for this post: