It's rich. It's creamy. It's filled with cheese. And then there is the crust. The buttery crust that holds it all together is not so great for the body. So we decided to do a little remake.
The easy thing to reach for is the frittata. Like an oven-baked omelette, frittatas are easy and puffy and can be filled with lots of delicious ingredients. The only problem is that traditional frittatas are made without a crust. We wanted a crust. We also wanted at least some of the creaminess that makes a quiche, well, a quiche.
For the crust, we opted for a layer of shredded potatoes. They crisp nicely, adding that starchiness that the crust provides, but little of the fat.
For the creamy texture, we went with fat-free half-and-half and eggs studded with lean ham, asparagus, shallots and a touch of gruyere cheese. You can swap out whatever you like for your fillings, but be sure the ingredients are cooked before they go in.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
250 ml (1 cup) chopped asparagus (1.5-cm/1-inch lengths)
4 egg whites
2 whole eggs
125 ml (1/2 cup) fat-free half-and-half
Salt and ground black pepper
50 ml (1/4 cup) shredded gruyere cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
175 ml (3/4 cup) diced smoked ham
500 ml (2 cups) shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
Heat oven to 200 C (400 F). Fill a medium bowl with ice water.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes or until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove asparagus from boiling water and immediately transfer to ice water. Once asparagus is cool, drain and set aside.
In a blender, combine egg whites, whole eggs, fat-free half-and-half, 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt and 1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper. Blend until smooth. Stir in shredded gruyere.
In a non-stick, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great) over medium, heat oil. Add shallots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add ham, asparagus and blended egg mixture. Stir for 1 minute or until egg just starts to set up.
Sprinkle shredded potatoes over top and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake for 5 minutes on the oven's centre rack or until eggs are set. Increase oven to broil and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and lightly browned.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 130 calories; 40 calories from fat (33 per cent of total calories); 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 1 g fibre; 330 mg sodium.