Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Deep Dish Duck Egg Frittata

Deep Dish Duck Egg Fritatta Pie
A Lee Drake original
Serves 4

Prep time - 1/2 hour
Bake time - 1 hour
Cool time - 15 minutes
Serve warm or cold


1 Pillsbury pie crust (or make your own pie dough if you're feeling adventurous)  Just the bottom - not the top
6 Duck eggs, whisked to a light froth, or 9 chicken eggs
2/3 cup of almond/coconut, soy, 1/2 and 1/ or whole milk (pick your poison) whisked into the eggs
8 thick slices of bacon, or one 1" by 7" solid piece of bacon diced raw then pan-fried and put out on a paper towel to crisp
1/2 -2/3 cups of sweet Italian sausage, crumbled, browned and set on a paper towel to soak up the oil.
1/2 cup of Crimini mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in a light coating of the bacon grease (pour off all but what remains on the pan after frying the bacon)
1/2 red onion or 1 shallot sliced thinly and sautéed with the mushrooms until browned
2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped finely
1 plum tomato sliced lengthwise into 1/4" thin slices
2/3 cup of fresh uncooked peas
1 cup feta Greek goat cheese divided into 2 portions
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Put the Pie crust out on the counter at least 15 minutes prior to assembly to warm
In a bowl whisk the duck eggs, milk or milk substitute together until they froth lightly
Once the pie crust is warm place it into a 2" high side 9" oiled pie tin or springform pan and be sure to tuck it into the corners in the flat on the bottom, and evenly around all the sides.
Brown the sausage breaking up any large chunks and set aside on a paper towel (can be done in advance)
Pre-slice the bacon into 1/8" squares (if the bacon is pre-sliced get thick sliced bacon) Cook the bacon until crispy and put aside on a paper towel.
Pour off the bacon grease until the pan is just lightly coated with grease
Saute the mushrooms and shallots together (you can also add garlic if you like garlic, or scapes, or green onions)
Once the shallots are browned and the mushrooms limp, set aside
Put down a layer of bacon directly on the pie crust
Put down a layer of Sausage on the bacon
Put down a layer of Feta (about 1/2 of it) on the sausage
Put down a layer of mushrooms and onions on the feta
Add the peas evenly on top of that (They'll float some, but uncooked not all the way to the top)
Pour the egg mixture over everything, and even it out, being sure it's evenly distributed - should fill about 3/4 of the pan
Sprinkle fresh coriander on top of egg so it floats on top.
Place the slices of tomato in a starburst pattern on top of the egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper lightly on top of the tomatoes and egg
Sprinkle the remainder of the feta evenly over the top surface

Place in oven and back for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour.  It is done when you can poke a fork into the middle of it and it comes out clean, and there is no liquid on top of the pie.

Cool for 15 minutes to let it set, slice like a pie and serve

Plated and served

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lee's polenta and sausage cast iron skillet fritata


  • 6 duck eggs (If you use regular eggs you may need to add one)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (I am limiting dairy.  Cream or 1/2 and 1/2 can be substituted)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan (You just can't replace good parmesan
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 shallot sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 3 patties Italian Sausage
  • 1/4 cup fresh peas
  • A dozen baby asparagus, or 1/2 dozen adult asparagus split length-wise
  • 1 cup sliced spinach
  • 1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 6 sprigs tarragon
  • Sea Salt and mixed peppercorns
  • EVOO 
  • 1 tube polenta (choose your flavor or plain) 
  • 10" Cast Iron Skillet
  • Optional second skillet or frypan for prep


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place a rack in the middle.
In a mixing bowl break the duck eggs, add the milk (Coconut or cream) and 2/3 the parmesan and whisk until a little frothy.  Slice the tarragon into very thin slips, and remove any stems, reserving one sprig for garnish.  Slice the red pepper into thin strips.  Slice the shallot and garlic into thin strips.  Of using full sized asparagus, snap off the bottom and slice each one in half along the lenth.  Destem the spinach. Slice the oyster mushrooms into small pieces.
In a cast iron skillet, sauté the Italian sausage over medium high heat until browned. Break into last joint of the finger sized or smaller chunks.  Remove to drain on a paper towel. 

Add a couple tbsp. of olive oil to the hot skillet, loosen any shreds of sausage from the bottom of the pan.  Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the garlic just starts to brown.  Add the oyster mushrooms and sauté them all together until the mushrooms are browned and the onion is browned DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC.  Burnt garlic is bitter. Regulate the skillet heat accordingly.  Remove to a separate container with a slotted spatula.

In the remaining oil sauté the red pepper, wilt the spinach, remove to separate container with a slotted spatula.
All of the above can be done ahead of time. Ingredients do not have to be hot to be used.
In a NEW 10" SKILLET or after thoroughly cleaning the skillet used to sauté everything, pour 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil into the pan and thoroughly coat the bottom and sides.  Slice the polenta tube into 1/2" thick slices and cover the bottom of the oiled pan. Any remaining polenta, crumble and use to fill in the gaps. Your goal is a 1/2" thick crust on the bottom.  Over a medium high heat cook the polenta until it starts to sizzle and brown on the bottom.  Do not attempt to flip it.

While the polenta is cooking, scatter the cooked Italian sausage chunks over the polenta, breaking up any too large chunks and distributing evenly.   Scatter the cooked pepper, shallots, garlic, mushrooms over the polenta and distribute evenly.  Add about 2/3 of the tarragon on top. Add the peas and spinach and distribute evenly. 

Once the polenta starts to brown, pour the egg/coconut milk and parmesan mixture over the other ingredients, distributing evenly. 

Lay the asparagus on top of the egg mixture.  Grind fresh sea salt and distribute it evenly over the top to taste. Grind fresh mixed peppercorns evenly over the top to taste.  Scatter the remaining tarragon over the top.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan over the top. 

Place the hot skillet into the 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.  At 30 minutes increase the heat to 375, and bake for 10-15 more minutes or until the top is just starting to brown and the center is firm.  It may be BUBBLY but the center should be firm and leave no residue when you touch it with your fingertip.  A toothpick should come out clean.  Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes (do not cover). Add sprig of tarragon to top and serve warm. Should come out of pan nicely with a pie server and knife (if not you didn't add enough olive oil, make sure more is on the pan next time before adding ingredients).  Makes nice leftovers too.

Serve with a semi-dry reisling or semi sweet white wine. 

Oven, baking and set time: About 40-45 minutes total
Prep time: probably 20 minutes
Pre-cooking sausage etc. time: 20 minutes
Total time 1:15 min or so

Copyright, Lee Drake, all rights reserved