Holiday Cooking

Something we all either love or dread is holiday cooking. I’m in the “love” camp, though that’s almost certainly because I’ve never been required to singlehandedly feed a multitude. One part that I hate, though, is the leftovers. Looking through the fridge, trying to avoid making eye contact with that Tupperware full of nigh-untouched Waldorf salad, that clingwrapped bowl of dip (I hope it was dip), or the ziplock baggie full of surplus stuffing.

This past Thanksgiving, I discovered an interesting use for leftover stuffing, and I mention it now for those of you whose upcoming holiday dinners might feature stuffing again. You can put stuffing into a fritatta!

I’ve made frittattas of leftover pasta before, so making one from leftover stuffing seemed a sound and intriguing idea. It actually turned out quite nicely.

The original recipe was unclear on a few things, and also I had to substitute some ingredients, so here’s what I actually did and used:

  • 2 1/2 cups leftover stuffing
  • Chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 can of chicken, drained
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

I cook my fritattas in a cast-iron skillet, mainly because that’s the only skillet that I have that can also go into the oven. I usually cook the frittata over the stove for a few minutes to cook the bottom, then broil it to finish off the top. It’s kind of a pain in the tuckus (and potentially very messy) to slide a whole (half-cooked) fritatta out of a pan and onto a plate and then somehow flip it back into the pan from the plate… as some cookbooks suggest.

After heating the skillet on the range, I mixed the stuffing with the canned chicken. If you do have leftover turkey, you’ll probably want to use that instead, shredded or finely chopped. My stuffing looked a little dry, so I moistened it with just a bit of chicken broth. You don’t want any surprising crunchy bits.

I spread the mixture into the pan to warm up. I listened for sizzling, then spread the Cheddar on top. I figured once the cheese started to melt, the stuffing would be plenty warm. You don’t want cold stuffing in a hot frittata, no, no, no.

Next, I whisked the eggs with everything but the Parmesan. I do have a stash of nutmeg nuts, thanks to making Good Eats Fruitcake several years in a row. Also, if the stuffing is well-seasoned, the salt and pepper can be omitted. I happen to like a bit of pepper in my food, so I took the pepper mill and ground away. Anyway, I then poured the egg mixture over the melty-cheese-covered stuffing. On top of the egg, I sprinkled the Parmesan.

As usual, I cooked for about five to ten minutes on the stove and then about five under the broiler. The original recipe calls for fifteen minutes of baking, which would also work. As long as the eggs are nice and done throughout, it’s good.

I then let the frittata cool for a few minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving it with a nice salad. One could also let a frittata cool completely and enjoy it cold as a breakfast or lunch the next day.

Frittata of leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving
The Result

It was surprisingly good. There was occasionally the strange bite or two, but I attribute that to the quality of the stuffing. Or perhaps I burned a few croutons waiting for the stuffing to heat. Other than that, I’d definitely make it again.

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