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Easy meals: the 9 egg fritatta

You can literally put this in the oven, come back and have dinner ready in about 45 minutes.
You can literally put this in the oven, come back and have dinner ready in about 45 minutes.
photos by Faith Bowman

Coming home from work with an empty belly leads many to jump on immediately. The thought of cooking after a long day is so overwhelming, that having to think about creating a meal can be just too much. Enter the easy meal- something so ridiculously simple that tastes amazing, looks great, and quells those hunger pangs.

On a night when you just CAN"T, do this- make a fritatta. Eggs, potatoes, onions, ham, cheese, anything, stirred together and baked. For this particular fritatta, you can take a standard size 14.5 x 10.5 disposeable aluminum roasting pan pan (three for $1 at many Key Foods), and just chuck ingredients in until you feel like stopping.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub a glug of olive oil across the bottom and sides of the pan and set aside. Break 9 eggs into a large bowl and whisk until blended together. Add spices like tarragon, parsley, and coriander to taste. Go through the fridge and pantry for filler: potatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach, bacon, turkey, etc. Chop potatoes into cubes and boil until soft. As they are boiling, you can bee cutting up onions and peppers, breaking broccoli florets apart, grating cheese, or frying up some bacon. It may seem like a lot, but this is such a free form recipe that pretty much anything that you do is ok, and prep time can be time for you to think about your day, drink some wine, catch up on voice mails, etc.

Once you have all of your ingredients ready, dump them into the roasting pan. You can be somewhat ocd and arrange them so that you have even layers, or you can just throw them in. It's your choice. Once you have an even layer of filler, pour in the eggs. When this is cooked, the egg is like the Ring- it binds everything together. Sprinkle cheese and paprika on top, to make it look pretty. Now slide your roasting pan full of food into the oven. Set the timer or your phone alarm and go lie down.

You don't need to stir it, watch it, or babysit it. The fritatta starts working on itself and you can come back somewhat refreshed and find your self with dinner, and enough leftovers to allow to to not have to think for a few nights. make sure that the eggs are completely set before removing from the oven (or leave it a little runny in the center if you like that). Take the pan out and let it cool as you make a simple salad and put that on your plat. Cut a slice of fritatta or two, and rejoice in the beautiful meal that you just made yourself. You will feel warm and happy after eating this, and then you will go to sleep, have great dreams, and wake up the next day and get a raise.

Or not.

The fritatta can work cold, maybe take a chunk and cut it up to sprinkle on a salad to take to work. Eat it with roasted scallions and carrots (another no-brainer- just put the veggies in the oven, balance a piece of fritatta on top and cover.). Make a sandwich out it, with mustard slices of ham. Now you have something to play with, and it's a great dish when you have surprise company.

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