Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Recipe: Dubliner Cheese Ambassador Challenge - Brussels Sprout & Dubliner Vintage Frittata

I knew from the start that I wanted to use brussels sprouts in my recipe for the festive-themed Dubliner Cheese Ambassador Challenge as I remember with fondness the brussels sprout gratin that my grandmother used to make when I was a child. She would smother parboiled sprouts in a rich, creamy and very cheesy sauce and bake in the oven for twenty minutes. I have loved the sprouts/cheese combo ever since.

I have always been a huge fan of brussels sprouts and I would truly feel that I was missing out if they didn’t appear on my dinner plate alongside the roast turkey and ham on Christmas day.  I recognise that not everyone feels the same about them but I believe that this has a lot to do with the fact that they are so often served overcooked. As with so many vegetables, you are better to err on the side of undercooking rather overcooking them.
 
Frittata ingredients
Most people tend to boil or steam sprouts but they can be used in so many other ways. Sometimes I finely shred them and use them raw along with finely sliced onion and grated carrot to make a festive coleslaw which is delicious. I also like to slice and fry them with some leftover ham and roast potatoes for a St. Stephen’s Day brunch hash which, topped with a poached egg, always goes down a treat. Just let your imagination run riot and you will be surprised by the tasty dishes you can come up with.

The following frittata recipe is very simple to make using ingredients that most of us will have knocking around at Christmas time. I feel that you need a cheese with an assertive flavour but one that also has good melting qualities. My cheese of choice would be Dubliner Vintage which has a lovely complex taste with an underlying nutty sweetness that goes perfectly with the salty bacon and the sweet onions in this recipe. The frittata is quick to make and would be perfect for a light lunch or supper dish during the festive season. Most importantly it tastes sensational.

Eggs and Dubliner Vintage
Although you can allow the frittata to cool to room temperature before serving, I recommend letting it stand for no more than 5-10 minutes - then serve it in wedges whilst the Dubliner Vintage is still warm and oozes out seductively.

INGREDIENTS:
2tblsp olive oil
4 rashers of smoked bacon sliced into lardons
1 sprig of thyme
1 medium onion, chopped finely
14-16 brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
75g Dubliner Vintage cut into small cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:
  1. Heat 1tblsp olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick, oven-proof frying pan and fry the bacon and thyme over a moderate heat until just beginning to get crispy and the bacon fat has rendered down slightly. Remove the bacon and thyme with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Discard the thyme. Leave the remaining oil in the frying pan.
  2. Add loads of Dubliner Vintage
    Add the chopped onions and brussels sprouts to the frying pan. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and let everything fry gently over a moderate-to-low heat for approximately 10 minutes until the onion is translucent but not coloured and the brussels sprouts are beginning to soften.
  3. Return the bacon to the pan and add the beaten eggs. Give the mixture a gentle stir so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Sprinkle over the cubes of Dubliner Vintage and let the frittata cook over a gentle heat for approximately 12-15 minutes until the eggs have set around the edges but are still slightly wobbly in the centre.
  4. Place the whole frying pan under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes until the frittata puffs up slightly and turns a light golden brown colour. Remove and allow cool in the frying pan for 5 minutes before upturning onto a large plate and serving cut into wedges.

Serves 4-6 depending on appetite.
 
Brussels Sprout & Dubliner Vintage Frittata