Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar

Speaking of glorified scrambled eggs, a frittata is one of my favorite quick dinners.  (Although of course it would not be out of place at an elegant brunch. You know, should you have the occasion to host or attend an elegant brunch.  Around here on weekends it’s more of a race to see if I can just snag a pancake before the kids eat them all.)  A frittata has a significant advantage over scrambled eggs when it comes to dinner, in fact, because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature, or even cold.

Some of my favorite people went tootling around New Mexico recently, and knowing that they were in the land of chiles left me dreaming of the flavors of the Southwest.  They hadn’t yet come back to deliver my stash of frozen roasted Alcalde chiles, so I was stuck making this frittata with ingredients available to ordinary mortals.

But now those chiles are in my freezer.  What should I do with them?! They’re like gold. Or at least truffles.

Anyway.  Back to the I’m-not-in-Santa-Fe frittata.  I knew that I wanted to make a thick frittata, packed full of vegetables and a big scoop of drained pico de gallo salsa.  I was a little worried about getting my frittata to cook through, so I turned to the experts on nitpicky culinary concerns, Cook’s Illustrated.  And, as usual, they had good advice for me: cook the eggs as if you are scrambling them until they are nearly set, then finish them under the broiler.  Which I did.Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar: Saute a diced onion or two with a diced red pepper and a diced green pepper (include some chiles, of course, if you are lucky enough to be in the actual Southwest or have had a recent delivery).  When soft, stir in a couple cups of drained black beans, and about a cup of drained pico de gallo or diced tomatoes.  Season to taste with salt.  Meanwhile, beat 6 eggs with a few Tbs. water and season with salt and pepper. (You could use a dairy product instead of water for creaminess; the water by itself just helps the eggs fluff up as it evaporates.)  Mix the cooked veggies into the eggs along with a good handful of cheddar and some chopped cilantro.  Wipe out and oil the pan you cooked the veggies in (I used a 10″ skillet), then scramble the eggs over medium heat until nearly set.  Scatter another handful of cheese on top the the frittata and place under the broiler for a few carefully-watched moments to brown the top.  Serve with avocado, salsasour cream, & cilantro.

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