More and more people are trying out one or two nights a week of Meatless Meals, either for health or wallets sake. Things have been tough financially for us the past few months, so it's forced me to get creative in the kitchen to save a bit of money. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal, so I've tried to come up with ways of using more inexpensive meat, minimal meat or occasionally, meat-free meals. Usually the meat-free meals don't go over so well with my husband Steve. He whines and complains and tells me about the void on his plate and naturally, in his stomach as well. Remember this?
But this frittata totally pulled the wool over his eyes. He complimented me repeatedly during the meal and told me how much he loved it. After he had licked his plate clean I asked if he noticed there wasn't any meat in it and he responded with "What?! No.....there was....I guess there wasn't. Good job babe!"
The balsamic caramelized onions take on a sweet, rich flavor and it's the richness of the onions that I think fools you. Combined with the heartiness of the potatoes and a bit of cheese, this frittata is a wonderful Meatless Meal (and super inexpensive too).
Recipe by Meal Planning 101
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small hashbrown size squares
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan (you can substitute Gruyere if you have it)
2 green onions, chopped or 2 tbsp parsley chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thinly slice the onions. Put the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and heat over medium high heat and add the onions. Stir and season with salt. Turn down to medium heat. Let caramelize for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (frequently if you don't have a heavy bottomed pan.) Once the onions are golden and caramel colored (but not burnt), pour in the balsamic, stirring to pick up the sugars on the bottom of the pan. Let cook for about a minute, then remove from the heat.
While the onions are caramelizing, put on a medium pot of salted water to boil. Peel and dice the potatoes and put in the water. Boil for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
When the onions are done, in a medium non-stick skillet add a tablespoon of oil and heat to medium high. Add the diced potatoes, season with seasoning salt and dried basil and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until they get lightly golden. In a medium bowl beat the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper and the Parmesan. Arrange the balsamic caramelized onions over top of the potatoes (don't let them go to the bottom or they will burn) and pour over the egg mixture. Turn heat to medium and let cook for about 5 minutes. Once the bottom has set, put in the oven to finish cooking the top (about another 10 minutes). Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions or parsley and serve.
Click here for a printable version of Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Potato Frittata
In the past I have tried and tried and tried and FAILED to make caramelized onions. Before they ever made it to the golden brown, falling apart, sticky, sugary onions I'd have burnt black crisps. When I dreamed up this frittata I was determined to get the onions right (which I obviously did), so I have a few tips for you:
- A heavy bottomed pan works best (doesn't matter if it's non-stick or not). If yours is not a heavy bottomed pan, your onions need to be stirred more frequently (like every couple of minutes) because of hot spots in the pan and the sugars in the onions will burn easily.
- Use plenty of oil and stir your onions well to coat them in the oil. DON'T USE BUTTER. The dairy in the butter will burn.
- If your onions are turning brown too quickly, turn your heat down to medium low.
- If you want to add a bit of sugar to make them sweeter, stir it in at the end or the sugar will burn.
- Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Potato Frittata + Salad with Parmesan, drizzled with Balsamic and Oil + Crusty Bread
For more inexpensive meal ideas, visit $5 Dinner Challenge.