Bella Loves Challah
Different dogs define high-value treats differently. Most dogs go for liver treats, or bully sticks, or rawhide bones. My dog Bella likes all of those, but what she goes nuts for, what she’ll do anything you ask for, is a little bite of challah. Who would have known?
Howard will often pick up a loaf of Cheryl Ann’s challah at Russo’s Market in Watertown. We eat some, and Bella eats some. She is very obedient when there is challah in the house.
With our wealth of leftovers last week, the last loaf that Howard brought home was languishing. Then, when I was browsing the latest Williams-Sonoma catalog, I spied a frittata recipe that called for toasted cubes of brioche. One egg bread is like another. I also had some mushrooms, roasted peppers, and cheddar in the fridge along with plenty of eggs. Frittata for brunch! Actually, we had it for brunch on Sunday and for dinner (with a salad) tonight.
I don’t have the fancy two-sided Williams-Sonoma pan the recipe was written for, but my cast-iron skillet did the job just fine.
Lodge Brunch Frittata
Adapted from this recipe from Williams-Sonoma
3 cups challah cubes, cut into 1-inch cubes (no need remove the crust)
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup sliced scallions (about 4 scallions)
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 roasted red or yellow pepper, sliced thin (from a jar is fine)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool. (You can do this the night before.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Gently fold in the bread cubes, cheese, and scallions. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. At the same time, in another skillet, heat the other tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the onions and roasted pepper to the pan with mushrooms and stir to combine.
Now add the egg mixture to the mushrooms in the skillet and stir to evenly distribute the vegetables throughout the egg. Cover the skillet and cook for 10-12 minutes. Periodically, remove the cover and run a spatula around the edge of the pan. Preheat the broiler while the eggs cook. When the eggs are mostly cooked and only slightly wet on top, place the skillet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are cooked through.
Cut into wedges and serve.