Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baked frittata for 300 campers

At Oakland Feather River Camp, we prepared potato-pepper frittata five times this summer. The baked omelet, which was on the menu every other week, was prepared two ways -- as frittata 'muffins' for kids camp in June and baked in full-sized hotel pans for the family camps.

We first served baked frittata in early May. Since we were only feeding a dozen staff members at that point, I used the meal to show the cooks how to bake a baked omelet. I also used the opportunity to test a small number of frittata muffins. I'll share more about the muffin recipe later.

The classic recipe for frittata is time consuming when feeding 150 to 300 campers. To prepare in the traditional method, sauté the vegetables in an oven-proof skillet. Add any meat and cook. Then pour whipped eggs (roughly 12 eggs for a 12-inch skillet) in the pan. Over medium heat, stir with a heat resistant spatula, running it along the sides, for two to three minutes. Once the eggs are partially set, top with cheese (if desired) and place in a pre-heated 375-degree oven.

Its versatility is the best thing about a frittata, whether baked for camp or prepared with the classic method. Asparagus, spinach, kale or mushrooms easily work in place of the potatoes. Even though we chose to leave meat out of our frittata, sausage, bacon, prosciutto or ham are ideal meats. Any cheese, especially when pared with the vegetables and meat, top off any frittata. The options are endless once you have the basics down.

On August 1, each pan fed 40 to 45 campers. A week later each pan fed 35 campers. While I usually figure 25 servings per 2-inch hotel pan, the expanded menu helped 'stretch' the frittata. Hot cereal, cold cereal, fresh whole fruit, sliced melons, toast, bagels and cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and assorted yogurt (flavored and plain) gave the campers a lot of options for breakfast. Plus the 25 vegans on August 1 were offered an alternative entrée. We didn't have any vegans the next week.

The following images demonstrate how the cooks prepared potato-pepper frittata for 300 campers:

To prepare the frittata, Jesse poured a splash of olive oil in each 12 by 20 by 2-inch hotel pan. A handful of diced onions and red and green bell peppers were tossed into each pan. Jesse then placed around 2 pounds of par-cooked red potatoes in each pan. He lightly tossed the contents of each pans before placing then in the oven.
 After seasoning with kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper and Italian seasoning, Jesse placed the 10 pans in a 325-degree convection oven. The vegetables and potatoes cooked for 10 to 15 minutes. The pans were lined on the table after Jesse removed them from the oven.
Next I poured the contents of 3 cartons of liquid eggs into each pan. Jesse returned each pan in the oven as it was ready. Each carton weighs 2 pounds. Use 5-1/3 dozen medium or 4-1/2 dozen large eggs if liquid eggs aren't available. The mixture was stirred before returning to the oven.
It took 35 to 40 minutes to bake the frittata. Pull it from the oven when the top was just set.

You need to test the frittata in your oven to see how long it will take. Our ovens run hot on top and cooler on the bottom (despite the circulating fan). Potato-pepper frittata was one of our better breakfasts, only rivaled by biscuits and gravy morning and the cinnamon roll breakfast.

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU CHEF STEVEN. It was great to discover your site. After looking at endless fritatta recipes for small circular pans, you provided complete intel for the higher volume approach I required. I'm definitely bookmarking your site.