Somewhere between scrambled eggs and an omelet, frittatas are appetizing at any temperature and for any meal.

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Frittatas: Fancier than scrambled eggs, not quite as elegant as an omelet.

Frittatas live in that gray area between two of America’s favorite brunch foods, or rather the yellow area. A baked egg dish with various ingredients inside, they are hearty, not delicate; filling, not frilly.

That is why you can eat them at any time, for any meal and at any temperature — hot, warm, room temperature or chilled.

Best of all, they are the ultimate blank slate. You can make them with anything you like. You are limited only by your imagination.

Even with my limited imagination, I managed to come up with five examples. They range from spicy to savory to sweet, with meat, with seafood and vegetarian. Mostly, I drew my inspiration from other dishes, figuring that whatever works without eggs has a good chance of also working with them.

No-Bagel Frittata

Makes 4 servings

 

1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided

½ onion, chopped

4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped

8 eggs, lightly beaten

3 ounces (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 ½ teaspoons capers, optional

Salt and black pepper

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, melt ½ tablespoon of the butter. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in smoked salmon and cook a minute or 2 until it changes color. Set aside.

3. Pour the eggs and milk into a large bowl. Add cream cheese in marble-sized chunks, along with optional capers and enough salt and pepper for 8 eggs (if the salmon is salty, do not add more salt). Whisk until just mixed.

4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and stir to coat the sides. It’s fine if some of the onions and salmon stick to the sides. Add egg mixture and place in oven. Bake until eggs are just set, 15 to 20 minutes.

Per serving: 279 calories; 22 g fat; 11 g saturated fat; 292 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 4 g carbohydrate; 3 g sugar; 0 g fiber; 667 mg sodium; 104 mg calcium. (Nutrition analysis used unsalted butter.)

 

Frittata Lorraine

Makes 4 servings

 

8 eggs, lightly beaten

6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

4 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, or Jarlsberg or Swiss

3 ounces (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, bacon, cheese, milk and enough salt and pepper for 8 eggs, until just mixed.

3. Melt butter in an ovenproof skillet. Swirl around all sides. Add the egg mixture and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until eggs are just set, 15 to 25 minutes.

Per serving: 347 calories; 26 g fat; 12 g saturated fat; 403 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 2 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; no fiber; 587 mg sodium; 367 mg calcium. (Nutrition analysis used unsalted butter.)

 

Hot Mess Frittata

Makes 4 servings

 

1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided

½ potato, cut into ½- to ¾-inch cubes

Salt

½ onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced thin

¼ cup chopped green pepper

1 cup diced tomato

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder, divided

5 medium mushrooms, quartered

½ zucchini, chopped

8 eggs, lightly beaten

3 ounces (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk

Freshly ground black pepper

Sriracha, optional

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In an ovenproof skillet, melt ½ tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and salt to taste (potatoes need a lot of salt), cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, onions, carrots, green pepper, tomato and 1 teaspoon of the curry powder. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, an additional 5 minutes. Uncover, add mushrooms and zucchini, and sauté until all the vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, add eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon curry powder and enough salt and pepper for 8 eggs into a large bowl. Whisk together until just mixed. Pour into the skillet and place in oven. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Serve with sriracha, if desired.

Per serving: 241 calories; 15 g fat; 6 g saturated fat; 386 mg cholesterol; 15 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 5 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 170 mg sodium; 106 mg calcium. (Nutrition analysis used unsalted butter.)

 

Strata Frittata

Makes 4 servings

 

8 eggs, lightly beaten

6 ounces sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 ounces (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk

Salt and black pepper

2 pieces white toast, cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon butter

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, mustard, milk, and enough salt and pepper for 8 eggs, until just mixed. Stir in cubes of white toast. Set aside for 3 minutes.

3. In an ovenproof skillet, melt butter, swirling around on all sides. Add egg mixture and place in oven. Bake until eggs are just set, 15 to 25 minutes.

Per serving: 383 calories; 28 g fat; 14 g saturated fat; 427 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; no fiber; 539 mg sodium; 417 mg calcium. (Nutrition analysis used unsalted butter.)

 

Suzette Frittata

Makes 4 servings

 

8 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon orange zest, minced

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

¼ cup Grand Marnier

Salt

½ cup whole milk

2 tablespoons butter

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, add eggs, zest, orange juice, ¼ cup of the sugar, Grand Marnier and salt to taste (remember, you are seasoning 8 eggs). Whisk until just mixed. Add milk and whisk again until just mixed.

3. Melt butter in a large, ovenproof skillet, swirling it around all the sides. Add egg mixture and place skillet in oven. Cook until eggs are just fully set, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and turn oven to broil. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over the top and broil on the top rack for 3 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Per serving: 298 calories; 16 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 390 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 21 g carbohydrate; 18 g sugar; no fiber; 195 mg sodium; 96 mg calcium. (Nutrition analysis used unsalted butter and large eggs.)