Bacon, Ricotta & Cheddar Frittata with a Chive-Cornbread Crust

I haven’t been cooking dinner over the last couple of weeks with all of the wedding to-dos. Between trying to handle loose ends, visiting with friends and family, and trying to stay up-to-the-minute at work, I’ve fairly excluded my after-work dinner routine from the menu. This is not to say at all that I’ve gone hungry. Oh no, far from it. In addition to all of the chores, we have been treated to a couple of exquisite showers…in the same weekend! Planning a wedding in just a few months didn’t leave us much time to spread out showers, and our friends happily obliged. 

We had a gorgeous shower last Saturday with elegant touches everywhere and a to-die-for menu. The guests at the party spoiled us with some of my most-coveted items on our registry, including a beautiful set of four Le Creuset mini cocottes {in fennel}. I adore individual serving vessels and I’ve been swooning over them since I found out of their existence. 

The very next morning after opening these beautiful dishes, I put together this breakfast recipe to try them out. The recipe combines two basic components (cornbread and a frittata), neither of which is difficult to cook. I wanted to test the mini cocottes non-stick functionality, and they performed perfectly. I’m smitten. The small serving size slid out of the cocottes with no trouble at all, like a savory little muffin: 

Fiance was also impressed by the cocottes’ performance, proclaiming them to be “pretty cool,” which I think is as close to “smitten” as I’m going to get from him. He was more emphatic in expressing his feelings about the frittata, however. He is a big quiche fan, and although I make quiche frequently (and I hear its pretty good), I’m not, dare I say, smitten with the stuff. Despite my “pretty cool” outlook on quiche, the addition of the cornbread layer added some nice substance and contrast to the soft quiche. 

The dish was truly the first thing I’ve been able to actually cook in days, thanks to a hectic work schedule and two weekend nights out. I’m not complaining, though, and once again I was not suffering from lack of delicious food. Our talented hostesses treated us to some wonderful items, like this goat cheese, bell pepper, and cilantro spread with pepitas: 

And a perfectly-cooked pork tenderloin with a trio of accompanying sauces (which is a license to go back for thirds, right?!): 

But the award for prettiest plating (ever) goes to this glamorous cheese board: 

I’ve never thought to arrange brie like that. Those ladies! How innovative is that? She arranged the wheel of brie into a long, thin slice, to be enjoyed on a slice of the baguette with a drizzle of honey, fresh berries, dried cherries and toasted almonds. I just love it. Hopefully this breakfast recipe is just as innovative and inspiring to you as the perfect cheese board above is to me. 

Bacon, Ricotta & Cheddar Frittata with Chive Cornbread Crust
Serves four

You will need:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup yellow corn kernels, optional
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I like the “leafier” Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp. each paprika, oregano, and dried parsley 
  • Optional garnishes: extra chives and avocado
  • Preheat oven to 400. Grease or spray nonstick cooking spray in four individual-sized ramekins or cocottes. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together cornmeal, baking powder, softened butter, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, 1 egg, 2/3 cup milk, and corn kernels (if using) until just combined. The dough will be thick. 
  • Fill each ramekin approximately 1/4 of the way to the top with the cornbread dough. This was about 1/3 cup in my cocottes. 
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the cornbread becomes is golden on top and the slightly brown sides separate from the pan. The cornbread layer will be take up about 1/3 of the baking dish when it is cooked: 
  • Remove ramekins from the oven when the cornbread is done and keep the temperature at 400. 
  • While the ramekins are baking, whisk together the 4 remaining eggs and 1/2 tsp. each remaining salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl for a couple of minutes, until eggs are frothy.
  • Stir in ricotta, bacon, fresh parsley, cheddar, and remaining spices. 
  • Evenly distribute the egg mixture on top of the cornbread layer. 
  • Fill to about 3/4 of the ramekin or baking dish. 
  • Bake until egg mixture does not jiggle when the dishes are slightly shaken and they have puffed up to just over the rim of the dish, no more than 10 minutes. 
  • Serve hot, topped with avocado (if desired) and extra chopped chives. 
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