Suppose you have two whole fish, each weighing about 400 grams, and you need to feed six people. Do you cut each fish into three portions (they’ll be small pieces, I tell you), give everyone one portion each, and tell them that if their tummies are still growling after that, they’ll just have to drink a lot of water as a filler? Not very nice, is it? Okay, one solution is to serve the fish with some very filling side dishes. The problem is that anyone can choose not to eat a side dish if he or she does not happen to like it. So, I use a different approach frittata.
We know it as torta; it is called omelet in the West. I simmer the fish, flake the flesh, mix it with vegetables and eggs, then cook the mixture in a little oil. The 800 grams of fish, mixed with two potatoes, a carrot, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, and six eggs resulted in two large frittatas. We ate one for dinner a few nights ago; we ate the second one for lunch the following day. How’s that for cooking on a budget?
To make the fish frittata, simmer the whole fish in a little salted water. Remove from the water, cool then separate the fish flesh from the bones and flake. To maximize the fish even more, return the bones to the pot, add more water, a whole onion, whole garlic, and some peppercorns, then simmer for at least 45 minutes to make fish broth. Strain the broth and use it as a soup base. You can serve your frittata with the soup, if you wish, or reserve the broth for another time.
Okay, so you have flaked fish. To determine how much vegetables you need, here’s a guide I follow. I use as much vegetables (excluding herbs and spices) as the fish. Since I started with 800 grams of fish, the total weight of the potatoes and carrots was also 800 grams. You’re not limited to potatoes and carrots, of course. You can use green beans, sweet peas, bell peppers, mushrooms (oyster mushrooms are very inexpensive and a great extender), or even tofu cubes. You will also need an onion and a few cloves of garlic.
Cut the vegetables into small pieces, peel and chop the onion and garlic, half-cook everything in a little oil, then stir into the flaked fish. Season with salt and pepper. Beat six eggs (six eggs were just right for 800 grams of fish and an equal amount of veggies), pour into the fish-vegetables mixture, and stir well. Divide the mixture into two portions. Pour one portion into a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat until the top is set. Slide the frittata onto a plate, place another plate over it, flip, and slide the inverted frittata back into the frying pan to brown the other side.