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Cooking spray (Recipe: frittata ring) {vegetarian}


One mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi....that's the sound of 21 calories of canola cooking spray.

Three long spritzes, three seconds, 7 calories per second.

Compare that to a tablespoon of butter (104 calories) or olive oil (122).

No contest.

For those of us for whom dieting is a lifelong companion, cooking spray is a lifesaver. The spray serves two purposes: (1) it creates a nonstick surface; (2) it dispenses minute amounts of oil in each spritz, so you use less oil in your cooking. Each can provides between 500 and 600 squirts, and will last two years in the pantry. The brand I'm using at the moment contains canola oil, soy lecithin, water, and a propellant like nitrous oxide. Cooking sprays made from vegetable oil and olive oil also are easy to find in the market.

By the way, did you know that PAM, the original cooking spray, stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff, who, with his partner Leon Rubin, began marketing their spray product in 1959? I didn't, either.

I admit that I feel a little bit guilty about the hole my spray might be poking in the ozone layer (though it contains no chloroflurocarbons — those nasty CFCs — so maybe it's only poking a teeny tiny hole). I have three spray cans in my house, and two of them are in my kitchen pantry. The third is for killing carpenter bees and ants. Truth is, I live in a log house, and I'm willing to do just about anything to keep the critters from eating it.

Frittata ring

A beautiful dish for the morning-after-the-holidays breakfast or brunch, because you can make it the night before. A great way to incorporate leftovers, too. And you have an excuse to acquire a bundt pan if you don't already own one! Serves 10-12.


18 large eggs
1/3 cup milk or cream
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp thyme leaf
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste (be generous; if the frittata will be served cold, you'll need to make sure it's well seasoned)
Pinch of red pepper flakes or a few shakes of hot sauce (optional)
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar or swiss cheese
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 325°F. Whip eggs and milk or cream in a bowl until well combined and frothy, and set aside.

In a small sauté pan, cook the broccoli, pepper and onion in olive oil for a few minutes, just until the onion is translucent. When the mixture has cooled, combine with the eggs and all remaining ingredients except the cooking spray.

Coat the inside of a bundt pan with cooking spray, and pour in the egg mixture. Place the bundt pan in a straight-sided roasting pan, and set on the oven rack. Fill halfway with hot tap water, and set into the oven (this is called a bain marie). Bake for one hour, until the eggs are set and slightly browned on top. Remove from oven, and remove bundt pan from the water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then invert frittata onto a serving dish.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

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One day I may have to try cooking spray. I just never have because I don't like the thought of my food coming from an aerosol can, even though I know it's perfectly fine.

I know some cooks turn their nose up at a product like this, but I use it all the time.

I love frittata. Sounds perfect for company - as beautiful as it tastes! How do you recommend reheating if you make it the night before?

Kate, I actually serve frittatas at room temperature, so it would just need to come out of the fridge an hour or so before you serve. An alternative is to bring it to room temp, sprinkle the top with additional grated cheese (parmigiano-reggiano works well), and pop it under the broiler until the cheese melts. Gilding the lily, but it's really delicious!

Have you ever heard of DeMarle at Home? If you love to bake/cook, this product is not only completely non-stick, it's not bad for the ozone like the canned spray. I just discovered it about 5 months ago and am able to get rid of most of my corning ware with just one of their flexible molds. It's different then the flexible molds in Walmart and other store - this product os part silicone and spun glass. Never spray anything in it - and the contents practically fall out if you're not careful! You can see their website www.demarleathome.com. Zero calories (from no non-stick spray), safer for enviornment - it's a win-win.

Nicole, what a great discovery. Thank you for including the URL, too. I will definitely check this out. Welcome to The Perfect Pantry!

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