Spicy Sweet Potato, Bacon and Mushroom Frittata

World Egg Day – background

8 October 2010 was a day devoted in celebration of the humble egg, by The International Egg Commission, in honour of its nutritional versatility and universal affordability, in an eggshell.
Eggs are considered a “whole food”, because they are an incredible source of protein firstly, as well as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and other nutrients such a choline and Lutein.

The Cholesterol

For decades now, the debate has been raging about the relationship between cholesterol present in egg yolks, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in particular, the increase of blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It seems each year, the proponents of either side, have a congratulatory party as they shift the victory banner over to their side. Who to believe?
You may have a view that’s been altering with the opinions and research presented in the media, over the years, or perhaps you have had a steadfast belief that has stood the test of time, and is ready for the storms ahead, if any.
You can have a look at some interesting views here, here, here and here

You can find my opinion on eggs and why I prefer to assume a conservative stance, at the end.
However, I wasn’t going to let my year round caution hamper the celebrations! Glory be the egg, eaten around the world by rich, poor and the in between and enjoyed in so many ways. Some of them as simple as your quick fix scrambled egg breakfast, other’s as showstopping as your chocolate angelfood cake pièce de résistance. So, here we have 3 dishes, prepared over 4 days (a tad over zealous, I’ll admit), all in celebration of le oeuf, and set out under separate posts.<

Spicy Sweet potato, Bacon and Mushroom Frittata
Serves 4

This dish can be made using what’s at hand on any given day, and is easily adapted. A traditional frittata will contain potato. The sweet potato combined quite well with the other ingredients. Try it with spinach and feta.

6 eggs
¼ cup fresh cream or milk
½ tsp baking powder
½ cupped chopped bacon (substitute as you see fit)
1 cup mushrooms
1 small spring onion, snipped
1 small medium sweet potato, steamed or boiled and cut into chunks
2 tsp chilli pesto
Handful coriander, chopped (or parsley/other fresh herbs)
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Add olive oil to Teflon based sauce pan (make sure all parts are oven proof), and fry bacon. Remove and set aside.

In mean while, whisk the eggs well to incorporate air into the mixture along with the cream, baking powder, salt, pepper and chilli pesto.

Fry spring onions and mushrooms.
Pour over whisked eggs. Arrange sweet potato chunks, bacon and coriander into the mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes, until puffy and cooked through.
I had made this dish as a quick supper and reserved a slice for a photo session the next morning, to be captured in natural light. The fritatta depuffs slightly and is best enjoyed immediately after serving.
My two eggs worth

I think that the presence of such a large quantity of LDL cholesterol in eggs yolks (up to 213 mg per yolk, with the recommended daily intake being 300mg for those not as risk and 200mg for those who are) whether it increases blood cholesterol significantly enough or not, is enough of a reason to limit the intake of eggs. In the same vein, while nuts (and avocados) are proven to be high in omega 3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants that are excellent for heart health, healthy skin and brain function, they are fattening. Consumption in excess is counter-productive to the health benefits, sadly. I know all too well that I could polish off a bag of brazil nuts in one go, no problem.

So, in general, despite their nutritional magnificence we try not to over-do the eggs (and yes, I do on occasion ask for an egg white omelette, cooked in less oil. Love the Radisson Blue in Dublin that does the egg white omelette in a touch of rapeseed oil, also commonly known as Canola oil, a name marketers developed to steer away from the negative connotations associated with the homophone. Good move.)

I’m hoping that my theory of everything in moderation will mean I can enjoy many more happy hours experimenting in the kitchen!

*Note: I’ve omitted to discuss free range eggs, their availability in this country and battery farmed chickens. But do have a look here

Love to hear your thoughts!

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